The A Partnership for National Unity/ Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) Coalition Government has refused to budge in its position regarding calls being made to send the interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Power and Light Company (GPL), Colin Welch, on leave while he is being investigated over allegations of corruption.
Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson has maintained there is no need to send Welch on leave. The Minister has since announced that the Ministry is currently conducting internal investigations of alleged misconduct, fraud and corruption that surfaced recently against Welch.
Asked whether it is procedural for someone under investigations to remain on the job, the Public Infrastructure Minister explained that it depended on the nature of the probe.
Welch was elevated from Deputy CEO Technical following former CEO Bharat Dindyal being relieved of his duties in August. At that time, Welch was accused of forging his credentials.
The acting CEO has once again found himself in hot water after allegations surfaced of his alleged involvement in the tendering process for a multimillion-dollar meter contract. However, Welch told sections of the media recently that the allegations being levelled against him were totally fabricated, and, as such, he saw no “validity” in the accusations.
Welch seems never devoid of a controversy. In early August, Welch had clashed with Dindyal at GPL’s Sheriff Street offices after the then CEO overturned a decision to send home two senior staffers.
Prior to that, his actions had landed him under the microscope when he reportedly instructed a metering crew to conduct a search of Freedom House for the purpose of investigating.
Dindyal had acknowledged there was a ‘trend’ or ‘pattern’ being developed which indicated that Welch had been sending GPL crews to properties of persons who were/are affiliated with the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C).
It should be noted that the position the Government has taken in this matter is at variance with what occurred in other matters involving allegations of corruption against senior public officials who were/are perceived to have some relationship with the Opposition PPP/C. In most of these cases such persons were sent on immediate leave or dismissed while investigations were being carried out.