The past year brought into greater focus the strategic and operational development of Guyana Water Inc. Many of the challenges of the previous year still persisted; however, there were several significant developments during the year which served to improve the overall outlook of the company. Human Resources, Operations, Asset Development (capital works) andCustomer Service were some of the areas where there were positive developments. These provided critical indicators to the progress of the utility in fulfilling its mission to provide improved quality and levels of service to its customers throughout the country.
There were concerted efforts between the Board and management to complete the 5-year Strategic Plan for GWI during 2006. This Plan is vital for the strategic development of thecompany and, based on the GWI Management Contract, was two years overdue. A final draft of the Plan was submitted by mid-year and was forwarded to the Minister of Housing and Water for consideration by Government. The overarching strategy of the plan was to harmonise the strategic targets and indicators with the GWI License whilst recognizing the realities confronting the utility.
The new Customer Information and Billing System (CIMBS) was finally procured and the contract signed early in the year. Installation and training was ongoing during the first half year. The system was commissioned around mid-year and implementation and roll-out proceeded on phased basis towards year-end. It was expected that the system would be fully operational in all Divisions by year-end and the benefits of improved billing and collections and all associated customer relations matters will be realised during next year.
Notwithstanding these developments, the financial performance of the company continued to be disappointing. Billing and collections were below targets and the accounting systems faltered due to failure of the newly installed accounting system compounded by staffing problems. This impacted negatively on all aspects of the company’s financial operations and caused serious difficulties for the Board, Donors and the Auditors. The Board and Management continue to work with the various stakeholders to resolve this situation to develop a sound, professional and efficient Finance Department. The strengthening of the financial system is a top priority for the utility during the coming year.
GWI managed to improve its service delivery and levels of service to consumers through
systems improvements and capital works. The Operations and Asset Development Teams vigorous prepared and executed numerous projects aimed at improving transmission and distribution systems and expanding services to previously un-served communities. Many areas benefited from improved water pressures through our leak detection and repair programmes.
Several major investment projects were finalized for implementation in 2007, including the Japanese-funded Corriverton Water Supply Programme. The Board anticipates that the coming year will bring significant improvements in the company’s performance. GWI look forward to the continued support of all our customers and stakeholders in the future.
Dr. William Wilson
Chairman, Board of Directors