GPOC management retreat
"We have to take tough positions to bring about change" - Samuel Hinds
Guyana Chronicle
November 20, 2002

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Operating under the theme striving for a modern and efficient postal service” the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) conducted their annual management retreat/seminar over the weekend.

The main objective of the retreat was to enhance human resources expertise and improve the quality of service offered to the customer.

One of the major challenges of the Corporation is to keep abreast with the technological changes in our society, while garnering all necessary resources to ensure that they work to the corporation's benefit.

Part of the functions of the GPOC is to "promote the economic development of the postal system in accordance with standard practice recognised internationally".

At last year's retreat, globalisation, the future growth of the postal market, technology and postal security, were some of the challenges and opportunities that faced the Post Office Corporation.

One of the primary challenges was the modernisation of the corporation and security.

In this feature address, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds said, "it is good for groups of people who work together in an enterprise such as the GPOC, spread out all across Guyana to come together at one place periodically, to sum up their experiences and to sense emerging opportunities and emerging challenges and take council together on how we could take benefit of the emerging new opportunities and how we could meet the new challenges".

The Post Office Corporation saw its genesis in the mid 19th Century and forms part of the early commercial history of the country. The Corporation, however, was established in 1977. Development in technology and the threat of globalisation are some of the challenges that have faced the Corporation in the 21st Century.

This is no difference in the Guyanese scenario. Competition and newer forms of postal transactions have revolutionised the industry. The Prime Minister therefore stressed the importance of striving for a profitable postal service and managing the transition of improved productivity.

To make this a reality it becomes important that focus should be on the work component of this new initiative. "I am sure that we have the ability and the people to make the GPOC profitable", Hinds said.

The Corporation is presently looking at opportunities to develop new and additional services. They have begun leasing office space especially at the main branch as part of their new initiative. The GPOC will also be venturing into Internet services shortly.

These initiatives will complement the mission of the GPOC to provide prompt, reliable service at prices generally acceptable to the public with due regards given to the viability of the Corporation.

Those present at the seminar voiced their concerns on privatisation possibilities, raise of pay and the pension book scam. They were assured that there are no plans in train at the moment to privatise the Corporation. "At the moment the GPOC cannot attract foreign investment and foreign investors", Hinds said.

Security issues were also examined at the retreat. Just recently, some clerks and managers of the Corporation were held for questioning over the pension book scam. A fraud of some $17M has been unearthed involving members of the Post Office Corporation and the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security.

It was made clear that there were deliberate failures in the security systems of the Corporation that the GPO should take responsibility. People were not vigilant enough, Hinds said.

Also present at the retreat were Chairman of the Board of Directors Juan Edghill, Postmaster General Edward Noble, Assistant Postmaster General Leon Dickson, Director of GPOC and Personal Assistant to the Prime Minister Ms. Michelle Carter and General Secretary of the People's National Congress Mr. Oscar Clarke. (Government Information Agency - GINA).

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