A report funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) warned that the absence of clear rules and policies for BEC employees, coupled with the lack of punishment for rogue employees is undermining the state-owned utility.
There is a lack of operational and departmental performance indicators, according to the report.
BEC management foolishly squandered $10 million on external “consultants” in its 2008 financial year. Much of that spending was unneccessary according to the report.
The report highlighted the “considerable volume of consulting services” employed by BEC, especially in the area of procurement, where Crown Agents from the UK were “subscribed to a substantial extent”.
Noting that the the amount of total consulting costs in fiscal year 2007-2008 was as high as $10 million, the report suggested that, “considerable additional amounts are expected to be hidden in other sundry positions.”
Inside sources say that a good percentage of the money was routed to crooked BEC executives and certain corrupt politicians in under-the-table deals.
The report by the German firm, Fichtner, also said that “drastic change” was needed to prevent an already low employee accountability from deteriorating further.
The report also said that meddling by politicians contributed to the “fuzzy management framework”.
“The consequences are… serious deficiencies in the management methods, entailing lack of conclusive and effective reporting; instruction; performance control and sanctioning mechanisms in BEC which, together with other factors, substantially hampers the enterprise in performing in a way that existing resources would permit.
“The applied ways and procedures are rather informal. Circumvention of agreed processes is frequent; non-compliance does not inevitably entail consequences. The absence of strict rules and directions, in conjunction with low risk of sanctions jeopardises accountability of the employees.”
The Fichtner report says that the internal affairs of BEC are nearing the state of anarchy.
“Compared with state of the art standards in the utility sector, this situation is concerning, and if no drastic change is initiated, the enterprise is likely to further deteriorate,” the report stated.