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

Three Fort St. John teens among the fastest in the world

first_imgAfter their trip across the continent, the trio are looking forward to hitting the 8th mile track at Northern Lights Raceway once again next Spring. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A trio of teenagers from Fort St. John are among the fastest drag racers in the world, and they don’t even have their Class 5 licenses yet.13 year-old Noah MacDonald, 14 year-old Kaelie Morton, and 17 year-old Ty Hollingshead were part of a group of a dozens racers from the Peace Region that travelled to Memphis, Tennessee at the end of October to compete at the World Finals at the Memphis International Raceway.Hollingshead was this year’s track champion in his age group at Northern Lights Raceway, while MacDonald and Morton took the top racer spots at drag strips in Prince George and Edmonton respectively. Hollingshead and Morton have both been racing for a number of years, while this was only MacDonald’s third year of drag racing.- Advertisement -In Memphis, the two boys were both competing against 126 other drivers in the Summit Super  Series, while Morton raced in the 24-racer Tournament of Champions.MacDonald made an early exit at the tournament after losing his first race, but said that the experience was still something he won’t soon forget. Hollingshead was about to out-drive his opponents for four rounds, and eventually placed tenth in the world.Meanwhile in the Tournament of Champions, Morton managed to make it all the way to the final race in her division. Both racers in the final ended up lighting the red light on the Christmas tree, but Morton ended up placing second due to a difference of dial in times.Advertisementlast_img read more