Gold Board Auditor quits after 12 years, says environment “too toxic”
The Chief Auditor of the Guyana Gold Board (GGB) has resigned from the entity after more than a decade, citing concerns about the “toxic environment” there.
Adjodia Ramcharran resigned amid an internal probe into a multimillion fraud, however, he insists that there is no correlation between the two events.
Though the auditor admitted that he was flagged by the Chairman of the Board, Gabriel HK Lall for not detecting the recent fraud, Ramcharran maintained that the ongoing investigation did not prompt his resignation.
“I think the timing of my resignation is a bit bad but it has absolutely nothing to do with that [the fraud],” he told News Room during an exclusive interview on Thursday evening, November 16, 2017.
Ramcharran explained that he resigned because he was offered a ” better opportunity” and because the working environment at the Gold Board is “toxic”.
“The environment is not conducive to if you want to work and put yourself through a stress-free day; it’s not conducive to that,” he explained.
Ramcharran said there is a culture of “snitching” and “backstabbing” at the entity which he can no longer tolerate.
“I resigned in good faith and now it’s in the public domain… you see what I’m talking about? … Every day, if you go on vacation somewhere, somebody put a spin on it, the environment is very toxic,” the Cheif Auditor explained.
Ramcharran explained that the Chairman believes he is guilty of “dereliction of duty” for not identifying the fraud but he [Ramcharran] contended that the Audit Department could not have unearthed the wrongdoing unless they received guidance from the Board of Directors.
“It’s a collective effort from Audit Department and the Board of Directors, they have to give guidance. We don’t work by our own whims and fancies. He [Lall] is saying that the Board decided that I should have flagged it [the fraud] but we should have been given proper guidance on how to proceed,” Ramcharran explained.
While the Board has not yet accepted his resignation, the Auditor believes they will part ways in good faith. In fact, Ramcharran said, given his institutional knowledge of the entity, he is willing to offer his services to aid in any of the ongoing investigations at the Gold Board.
News Room first reported that the accountant, Roseanna Ramnarine and a clerk, Deborah Forbes were sent home after the entity discovered that they manipulated the books and created fraudulent documents in order to scam the entity of millions. The Chairman of the Board has since revealed that the two employees have admitted to the wrongdoings.
Meanwhile, the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) is currently conducting an investigation into alleged money laundering at the Gold Board. Three senior officials were sent home pending the outcome of the probe. Their contracts are due to expire soon but when asked if they will be renewed, the Chairman of the Board during a recent press conference declined to respond.