Mar 23, 2018 News
Although spending nearly $400,000 to rent a two-storey house in the upscale neighbourhood of Section K Campbellville, Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) Managing Director, Dr. Richard Van West-Charles says there is nothing luxurious about the property.
The Managing Director yesterday responded to an article published by Kaieteur News which indicated that the water utility company was spending $2.5M monthly, inclusive of electricity, by utilizing private properties as offices.
“There is nothing luxurious about the premises we have,” Dr. Van West-Charles stated.
The Section K Campbellville property is being rented from Ameera Kissoon to house staff from the Infrastructure Planning and Implementation Department.
Also housed at the location are employees in the Water Supply and Sanitation Infrastructure Improvement Program (WSSIP) which is part of the Inter-Development Bank-funded program for Guyana.
For the property, GWI pays electricity of $97,037.
Based on the most recent information received by Kaieteur News, the water utility company paid as much as $600,000 monthly to rent from Lennox Cush in Da Silva Street, Newtown, Georgetown.
GWI also paid approximately $198,138 monthly for electricity along with rent for the Cush property, which houses the internal audit and water quality department employees.
In Georgetown, GWI is also renting from Cheryl Ibbott, Lamaha Gardens to house the Managing Director’s Secretariat, media and communications department, human resources department and the strategic planning evaluation and monitoring unit.
Electricity cost is pegged at $85,702.
GWI’s Manager, customer services and customer relations staff are housed at Station Street, Kitty, which the company rents from Ahilya Singh for $60,000 per month.
Outside of Georgetown, GWI dishes out a combined $460,000 monthly for rental. The company rents one building each in New Amsterdam, Berbice; Springlands, Corentyne, Berbice; Anna Regina, Essequibo; Onverwagt, West Coast Berbice; Bartica, Region 7 (Cuyuni-Mazaruni); and Lethem, Region Nine (Upper Takutu/ Upper Essequibo).
PLANS FOR HQ
GWI is working to construct its own headquarters to negate the rental of several buildings.
Dr. Van West-Charles said the utility company is engaging officials to secure resources for GWI’s building in Fort Street, Kingston, currently occupied by the Ministry of Public Health.
He indicated that if this plan fails, then GWI will then seek to construct its own headquarters on Sheriff Street.
“GWI has an approved organisational chart which is related to our structure and function. We have to find an appropriate place to house our workers so they can carry out their duties. So, it’s either we have a valuation of the building at Fort Street, Kingston, and it provides us with resources and then we construct a building which is appropriate for the functions of the organisation. But we do have plans to have one large headquarters,” Dr. Van West-Charles stated.
He clarified that being a utility company whose functions fall in line with the 21st century, the engineers and other technical professionals must have ample space to function.
The Managing Director explained that GWI’s building, located in Stone Avenue, houses 25 persons.
Additionally, the office in Da Silva Street, which houses the laboratory and internal audit, has over 20 staff members, while the secretariat on Vlissengen Road houses the Strategic Planning, Evaluation and Monitoring Unit, Human Resources Department, Occupation Health Department and the Managing Director’s staff.
Dr. Van West-Charles is of the opinion that the current circumstances do not always allow for sufficient degree of confidentiality required in the human resources or welfare departments.
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