SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT: TRUTH MATTERS
Written by GRENLEC on December 7, 2017
Grenlec is committed to providing our customers throughout Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique with world-class electricity service. As a publicly traded company with numerous shareholders, we have a duty to set the record straight about issues related to our operations and our integrity.
Below are some of the recent untruthful statements made about our Company in Parliament and in the media concerning Grenlec’s Community Partnership Initiative (GCPI) and the new Government-controlled, so-called ‘Social Fund:’
It has been said that Grenlec’s community contributions are “the people’s money.”
This is blatantly incorrect. The funding for Grenlec’s community work comes from the Company’s profits before it pays company tax, and has absolutely no impact on electricity rates. These profits belong to the more than 2000 shareholders of Grenlec.
In its offer to Government to purchase shares in Grenlec, WRB volunteered that Grenlec would invest 5% of its annual pre-tax profits in community projects. The GCPI is overseen by a committee on which Government has appointed a representative. The intent of the GCPI is that Grenlec shareholders give back to the community, in the same way that many other companies in Grenada do.
GCPI contributions are currently given directly to community organisations in a non-political manner. This could change under the ‘Social Fund’, as Government will now control and disburse the money as it sees fit.
Grenlec has been asked to “open its books” to the public.
Grenlec’s accounts are already open. Grenlec is a publicly-traded company, listed on the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange (ECSE). The Company produces accurate and transparent financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). These financial statements are independently audited by the Grenadian office of a reputable international accounting firm, and then distributed to shareholders, including Government, in the Company’s publicly-available annual report. In addition, Government has always appointed a Director to Grenlec’s Board of Directors.
To suggest that the Company’s accounts are being improperly reported calls into question the integrity of not only the Company, but also these institutions. Full copies of the Company’s annual reports for the past 10 years can be found on Grenlec’s website.
It has been said that “We won’t rely on Grenlec to be transparent” as it relates to community giving.
Completely unfounded. For the past 23 years, the GCPI has been managed in a manner above reproach. It operates in a transparent, non-political way. It has always been administered by a diverse committee of Grenlec, Government and Community representatives, who decide where funds are to be disbursed throughout Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique and whose activities are reported on in the Company’s annual report.
Now, the Government-controlled ‘Social Fund’ will give the Minister for Public Utilities and a Minister-appointed committee the power to manage the money.
We strongly oppose the Government’s takeover of the GCPI. The new 5% Government-controlled ‘Social Fund’ will effectively replace Grenlec’s existing community program, which allows communities to benefit through a well organised, non-political programme in which Government continues to have a strong voice.
We also hope that Government will refrain from attacking Grenlec’s corporate integrity, and by association the integrity of other well-respected local and regional institutions, with inaccurate statements. We are concerned about the consequences that this campaign of misinformation will have on our business and the nation.
Grenlec will continue to address such gross inaccuracies because the truth does matter.