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$30M spent on party, retreats were investment in staff- Former GWI Head

GRA and GEA to pay Van-West $12M for unlawfully seizing his fuel

Former Managing Director of the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) Dr. Richard Van West-Charles has defended the use of over $30M from the company to fund anniversary celebrations and a Christmas party in 2018.

At a recent press conference, the former head of the utility company said such activities including an internal competition served to educate the employees on GWI.

“It is not a luxury and the 21st century management speaks to the need to invest likewise the HR (Human Resources) plan in CARICOM which we’ve subscribed to speaks to the need to invest in your workers,” Dr Charles said.

He added that “there is a mismatch with the words and the documents we sign and our commitment in many of these public companies.”

In a document leaked to the press in May, it was disclosed that the former Managing Director spent some $30M from its coffers for a christmas party and its anniversary celebrations.

According to the article published in the Kaieteur Newspaper, the utility company’s ‘Planning and Transportation Committee’ reportedly took some $260,000 for activities related to GWI 16th Anniversary activities.

Four months later in May, that same year, just over $15.2M was utilised as clearance for the anniversary activities. This was followed by a subsequent disbursement of $9,325 and another $50,000 for an Anniversary advertisement, making the cumulative amount for GWI’s Anniversary some $15.58M.

Activities for the entity’s anniversary included a retreat, a prize giving and awards ceremony

Finally, for the year, the document reveals that at the end of that year, the utility company hosted a Christmas Party expending some $14.5M. As such, GWI for 2018, spent a total of $30M

The current administration has reported that the company is almost bankrupt as it terminates the employment of over 100 staff.