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T&TEC adopts whistle-blowing policy
Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) chairman Susill Ramkissoon-Mark on Saturday announced that the state-owned utility has introduced a whistle-blowing policy to stamp out corruption and improve its health, safety and environment (HSE) record.
“In order to improve the corporate governance framework in the commission, the board introduced a whistle-blowing policy which facilitates staff reporting in confidence, concerns of wrongdoing within the commission,” she said.
“While we have made some strides in improving customer service and HR process, we have not had similar success in the sphere of HSE. We have, however, been steadily moving forward with policies, projects and programmes to address these shortcomings with the objective of achieving a first class HSE climate.”
The chairman was speaking at the company’s 58th Annual Employee Awards and Recognition Ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad, Port-of-Spain. She assured employees and their families the job security as well as health and safety were top priorities at T&TEC.
In August the company was forced to go the defensive following claims of by the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union in the deaths of five employees over an eleven month period. OWTU president general Ancel Roget accused T&TEC’s senior management of being lax with safety regulations and “collusion” with regulatory agencies and errant contractors.
T&TEC officials said the utility made extensive upgrades to its health and safety rules and regulations in January, in consultation with the union and the Occupational Safety and Health Authority.
Ramkissoon-Mark said: “The board had taken initiatives that would see the compulsory reporting of all near misses; completion and full implementation of the job hazard analysis; training of staff at all different levels; the introduction of a supervisor and training course for all foremen and A class (employees); and significant increases in job site inspection.”
She added that she wants to improve the company’s bottom line and that challenges related to the company’s financial constraints and limitations must be counteracted by improving productivity and efficiency. Ramkissoon-Mark outlined T&TEC’s plan to embark on a “rigorous” revenue collection drive, while slashing the overtime bill, as well as implementing more stringent in-house inventory control systems to minimise wastage.
She also spoke about a comprehensive project management system to avoid cost overruns and variations in addition to ensuring optimum generation dispatch for greater fuel efficiency. The T&TEC chairman said an impending cost cutting exercise would not impact on plan’s to upgrade its existing fleet of vehicles, or efforts to improve benefit packages to employees.
“Ten new aerial lift trucks are expected to be delivered by year end. They will be outfitted with GPS and online response systems, which will allow for faster response times because of less vehicle breakdowns, hotline work and overall improved customer service,” she said
On the issue of emoluments, Ramkissoon-Mark said a structured programme for succession planning as part of a revised human resource plan will take effect at the utility when a new performance management system linked to cost control measures is introduced.
She said a reward and recognition programme will soon come on stream and the employee medical plan will be revised upward.
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