Energy Agency fires Six more staffers over polygraph

Energy Agency fires Six more staffers over polygraph

Six more employees of the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) were fired on Tuesday morning after being told that they had failed the Government issued polygraph tests.

The GEA has now dismissed over twenty employees in less than two months claiming that they were all unsuccessful after they submitted themselves for the lie detector tests.

One of the dismissed employees who wishes to remain anonymous told News Source that on Monday morning, two fuel inspectors and four marking officers were called into a General Meeting with the Chief Executive Officer Mahender Sharma and told that they had failed the polygraph tests and their contracts would be reviewed.

“On Tuesday, we were called into a meeting with the Head of the Department who told us that we either had the option to resign with immediate effect or be dismissed. I asked for some time to think about it and in less than an hour I was called back to a meeting and given a dismissal letter which pointed to a section of the contract which said that the CEO could dismiss any employee at any time and provide them with one month’s pay”, the fired employee said.

The former employee explained that within minutes of being handed the letter, they were all escorted from their offices and the Quamina Street, Georgetown compound of the Energy Agency and asked to return any and all property of the Guyana Energy Agency.

One of the fired officers explained that during the Monday meeting with the Chief Executive Officer, they were asked whether they had anything to say and he raised the issue of the questions asked during the polygraph examination.

The young father of one said many of the questions that they were asked seemed more of a political nature rather than having anything to do with their jobs. He said he was asked whether he has ever done anything to “hamper the Government of Guyana” in any way, and he could not understand the basis for such a question.

The Polygraph tests were conducted back in January of this year. For some of the fired employees, they were “forced” to submit themselves to the tests on more than one occasions in less than six months. News Source was told that some of those fired on Monday had completed a similar polygraph test in September, 2012.

In January, two long time GEA employees were dismissed after they refused to submit themselves to the “voluntary tests”. The two are contemplating legal action. Since then, at least twenty other inspectors and markers have been fired after they completed the polygraph tests.

The Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) has indicated that it does not support the lie detector tests being used to dismiss employees and the union intends to take up the issue with the Government. The GPSU has been objecting to the “arbitrary” use of the polygraph system to fire the employees.

The Guyana Energy Agency has been very silent on the matter over the past five months.

 

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