The New Today

Mixed up roles!!!

The happenings at the state-owned Gravel & Concrete bring to the fore the roles of the Board of Directors against that of the Management of the statutory body.

The information coming out of the entity seems to suggest that the Board is getting involved in issues that should be left solely for the handling of the Management of the company.

A case in point is the recent purchase of two trucks to assist Gravel & Concrete in providing a service for the public on the supply of ready mix concrete.

THE NEW TODAY has information that members of the Board were responsible for getting the trucks and not those in charge of running the day-to-day operations of the corporation.

It begs the question: “Why is the Chairman and other members of the Board engaged in the purchase of equipment for the company? That is certainly not the role of any Board of Directors.

A major problem in Grenada over the years is the persons who are selected to serve on Boards and do not seem to understand their roles and functions.

A Board of Directors is basically responsible for ensuring that there is good governance and strategy in place to take the company forward and to make sure that the entity is managed in a manner that is consistent with the best interests of the stakeholders.

No board should be seen as managing the day-to-day operations of the company. That is not the case in Gravel & Concrete as the Chairman and some sections of the Board do not know where to draw the line.

The new Congress administration of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell made a serious mistake and blunder with the selection of some of the persons to serve on the Board of Directors of Gravel & Concrete.

THE NEW TODAY raised a red flag several months ago when it brought to the fore the blatant and scandalous move by a particular Member of the Board of Directors to use his influence to get the company to purchase items from his own private enterprise.

The situation was compounded when the Chairman of the Board in his defence provided misleading information on the process that was used to select the company for Gravel & Concrete to purchase the furniture from in keeping with good business practices.

The Chairman was in a position to know that no approach was made to certain companies to provide invoices in order to make a selection as to where the furniture was to be purchased for the corporation.

It is also a known fact that the Board member has no business with a showroom that anyone can visit to make a selection on the choice of furniture.

Based on some troubling information coming out of Gravel & Concrete, there is a need for an independent investigation into the recent purchase of two trucks for the use of pouring ready mixed Concrete to the public.

There are reports that the trucks arrived in the country with all sorts of problems and no one can give a date as to when they will be commissioned and put into service.

Gravel & Concrete is known to have seven trucks at the plant but the workers are claiming that only three or four are functioning at the moment.

It appears that the Board of Directors had set up a committee drawn from its own membership to purchase the trucks. Do they have the expertise to handle this transaction?

That is the problem with the current Board at this important state enterprise. The board should never be running any aspect of the day-to-day business of the company and should realise that its role should be one of oversight and governance.

The last manager at Gravel & Concrete who quit the job after two-and-a-half months did make a telling statement about the corporation.

The manager made reference to a lack of strategic planning at the company and that he was getting stiff resistance as persons were more interested in maintaining the status quo and nothing else to continue with business as usual.

This is a major problem with the company as some of the persons selected by Congress to serve as members of the Board of Directors have no capacity and capability to engage in strategic thinking to take the company into the next decade.

There is a dire need for the current government to do a reassessment of the Board of Directors at Gravel & Concrete and all other state bodies put in place since the change of government to make sure that they are performing in keeping with their mandate.

In the case of Gravel & Concrete, drastic changes should be made to the Board and for putting in place a proper management team that can truly bring to the forefront the much talked about Transformational Agenda that was the hallmark of the 2022 Campaign.

It is also long overdue for the Line Minister who is Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell to hold his first meeting with the Board of Directors and Workers of the corporation to outline the vision of the NDC government for the company.

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