Chronicle fires General Manager Sherod Duncan
The Board of Directors of the Guyana Chronicle has taken a majority decision to fire General Manager Sherod Duncan after an audit report found over 20 transactions that did not follow financial regulations.
News Room has been reliably informed that three directors voted against firing Duncan while three voted in favour. The deadlock was broken when Chair of the Board Geeta Chandan-Edmond cast her vote in favour of dismissing Duncan.
The Office of the Auditor General had contracted auditing firm Chateram Ramdihal Chartered Accountants Professional Services Firm to carry out an audit of the State newspaper’s operations from June 1, 2018, to September 10, 2018.
A meeting of the Board was held on Tuesday to discuss the findings of the audit. Duncan attended the meeting along with his attorney James Bond. The meeting lasted about six hours.
The audit found that tender rules were breached where, under Duncan’s watch, services were procured without contracts and approvals were given for payments without the regular procedure of company stamp or signature.
Further, cash advances were given to Duncan to travel overseas but he did not clear the amounts. It was also found that the company’s personnel policy and procedures manual were ignored during the recruitment, termination and dismissal of employees.
Duncan’s tenure at the State newspaper came under fire in September of last year when he summarily dismissed Finance Controller Moshamie Ramotar when the online news entity Demerara Waves published a report detailing excessive spending under Duncan.
Duncan’s decision to fire Ramotar was almost immediately rescinded following a meeting between the Chandan-Edmund, Duncan and Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, who has oversight of the information sector.
The investigation into the operations of the company was issued shortly after and Duncan was sent on leave pending the outcome of the investigation.