Mar 01, 2016 News
– after forensic audit finds several unauthorized decisions
More than seven months after being sent on leave, Managing Director of the Guyana Oil Company (GuyOil),
Badrie Persaud, has been sacked. The decision took effect yesterday.
Yesterday, GuyOil’s Board of Directors, in a statement, made it clear that it has no confidence in the official’s ability to execute his duties “honestly, objectively and efficiently”.
According to the statement, the board along with Nigel Hinds and Associates Financial Services, reviewed the documents and verified the findings of a forensic audit conducted by the firm for the period November 1, 2011 to May 31, 2015.
The forensic audit was ordered by the David Granger administration shortly after it took office in May last year.
GuyOil’s board said that Persaud, as Managing Director, took unauthorized decisions during the period.
The audit report was recently handed over to the Ministry of Finance and it will have to be studied by the Cabinet of Ministers.
According to the statement of the board, “Based on the findings which documented unauthorized and inimical actions taken by the Managing Director, the Board of Directors, at its special board meeting held on Wednesday 18th February 2016, determined that it could no longer have any confidence in Mr. Persaud’s ability to execute the functions of Managing Director honestly, objectively and efficiently.”
The board said that in the circumstances, it decided to terminate the services of the Managing Director, whose annual leave ended on February 27, with immediate effect.
Persaud will be entitled to what is owed to him in accordance to the Termination of Employment and Severance Pay Act Cap 99:08.
With gas stations stretching across the coasts, the state-owned GuyOil since established in the 70’s is now handling between $400M to $500M weekly in sales.
However, there have been allegations of corruption with questions over the procurement and sales.
Persaud was sent off on leave in early July, amidst a shakeup at that state-owned entity.
Government sources, then, had confirmed that Persaud, a candidate for the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) in the May 2015 General Elections, was sent on about seven months’ leave that he had accrued.
At the time, GuyOil had been under scrutiny for several weeks, after Government reportedly unearthed a scam where persons not working with the ministries and state agencies, were collecting gas from the entity’s service stations.
Minister of State Joseph Harmon had revealed that investigators had vehicle numbers and names of persons involved. He said that there was a window of opportunity for them to pay the bill at GuyOil or the matter would be handed over to the police for its attention.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Public Security were the ones presented with invoices for the gas taken.
Some of the persons taking gas reportedly even went with containers.
Investigators were also said to be looking into a number of suspicious transactions at GuyOil.
According to Government sources, there was evidence that one senior staffer owned trucks contracted to transport fuel for GuyOil.
There are also emerging indications that there was a scam where GuyOil officials were accused of selling fuel to preferred customers, and buying it back at a higher price when supplies ran low.
GuyOil had that advantage as it sells the cheapest fuel in the country.
Persaud is a member of the Public Utilities Commission, and was a former member of the Guyana Sugar Corporation’s Board of Directors, who was sacked last year by the new Government.
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