Some eight months after allegations of fraud surfaced within the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region 10 (Upper Demerara/Berbice), the administration is still awaiting word on the way forward, to determine the fate of a number of its employees.
According to Regional Chairman Renis Morian, a report has been sent to the Ministry of the Presidency and the Council is presently awaiting advice on the way forward.
Ever since investigations were launched in January this year, the employees have remained off the job to facilitate the move. While some Regional Councillors have expressed dissatisfaction over the move to have the employees suspended pending a decision, they have not been allowed to perform their duties until a decision is made.
“We would have sent the report to the Ministry of Presidency and that went to the Public Service Ministry and we’re waiting. I know the Public Service Ministry takes a long time…We’re awaiting the necessary response. Once the results come it has to leave at the RDC. I’m waiting on the results first to be advised on the way forward,” Morian recently stated.
The revelations of alleged fraudulent activities involving employees of the RDC as well as contract employees were made public by Regional Executive Officer (REO) Gavin Clarke in January, when he outlined several discrepancies involving Council money during a statutory meeting of the RDC.
Clarke had declared emotionally that he will not lose his integrity over the discrepancies which he had unearthed.
Auditors were then summoned to investigate the offences which had also engaged the Police. Officers of the State Assets Recovery Unit (SARU), State Audit Department as well as the Ministry of Presidency were summoned to conduct investigations and had interviewed a number of internal and external RDC staff. Three employees were initially charged and released on station bail in relation to the allegations.
Morian had related that as the investigations continued, a number of employees had been questioned in relation to the issue and that the employees were sent on leave so that officials could properly investigate. While the investigations were expected to wrap-up in January, in February Morian related that more disturbing discrepancies were still being unearthed.
‘E’ Division (Linden-Kwakwani) Commander Calvin Brutus had also confirmed that an investigation was being conducted through Police Headquarters, Georgetown. (Utamu Belle)