– growing evidence of massive procurement fraud over time
The suspicions were there all along. But the evidence was missing. Until now.
In recent years, the state-owned Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) has been asking for and receiving billions of dollars annually in bailouts to pay workers and creditors.
The fortunes of the company have been steadily declining, with production plunging and poor maintenance, theft and the quality of agriculture at its lowest.
Despite that, consecutive administrations facing watchful unions and a 16,000-plus strong workforce were unwilling to resist GuySuCo’s demands for cash.
The monies, from all indications, went to pay workers and creditors.
Among those creditors were suppliers of parts. Very little attention was paid to maintenance and retooling to get those factories running.
According to figures, GuySuCo has a massive $3B in Fiat tractor spares in its inventory. The spares are scattered at the different estates, with some of them still wrapped in plastic.
The problem with the Fiat spares is simple. GuySuCo has no Fiat tractors in operation.
Some of those spares were said to be there over a decade.
According to figures seen, GuySuCo was paying thousands of dollars more for each of those spares in what appeared to be a kickback scheme.
The suppliers were preferred ones, shortlisted and ready to deliver at a moment’s notice.
The findings of $3B outdated spares would raise questions about whether GuySuCo could have been profitable if it was able to control the fraud. The rackets appear to not only include spares, but also the purchase of fuel and other equipment.
It was only Sunday that this publication reported that it has perused an inventory list of spare parts that GuySuCo bought during 2008 and 2012.
According to the list, GuySuCo spent over $2.3B (US$11M) on various pieces of spare equipment. Apparently, GuySuCo had no need for the spares.
Numerous purchases were continually made annually, but the majority of the outdated spares were bought in 2008. Most of items remain in the stores.
Spares were bought for all seven estates that existed prior to 2016—Albion, Blairmont, Enmore, Rose Hall, Skeldon, Wales and Uitvlugt.
Kaieteur News has learnt that the various estates did not request these parts.
The spares included switches, sender units, fuses, gasket lens, screw, shafts, bearings, nuts, seals, water pumps, starter motors, gear angle drive, hose, fan, steering cylinders and clutches.
The cost of the spares would be important as GuySuCo has now been reduced, over the past 18 months, from seven estates to three.
Four estates – Skeldon, Rose Hall, Enmore, and Wales – are all up for divestment and privatization now as the Coalition Government insists it can no longer afford those bailouts.
There are several offers on the table.
In the last three years, GuySuCo collected up to $32B in cash bailouts from GuySuCo with production sliding even more.
Production from the estates is supposed to barely make it past the 100,000-tonne mark this year, one of the worst in years.
Despite the serious allegations, GuySuCo has been largely silent, with the company only expressing unhappiness last week that its internal information on procurement and inventory have been leaked.
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