September 29, 2016

Guyoil Managing Director fired

By Edward Layne

The Guyana Oil Company (Guyoil) on Monday announced that it has terminated the services of its Managing Director, Badrie Persaud, following a forensic audit of the State-run petroleum distributor.

Badrie Persaud

Badrie Persaud

The company said in a statement that the Board of Directors and the forensic auditor reviewed the “documented and verified findings” of the forensic audit undertaken by Nigel Hinds Financial Services, for the period November 2011 to May 31, 2015 at a special meeting earlier this month, after which the decision to part ways with Persaud was taken.

“Based on the findings which documented unauthorised and inimical actions taken by the Managing Director, Mr Badrie Persaud, the Board of Directors, at its Special Board meeting, held on Wednesday, February 18, 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,” Guyoil said.
It said that “in the circumstances, therefore, the Board decided to terminate the services of Mr Badrie Persaud”.

The Managing Director was on annual leave, which ended on Saturday last, and his dismissal took effect immediately.

The Board said that in lieu of notice, Persaud would be paid based on provisions in the Termination of Employment and Severance Pay Act, Chapter 99:08.

Persaud, who served the company for some 10 years, was replaced by Operations Manager Reggie Bhagwandin who is set to retire within six months.

Speaking with Guyana Times, Persaud described his dismissal as “long in the making” because of the fact that he was a candidate for the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) in the May 11, 2015 General and Regional Elections.

The former Managing Director revealed that he requested a copy of the audit report in order to respond to any queries, but was told by the Chairman of the Board of Directors that “the report is the property of the stakeholders”, and as such, he could not be furnished with a copy.

According to Persaud, the Board made its decision based on excerpts from the audit report, since the forensic auditor refused to hand over a copy, claiming that he was employed by the Finance Ministry and not the Board of Directors.

Responding to one part of his termination letter, which stated that the Board was no longer confident he would be able to execute his functions “honestly, objectively and efficiently”, having undertaken “unauthorised and inimical actions”, Persaud said the company’s managers were being told that Guyoil was well-managed and there was nothing in the audit that spoke to mismanagement and corruption at the entity.
It is important to note that while the Board of Directors of Guyoil have stated that Persaud was fired based on the findings of an audit report,  the Managing Director seemed to have been on the Government’s firing list even before the audit commenced.

Persaud’s dismissal followed a long line of high-ranking State employees’ since the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government took office back in May 2015.
Among them were several Permanent Secretaries; Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), Dr Raj Singh; Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Bharat Dindyal; Head of the E-Governance Project, Alexei Ramotar; and Head of the Land Registry Juliet Sattaur.

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