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PM lashes out at VINLEC

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The dysfunctional aspects of the managerial culture at Vinlec that resulted in seven members of that company’s top management team being dismissed in March 2003 still exist today. That is the view of Prime Minister Dr. Ralph E. Gonsalves.

Addressing Parliament last Thursday, August 17, Dr. Gonsalves said that despite the immense progress that has been made by Vinlec on several of its important reform and developmental mandates including enhanced efficiency in some areas, “it must be said with brutal honesty, that Vinlec has disappointed the nation in many other vital respects of its overall functioning.{{more}}

Lashing out at the company’s board, the Prime Minister stated that they were “too slow in bringing the management to book especially in circumstances where the management is insufficiently responsive in several critical areas.”

He also described the company as being “cumbersome and bureaucratic”, saying that their systems and structures were insufficiently nimble to address extant

and emerging problems swiftly and efficaciously.

But it was the management of the company that came in for the heaviest criticism. The Prime Minister said that there was an “incubus of a lethargic managerial culture, including a lack of a sufficient collegial management ethos has not been exorcised. In short, the personnel have changed, but the mode of management in several vital respects has not been altered.”

Expressing confidence in the management team to turn things around, the Prime Minister advised them to engender a culture of internal criticism and self-criticism. He said that the assessment made by the consultants four years ago still has relevance in many respects today.

Continuing, Dr. Gonsalves said, “I have no doubt that these central difficulties are the root cause of the inability of Vinlec to deliver to its customers on St. Vincent the average system peak demand of about 19MW. The technical challenges are not the underlying cause.”

Describing the top management as “a talented team all round,” the Prime Minister however cautioned that the weaknesses and errors which have been identified, must be corrected with urgency.

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