Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Well watered and ready to supply KM

Chief Executive Officer of Guyana Water Authority, Karan Singh, was yesterday dismissed when the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Cyril Solomon, gave him his marching orders.
Karan Singh was summoned to a special meeting to discuss the allegations of procedural irregularities.

However, Mr. Singh is not taking the sacking lightly. Late yesterday he consulted his lawyers with a view to mounting a legal challenge.

Singh claimed that he never had a chance to see the report prepared in the wake of the allegations made against him and neither was he given a chance to defend those charges.
He said that the internal auditor conducted an investigation over four weeks, threatening and terrorizing members of staff while compiling the report. At yesterday’s meeting Mr. Singh asked for time to study the report since it had not been presented to him although he was expected to react to the contents.

According to reports, the Board declined and proceeded to sack Mr. Singh.
Having been sent packing, the former CEO is now seeking legal advice on the matter. The Board had already sent Dhani Narine on leave after discovering similar irregularities. The Board has not yet summoned Narine.

On March 25 last, following his return from his annual vacation, the GWI Board of Directors sent Singh on leave.

The Board commenced investigations into the allegations and thought it best that Singh be absent from duty to speed up the process.

Singh has since said that he is not guilty of any wrongdoing. He said that he agreed to proceed on leave to allow for a fully transparent investigation.

The disturbing state-of-affairs came to light after it was discovered that Head of Procurement of the water company, Dhani Narine, had for some time been involved in a scam over the issuance of contracts.

Narine has since been sent on 30 days leave following allegations of corruption.

There are allegations that over a period of time he has been making deals to receive ‘drawbacks’ from contractors employed by the water entity.

This newspaper has learnt that Narine would allegedly demand that contractors advance him specified sums of money from the contracted sum before they were guaranteed the contract.
A source related that the contractors became aggravated and, as a result, decided to lodge an official complaint with senior officials of the entity.

It was at this juncture that the Board became involved and recommended that Narine be sent on leave to allow the facilitation of a proper and unbiased investigation.

However, investigations revealed that Narine was not alone in his practices but was rather aided and abetted by high-ranking official(s) within the very entity. On March 26 last, the reins of GWI were placed in the hands of Director of Operations, Yuri Chandisingh.

Along with the former CEO, his entire secretariat, including an Executive Assistant, a Clerk and driver, were sent off the job to facilitate the investigation.

As part of the ongoing investigation underway, the entity’s Human Resource Manager, Sabrina Panday, had her contract terminated.

She said that she was on the job for less than six months and was therefore not considered permanent staff.

All of the staffers that have come under scrutiny were also former employees of the Cricket.

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