Ousted Guyana Public Service Coop Credit Union managers blocked from travelling on tickets purchased with entity’s funds

The Guyana Public Service Cooperative Credit Union, Hadfield Street, Newburg, Georgetown.

Ousted Management Committee members of the Guyana Public Service Cooperative Credit Union (GPSCCU) were blocked from travelling to Trinidad this week on tickets purchased with the credit union’s funds, well-placed sources said.

“We can’t have them travelling… We can’t have them go out there to represent us, given the issues that we still have with them now,” one of the sources said.

Five ordinary staff members of the GPSCCU left Wednesday to represent the micro finance institution at the  Caribbean Confederation  of Credit Unions’ 61st Annual International Convention scheduled to be held in Port-of-Spain from June 15 to 20, 2018.

The sources said based on projected expenses, the trip would have cost the Credit Union almost US$25,000 in per diem and other out-of-pocket expenses plus air-fare, hotel accommodation.  Under the watchful eyes of police, an estimated US$23,000 have since been removed from a cupboard that has been assigned to the Credit Union’s Secretary Manager Trevor James Benn (not the Commissioner of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission). That money was for the per diem and other allowances for the delegates.

The officials told Demerara Waves Online News that the GPSCCU was, however, unable to secure a refund of the tickets for Chairman of the former Management Committee, Patricia Went; President of the Guyana Public Service Union, Patrick Yarde; Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Presidency’s Department of the Public Service, Reginald Brotherson; member of the Modernisation Committee, Grace Mc Kend; Senior Accountant, Areola Griffith; Internal Auditor, Ulanie Durant, as well as Sharon Gentle, Wendell Collins; Kenneth Watson and Nagoya Marques.

“The tickets were cancelled for the old management team. They can’t travel on the tickets that were paid for by the Credit Union,” one of the sources said.

Indications are that Yarde has already secured a refund from the GPSCCU for payments made for hotel accommodation for the delegates with his personal credit card.

Meanwhile, James Benn has written to at least one bank, stating that there was a legal issue and cheques already signed by the former Management Committee should not be honoured. Those cheques, the sources said, are expected to be cashed when presented in keeping with the law governing the takeover of credit unions bu the Chief Cooperatives Officer.

Benn is yet to resume duty at the Hadfield Street, Georgetown headquarters since the Chief Cooperatives Officer at the Ministry of Social Protection’s Department of Labour, Perlina Gifth took control of the institution last month.

At issue is the Ministry’s claim of GY$49.6 million to the Audit and Supervision Fund from 2002 to 2013.

The estimated 14,000 members of the Credit Union are yet to be paid dividends for several years because an Annual General Meeting has not been held.

An audit is currently being conducted to pave the way for Annual General Meeting and eventual handover to a new body of elected officials.