Call for inquiry into APUA, Sembcorp controversy

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The President of the Transparency Institute of Guyana has suggested that it would be appropriate for an independent inquiry to be conducted into controversy surrounding the tendering process in the management of Sembcorp — the country’s main source of water supply.
Dr Troy Thomas said an investigation should be held into the matter if the public is desirous of getting to the bottom of it.
“You have a situation where public funds were expended, you have a facility that is providing an essential service to citizens so if something went wrong the consequences would have been great; that is not something to take lightly,” he said.
He also noted that what is being played out at the moment “has many moving parts almost like a play with so many individuals being unaware of what is happening”.
The confusion surrounds an agreement with NS Management Limited, which had been managing what used to be the Sembcorp Reverse Osmosis Plant recently taken over by APUA, being ordered, last week to vacate the premises within 72 hours.
According to a letter from APUA, the Managing Director of NS Management, Tomas Hellier was told
that he was managing the operations without permission.
This newspaper was also informed Hellier had been managing the facility under the authority of the General Manager of APUA, Esworth Martin.
A day after the news broke, Prime Minister Gaston Browne suggested that as far as he was concerned Martin should be fired however such decision would have to be made by APUA’s Board of Commissioners.
Browne had accused Martin of breaching a Cabinet decision by contracting a private company, NS Management Limited — to manage an APUA desalination plant.
But when the Cabinet met last Wednesday, the ministers agreed that Martin should not be punished or fired because his action had been taken in the best interest of the country.
Browne, who was not at the Cabinet meeting, later told OBSERVER media that he would be abiding with the Cabinet’s decision.

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