Poor governance at Guyoil

first_imgDear Mr. Editor,It’s alarming to see the negative attention Guyoil has been attracting during the past months. This company, one of the most profitable state-owned organizations, can’t seem to get its act together.Quick recap: April 12th, 2018; Kaieteur News reported that “GuyOil lets go of its Marketing and Sales Manager”. This termination was somewhat surprising, since Mr. Eric Whaul was not issued any warning letter/s, nor was he spoken to in relation to his performance.In fact he was often praised by the past Board for his performance, and was sent on several overseas outings to represent the company.A point to note is that the new Board of Directors still consists of four (4) of the seven (7) members from the previous Board, including two (2) Directors who have been on GuyOil’s Board for over twenty-five (25) and fifteen (15) years respectively.Moving forward to May 28th, 2018, Kaieteur News reported, “Guyoil’s Finance Manager resigns amid mult-millions wire transfer probe.”It’s anyone’s guess that the Board of Directors played a part in Mrs. Uma Joseph-Daniels tendering her resignation. It’s not my place to pronounce on Mrs. Daniels’s innocence or guilt, but this is not the first instance when GuyOil was targeted by cyber hackers.There was an unreported incident prior to this, when GuyOil paid monies into a hacker’s account. However, the company had managed to recover some of the monies, but the Finance Manager at the time was never reprimanded by previous management, or the Board. In fact, he was asked to stay on for an additional year after his retirement.In addition to the departure of the Marketing and Sales Manager and the Finance Manager, GuyOil has seen the resignation of at least five (5) senior managers within the last year (August, 2017 – present), and has had about three (3) acting CEOs during the past two (2) years. Further, the company has also seen one of its former directors ascending to the position of Corporate Services Manager, a position created only after a directive had been issued by the Board for a restructuring to be done.It is important to state that this director was still a functioning member of the Board when she was interviewed by her colleagues from the said Board and was offered this position. Where is the transparency in that?Additionally, the conditions set out in the job description for the post of Corporate Services Manager require that the incumbent must have “a post-graduate Degree in Management or Administration plus…….,” which this past director does not have. One needs to ask the question: Are positions being created for Board Directors at GuyOil, and were Eric Whaul and Uma Daniels sent home so as to make space for another director, or……?I would also like to bring to the attention of the readers that GuyOil has only recently undergone a multi-million-dollar restructuring exercise, which saw S.V. Jones and Associates being offered a contract to restructure the entire company.This restructuring came to an end after quite some time, and new job descriptions were created and approved by the Board. However, GuyOil continues to deviate from specific academic requirements outlined in these job descriptions. Presently, there are at least five (5) officers who are acting in senior managerial positions, and none has either the relevant academic requirements or experience as outlined in these job descriptions.Sad to say, but these officers don’t even have a two-(2)-year diploma, which is alarming, since there are hundreds of students graduating from the nation’s primer tertiary institution (University of Guyana) who can’t find suitable jobs, or are made to do odd jobs which are in no way connected to their academic backgrounds.How, then, is Guyana going to develop its skilled human resources if the leaders continue to put square pegs in round holes?Mr. Editor, I would like to state that the issues facing GuyOil extend far beyond what I’ve stated, and were birthed under the previous board, where certain directors were bent on meddling in the daily operations of the company. One director in particular would go around gossiping about managers with junior staff. She would also make it very clear that she is a politician, and she has connections with the “big ones”.Mr. Editor, I am still dumfounded as to how this particular individual was selected to sit on a state board, and how she continues to be a member of that board when — in my opinion and I’m sure in the opinion of others, including, but not limited to, her other colleagues — she is not “fit and proper” to be a director. How then can GuyOil progress with this lack of strategic thinking from the board and the appointment of individuals such as this director?It’s my firm belief that some rogue elements who have been on GuyOil’s Board for decades, along with this director, who knows “big ones,” are the real problem that’s facing the company. With that said, I would advise the Honourable Minister of Finance to quickly replace these detractors, who sit on GuyOil’s Board waiting to collect their next I-Pad. Yes I-Pads; GuyOil, has twice purchased I-Pads for directors over the past two (2) years. Now, how many I-Pads does a director need to do his/her job?I learnt recently that a new Chief Executive Officer has been hired, and from all indications, she is a highly qualified and smart individual. I do hope that the rogue elements on the Board don’t try to stifle her and pollute her with their outdated strategies and ways of thinking.Regards,Ronley Kendalllast_img

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