Sunday, October 04, 2009

Stelmach rejects royalty-loss warning

The US Interior Department's inspector general found exactly the same thing Mr. Dunn found!

Stelmach's views are strictly there to discredit Mr. Dunn while propping up a dysfunctional system.

SUBJECT TO MANIPULATION the US view on payment in kind.

Salazar said the program "has been a blemish on the department" and has "created problems and ethical lapses" among those who managed it.

At a recent House committee hearing, Salazar said, "It's time for us to end the royalty-in-kind program." About half of the oil and gas royalties come through the in-kind program, and Salazar said that would be phased out over a period of time to make an orderly transition.

The credibility of MMS offices responsible for the royalty-in-kind program was undermined last year when the Interior Department's inspector general found evidence that at least 13 employees were involved in unethical behavior such as rigging contracts, working part-time as private oil consultants and having sexual relationships with - and accepting golf and ski trips and dinners from - oil company employees.

The inspector general's report cited a "culture of substance abuse and promiscuity" involving a small group of individuals "wholly lacking in acceptance of or adherence to government ethical standards."

The United States has the U.S Government Accounting Office (GAO) along with the U.S Congressional Research Authority. Both groups make valuable information and policy analysis available to the public. The GAO, for example, reported on Alberta's low royalty rates in a 2007 global comparison of oil royalties months BEFORE Alberta's royalty review panel and Alberta's Auditor General came out with similar findings.

That's what Alberta needs now.
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