Special Purpose Unit head terminated over illegalities and serious failures
See full statement from the Office of the President:
The Government of Guyana has terminated the employment of Mr. Colvin Health-London with immediate effect. Mr. London was employed by the Government to head the Special Purpose Unit (SPU) for the privatization and divestment of identified assets of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and was later tasked with the responsibility of performing of duties of the Chief Executive Officer of National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL). A review of NICIL’s and SPU’s operations revealed the following illegalities and serious failures by Mr. London in the performance of his duties, which have had a detrimental effect to the Government’s and NICIL’s business. These include but are not limited to the following:
- The issuance of various leases of various NICIL properties located in Peters Hall, East Bank Demerara without (i) public tender, (ii) valuations, (iii) board approval, (iv) Cabinet approval, (v) review by approved NICIL counsel and (vi) ensuring that the issued leases contained the standard and customary provisions relating to termination and non-assignment and other protections to NICIL.
- The issuance of approximately 14 agreements of sale and leases for NICIL lands located at Ogle, East Coast Demerara (the “Ogle Transactions”), and the subsequent vesting of 7 tracts of lands without ensuring that full payment was received for those lands in accordance with the terms of the relevant agreements, and without ensuring that the vesting orders issued were drafted by approved NICIL counsel or contained the usual and customary language sufficient to protect NICIL’s interests.
- Procuring the execution and gazetting the aforementioned vesting orders without first ensuring that payments were made in accordance with the terms of the various agreements executed by the parties.
- Failing to facilitate and procure the auditing SPU’s accounts by the Auditor General.
- Failing to facilitate and procure the necessary NICIL account reconciliations in order to allow the Auditor General to audit NICIL’s accounts from 2014 to 2019, these reconciliations being performed within six (6) weeks of the appointment of new management.
Mr. London’s failure to properly perform his duties and referenced transgressions constitute serious misconduct and dereliction of duty generally, not only breaching applicable laws and violating policies established by the Government and NICIL, but causing NICIL and the Government to lose millions of dollars.
His actions also amount to a breach of the fiduciary duties and duty of care owed to NICIL imposed by the relevant provisions of the Companies Act 1991 and generally, warranting his immediate termination.