Breach of contract can cost State billions – legal expert

first_imgOil exportation licence scrapping…the contract was with State, not any party in powerAs reports have surfaced that the Government has scrapped the oil exportation licence granted to ChinaThe Chinese company’s multimillion-dollar bulk fuel facilityZhonghao Inc, owned by Chinese businessman Su Zhi Rong, at least one legal luminary has warned that the Administration was threading on dangerous ground, as there could be tremendous litigation costs brought to bear on the State as a result of a breach of contract.Sections of the media reported that following a forensic audit into the operations of the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government terminated the contract signed with the Chinese company under the previous People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration, without providing any solid basis for doing so.Earlier this year, the Government had asked the company to conduct some corrective works on its multimillion-dollar bulk fuel facility called “Falls”, which was being constructed at Coverden, East Bank Demerara, following a complaint by the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) that the works were not being done to the approved specifications.Those corrective works were reportedly undertaken; however, the Government still went ahead and quashed the contract.Speaking with a legal expert who requested anonymity, Guyana Times was told that any decision to bring to an end a contract must be done with solid justification, as he cited the sanctity of contracts, noting that “once parties duly enter into a contract, they must honour their obligations under that contract”.“Contracts can only be terminated for just cause in accordance with the terms of the contract since many contracts provide grounds upon which they can be terminated,” the expert, who practises civil law, explained.The expert went on to explain that the litigation costs could be humongous for the party which terminated the contract without proper reason.“In other words, a contract cannot be whimsically and arbitrarily terminated. If that happens, the affected party can launch legal proceedings for damages and compensation for wrongful and/or unlawful termination of the contract and that can run into hundreds of millions of dollars depending on the subject matter of the contract,” the civil lawyer outlined. The expert said while not being fully privy to the terms of the contract, based on the trend in recent months, there seemed to be some misperception by the Government that contracts signed prior to it assuming office could be arbitrarily quashed.“The Government seems to believe that they are not bound by contracts entered into under the previous Government. That is a terribly flawed view. Contracts with the State of Guyana, entered into by the Government of the day, continue to be enforced, notwithstanding that there may be a change of government,” the expert highlighted.Efforts to contact officials of China Zhonghao Inc, as well as the Chinese Embassy in Georgetown, for a comment were unsuccessful.Recently, former Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, under whose tenure the licence was granted, had come out defending the decision of licensing the company to export fuel, arguing that there was nothing corrupt or unusual about the contract.Hinds, who was responsible for the energy sector, in a Letter to the Editor back in April 2016, had said that it was a matter of regret that the issuance of the licence was presented to the public as an outrageous matter.He had explained that the granting of the licence was not against the law, since already Guyana had small incidental exporters/re-exporters of fuel, explaining that all fuel sales to international carriers –ships and planes – were exports/re-exports.He also defended the decision as one which was intended to grow the local economy.According to Hinds the contract was gazzetted.last_img read more

From Russian doping to FIFA bribery, 2017 proves dark time

first_imgFormer Guam football federation president Richard Lai pleaded guilty in April to taking bribes worth almost $1 million while Costa Rican Eduardo Li, Guatemala’s Brayan Jimenez, Venezuela’s Rafael Esquivel and Julio Rocha of Nicaragua all received lifetime bans, with Nigeria’s Amos Adamu handed a two-year ban.Hector Trujillo of Guatemala, the former general secretary of his country’s football federation, was the first person brought down in the widespread FIFA corruption scandal to be sentenced to jail, given eight months by a judge in New York in October.How the Russians allegedly commited a raft of doping offences at the Sochi Olympics, according to a WADA-backed report published in July 2016. © AFP / Jonathan STOREYTwo more, Jose Maria Marin, former head of Brazil’s Football Confederation and Juan Angel Napout, former head of Paraguayan football, were convicted of corruption earlier this month for accepting more than $17 million in bribes between them.The likes of Michel Platini, the former UEFA president, and Jerome Valcke, the former FIFA general secretary, both failed in their appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to have their FIFA bans overturned while other prominent figures were embroiled in the ever-widening scandal.Jos Maria Marin, former head of Brazil’s Football Confederation, one of three defendants in a FIFA scandal, arrives at the Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York © AFP/File / Don EMMERTParis Saint-Germain president Nasser al-Khelaifi was placed under investigation by Swiss prosecutors for allegedly bribing Valcke — a charge he denies.FIFA decided to bar Russian vice-president Vitaly Mutko from its ruling council in March over his involvement in the Russian state-sponsored doping scandal exposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency-sponsored McLaren report.– Urine samples swapped –In June, Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren told German television channel ARD that doping by Russian footballers had been covered up by swapping urine samples.It was a bad year for Mutko who was also banned from the Games for life by the International Olympic Committee at the same time that Russia were excluded from the Pyeongchang Winter Games next year.Mutko, though, remains head of the Russia 2018 World Cup organising committee and a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko was banned from the Games for life by the International Olympic Committee at the same time that Russia were excluded from the Pyeongchang Winter Games next year © AFP/File / Mladen ANTONOVRussian athletes can compete as neutrals in South Korea, provided they adhere to strict conditions and have never been convicted of doping.But the number of Russian athletes banned for doping at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics rose to 43 recently, and the country has already lost 13 of the 33 medals they originally won.– Sky credibility damaged –Cycling was unable to avoid the negative headlines as Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana winner Chris Froome returned an adverse analytical finding for asthma medication salbutamol.Froome wasn’t suspended but may yet be if he cannot prove his innocence — his urine sample contained twice the permitted amount of salbutamol.Coming on the back of the now filed UK Anti-Doping Agency investigation into former Tour winner Bradley Wiggins’s reception of a mystery package at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine race, this has been a damaging year for the credibility of Team Sky — an outfit that has long boasted of its “zero tolerance” policy to doping.It was the year of the comeback for Maria Sharapova following her doping suspension for using meldonium, but that brought controversy as many of her rivals expressed displeasure.2017 was the year of the comeback for Maria Sharapova following her doping suspension for using meldonium, but that brought controversy as many of her rivals expressed displeasure © AFP/File / Yuri KADOBNOVCanadian Eugenie Bouchard branded her “a cheater” in May and said she should have been banned for life while former world number one Caroline Wozniacki criticised US Open organisers for putting the Russian on a show court.Back to corruption and Carlos Nuzman resigned as Brazilian Olympic Committee president in October after he was charged over a $2 million vote buying scandal.Former world athletics chief Lamine Diack and his son Papa Massata were also investigated as authorities in France and Brazil followed the money trail to try to prove Rio had bought votes to win the right to host the 2016 Olympics.Former world sprint champion and four-time Olympic silver medallist Frankie Fredericks was caught up in the affair and had to resign from posts at both the IOC and IAAF after he received almost $300,000 from Papa Massata Diack.The two Diacks had already been banned for life by the IAAF in 2016 after accepting bribes to cover up doping by Russian athletes.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000President of the Russian Olympic Committee, Alexander Zhukov (C) prepares to start a meeting in Moscow on December 12, to decide how to respond to the IOC ban on Russia participating in the Winter Games © AFP/File / Alexander NEMENOVPARIS, France, Dec 24 – Russia being banned from the Winter Olympics stole the headlines but may also have overshadowed an otherwise sorry year for sport in terms of scandals.It was a particularly damaging year for sporting officials, not least from the world of football and FIFA in particular.last_img read more