Jun 30, 2012 News
…Programme Manager Martin Goolsaran suspended
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Communications Network (NCN), Mohamed ‘Fuzzy’ Sattaur, tendered his resignation, yesterday. He was faced with a simple request from President Donald Ramotar, according to a source in NCN, ‘Resign or be fired.’
NCN, like the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company a few weeks ago, found itself being
probed for financial irregularities. On the part of NCN one area of irregularity was traced back to GT&T and involved millions of dollars in advertisements.
NCN’s Programme Manager Martin Goolsarran who had admitted that he had deposited the payment cheque from the telephone company into his personal account, has been suspended.
This publication understands that following the probe into the financial irregularities, NCN’s Board of Directors headed by Dr. Prem Misir made several recommendations to Minister of Information, who in this case happens to be Head of State, Donald Ramotar.
This publication understands that the probe unearthed the fact that there were severe managerial problems at the state-owned company hence, the recommendations which included severing ties with Sattaur.
Sattaur could not be reached for a comment. Calls to his telephone went unanswered.
The financial affairs of the state-owned media entity were subject to a specially appointed private audit following revelations of financial improprieties that surfaced earlier this month.
The revelations centered on the payment of millions of dollars by the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph company to NCN for work done by the staff.
Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon, had written to the entity’s General Manager Mohamed Sattaur, informing him of a decision by the Office of the President (Minister of Information) to have a special investigation launched into allegations of financial irregularity at NCN.
Dr. Luncheon had informed that Parmesar Chartered Accountants was recruited and appointed to carry out the activity.
The specific terms of reference were to “specifically investigate allegations of financial irregularity occurring from September 2011 to February 2012 and with regards to the account for the GT&T Jingle and song Competition”.
The state-owned media company’s Programme Manager, Martin Goolsarran, had admitted that he had deposited the payment cheque from the telephone company into his personal account.
He was subsequently sent on leave to facilitate a total audit of the NCN financial position and a probe of its financial practices.
The spotlight was also on the entity’s General Manager Mohamed Sattaur, who it is felt was quite aware of some of the financial improprieties.
The special audit was completed and a report handed over to the Chairman of the Board of Directors Dr. Prem Misir last week.
Sattaur and Goolsarran had been granted 72 hours to respond to some of the observations contained in the report, to which they did on Monday last.
Sattaur, who is also the administrator of a number of the ruling PPP’s entities including Red House and Heritage House, was suspended by the NCN board of directors headed by Dr. Prem Misir, following claims of insubordination some time ago.
However, he was reinstated by the then President Bharrat Jagdeo who had intervened in the matter.
There are reports that some of the revenue such as production costs cannot be accounted for. In fact, while the NCN charged the telephone company production costs, somewhere in the vicinity of $7M, staff members who worked on the production are alleging that they were not paid.
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