The state-run Barbados Water Authority (BWA) is looking for a new general manager but this does not mean the man currently holding the top post will lose his job, according to a senior official of the water company.
The BWA has advertised a number of posts including that of general manager, director of engineering, director of finance and internal auditor, as it embarks on a major overhaul of its operational structure.
However, Chairman Dr Atlee Brathwaite told Barbados TODAY this afternoon the agency was not considering sending home anyone, at least not in the short term.
“Yuh know the GM [general manager] has been acting. You know normally we are asked to advertise the position. It may well be the present GM may be confirmed in the position . . . so it’s just a question of advertising the position,” Brathwaite said when asked why the position held Dr John Mwansa, was being advertised. Mwansa, the former engineering manager, has been acting in the post for some time.
Pressed to say if the restructuring would mean retrenching some workers and hiring others with specified skill sets, Brathwaite replied: “No. Restructuring requires a whole look at the institution
. . . and one would not seek to do that [retrench]. What perhaps you would do is reassignment. Reassigning personnel and what have you, but I don’t think we are going down that street. You have to look at it in terms of the overall financial resources we have at our disposal and the many projects that we have at hand.”
The water company chairman spoke of the number of old underground pipes that needed to be replaced and desalinization projects to be established, stressing the BWA would need people to get the job done.
“Any advertisements you see in the paper are the result of the necessary analysis that has been done on the restructuring. For example, we have to modernize our HR [human resources] division, we have to make certain our finance division is well managed and well structured; we have to pay special attention to the procurement division, which is critical to an institution of this type. Of course our engineering department is critical to ensuring that the various infrastructure in terms of ground pipes and the various new plants are effectively and efficiently run,” Brathwaite said.
“And it may well be we can recruit from inside the institution. We have a number of young engineers . . . a number of persons who are well qualified in the institution, but they are working at the level of their capacity and their qualifications. Although the ads are external, it may well be that some of our personnel in the organization can really fill some of those positions,” the BWA chairman said.
Brathwaite told Barbados TODAY the water works company had been getting assistance from Canada, the accounting firm of Ernst and Young, as well as other agencies to complete the restructuring, and that the
Caribbean Development Bank had approved a loan, although he declined to discuss its details.