Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo on Tuesday announced that former Minister of State, Joseph Harmon has been appointed Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency.Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph HarmonThe announcement was made during the Prime Minister’s address at the National Communications Network (NCN) Linden Complex at the Government outreach to the mining town.Minister Harmon, a dual citizen, resigned as a minister and Member of Parliament (MP) effective April 25. He was replaced as an MP by Mervyn Williams. Vice President and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge; former Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin and former Minister of Public Service, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine also resigned as a result of being deemed dual citizens by Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George in a court ruling.Gaskin and Dr Roopnaraine were replaced by Haimraj Rajkumar and Tabitha Saraboo-Halley respectively.Prime Minister Nagamootoo was delivering the feature address at the hand-over ceremony of the NCN Linden assets to the Linden Broadcasting Network (LBN).Director General Harmon attended the Cabinet meeting earlier in the day at the invitation of President David Granger where his new portfolio was formally announced to Cabinet.
Corriverton MayorWinston RobertsThe Corriverton Town Council wants the Local Government Commission (LGC) to dismiss its Treasurer, whom it alleges has been engaged in gross financial irregularities, causing the Council to be in debt.In a recent statement, Corriverton Mayor Winston Roberts said the Council has written the Commission about the Treasurer’s actions and recommended that she be dismissed after sending her on administrative leave last week.According to Roberts, this decision was taken after it was uncovered that she deliberately misled the Council, kept inaccurate records and could not account for an expenditure of some $3.2 million.“As a direct of result of the municipal Treasurer’s actions, the Council spent money that it never had in 2017/2018, and now finds itself in a deficit of $3.2 million for the year 2019. This will adversely affect the execution of a number of projects and the delivery of services by the Council. Needless to say, the Council has been placed in an embarrassing position,” the Mayor lamented.Roberts explained that the glaring deficit was discovered back in February upon examination of the Council’s records and financial statements prepared by the Treasurer. According to the Mayor, the Council has been requesting a proper explanation from the Treasurer on the matter but she had been giving several different explanations.“One explanation given by the municipal Treasurer is that the sum of $3.2 was utilised to purchase a skid steer in the year 2016. However, the records of the Council that were prepared by the Treasurer shows no expenditure in the year 2016,” Roberts stated.Furthermore, the Mayor went on to claim that before a decision was made, the Treasurer’s personal file was reviewed by the Councillors and it was revealed that due to her “gross incompetence”, the Council lost in excess of $3.6 million in rates and taxes from the Black Bush Rice Milling Company for the period 2007 to 2016, which she claimed was a miscalculation.“For this infraction, the Council had recommended to the Local Government Commission that the [Treasurer] be suspended but no action was taken by the Local Government Commission to date. Taking the above matters into consideration and other infractions, the Council immediately after its ordinary meeting dispatched a letter to the Local Government Commission with its recommendation. Given the serious nature of the issues raised, the Council is expecting swift action from the Local Government Commission. It is hoped that there will be no foot-dragging,” the mayor posited.On the other hand, however, Roberts revealed that despite being sent on leave on May 22, the Treasure turned up to work the following day and declared that she spoke with “her people” at the Local Government Commission and “she is not going anywhere” and that “no one can touch her from the Council.”In light of this, the Corriverton Mayor said the Council has taken the necessary steps to secure all records and the office of the Town Council. He said the Council holds strong of its decision to send the Treasurer on administrative leave pending any investigations or decisions of the LGC since it has “absolutely no confidence” in her, and that her continued presence on the job will undermine any investigation undertaken.Nevertheless, Mayor Roberts pointed out that despite the glaring financial irregularities uncovered involving public funds, the Commission seems “quite comfortable” with the Treasurer remaining on the job pending a decision.Chairman of LGCMortimer Mingo