The Government of Guyana (GoG) once again wishes to draw to the attention of the pubic, another outrageous fabrication published by Kaieteur News (KN) in its front page article of June 7, 2010 titled “Hand in Hand withholds bond until heavy equipment is imported.” A Government of Guyana press release last evening said the Government views, with great disgust, KN’s continued engagement in fabricating and misleading the public on the Amaila Falls Road project.
“ The extent of such fabrication has now extended from Government quarters to outrageous statements on private companies,” the release continued.
“Following execution of a Lump-Sum Design and Build Agreement between the GoG and Synergy Holdings Inc in March this year, Government (represented by the Ministry of Public Works) received and currently holds two validly issued bonds from Hand in Hand Mutual Fire Insurance Co. Ltd dated March 31st 2010, namely:
* Advance Mobilization Bond for 10% of the Contract Sum.
* Performance Bond for 10% of the Contract Sum.
“The GoG wishes to unequivocally state that neither of these Bonds is conditional on the Contractor importing project equipment or of providing any other form of collateral to the Guarantor, Hand in Hand. Such arrangements are strictly the business between Synergy and Hand in Hand Fire Insurance Company.
“The Government has consulted with Hand in Hand who has confirmed that the bonds are valid and properly issued and that today’s (yesterday’s) headline of KN is a total falsification. In any event, an issuer of bonds to the Government cannot unilaterally withdraw such bonds once issued. As a general rule, the bonds are a third party guarantee that is not linked to the party requesting same (the contractor, Synergy in this case).
“KN reporters continue to display a wanton disregard for the norms of journalism or knowledge of business transactions. KN first failed to present a balanced story by not confirming with GoG whether the bonds were indeed withdrawn. Further, any business journalist should be aware of the general principles governing the issuance of bonds for Government projects by guarantors.
“Government wishes to advise KN that such reckless behavior and fabrication of information, is a fundamental breach of KN journalistic obligations to be objective, fair and balanced in its reporting.
“Based on the many misleading articles on this project (and other similar projects), one can only conclude that KN is not concerned with the facts but wishes to pursue the fabrication, falsification and distortion of information, all to create sensational headlines and/or support opposition groups. Such reckless and irresponsible journalism now clearly reflects an intention to be destructive and critical, of not only Government, but also of private sector firms and contractors doing business with GoG.
“The GoG condemns such fabrication and behaviour by KN as a vicious, outrageous attempt to distort the truth and reflects a total abuse of its press freedom”, the release concluded.