Prime Minister rescinds dismissal of Sherod Duncan
Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo has instructed the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Guyana Chronicle Geeta Chandan-Edmond to rescind the dismissal of former General Manager Sherod Duncan.
The News Room was reliably informed that the Prime Minister sent a letter to the Chair Tuesday with his instructions and Duncan is to take up his post soon.
The current General Manager Donna Todd reportedly met and informed the staff at the newspaper of the new development.
The Board of Directors of the Guyana Chronicle took a majority decision in April to fire Duncan after an audit report found over 20 transactions that did not follow financial regulations.
News Room reported that three directors voted against firing Duncan while three voted in favour.
The deadlock was broken when Chair of the Board 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.
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Duncan’s decision to fire Ramotar was almost immediately rescinded following a meeting between the Chandan-Edmund, Duncan and Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, who has oversight of the information sector.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.