Over $9M paid off to management of GPSCCU in two days

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After regaining control of the Guyana Public Service Co-operative Credit Union (GPSCCU) on Wednesday, auditors found that over $9M in cheques were signed off over the past two days.

Chair of the Interim Management Committee (IMC), which was installed by the Government to investigate the allegations, Trevor Benn said, “although the former members have been off of the committee for almost a month, cheques were written yesterday and the day before for their monthly emoluments and for other payments to the members of the IMC.”

He added that the findings confirm claims that “they were eager to get back in there to put their hands on the money and we find that to be very troubling.”

The GPSCCU is a 54-year-old agency and has several accounts totalling billions of dollars in contributions. Matters of contention include the lack of audits for eight years, no annual general meetings or elections in eight years and non-payment of dividends to 14,000 contributors.

The Government took control of the multi-billion dollars Public Service Co-operative Credit Union on May 25th following several letters of complaints written to the Chief Cooperative Development Officer.

Since then, an Interim Management Committee was installed to conduct a full investigation into claims of mismanagement of funds at the agency and update audits. However, the controversial managers chaired by Patricia Went moved to the courts to block the IMC members from entering the office.

On Wednesday, Chief Cooperatives Development, Perlina Gifth got those orders discharged.

Chair of the Interim Management Committee, Trevor Benn

The IMC Chair said from May 25 to Friday last, several transactions were found in the systems but the vouchers were not located.

“These payments include travel overseas, payment for hospitalization, for representation for one member of the management committee who somehow secured a payment from the union to represent the union at the level of the government in relation to certain matters.”

Despite the orders being discharged, the IMC members met the doors locked at the GPSCCU’s Hadfield Street office.

When News Room arrived at the Hadfield Street location, there were police ranks at the scene who were called in to address the issue while clients and others who were locked in the building for approximately one hour were allowed to exit the building.

After some time, Secretary-Manager, Trevor James Benn left the premises.

The IMC Chair hopes that at the end of the investigation, an election will be held and the audits of the body will be brought up to date.

The main concern for the IMC Chair surrounds whether documents were removed which can hamper the investigation.

Members of the management who were removed by the government are Patricia Went, Vera Naughton, Abiola Griffith, Uhlan Leander, Thomas Nestor, Patrick Yarde, Maurice Veecock, Dawn Gardener, Jermain Hermanstyne, Reginald Brotherson, Kenneth Watson, Grace Mc Kend and Ivelaw Henry.

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