NCN Board sends senior manager home.
The cuts to the budget for the National Communications Network may have brought to light many of the financial irregularities that may have been taking place the state owned entity.
On Friday the board of NCN sent home the company’s programme manager Martin Goolsarran on administrative leave. Another senior official may be on the short list for similar treatment as the board continues to investigate the earnings and spending by management.
The NCN board wants to know why millions of dollars in advertising earnings were never deposited into the company’s accounts but rather cheques were asked to be written in the names of at least one senior official and that money was reportedly paid over to some staff members for work done on major projects. One big advertiser became so worried about the practice especially after hearing the complaints of staff members that they were not paid, that the company held off on other payments.
NCN sources today told capitol news that the case now coming to light is not an isolated one and there may be other similar cases. Additionally, the spouses of at least two senior officials were being looked at since both women are linked to two advertising companies and they enjoyed large commissions for ads going into NCN although at times they may have absolutely nothing to do with the placement of the ads.
There is also concern about a number of purchases made by the company over the past few years, multi million dollar purchases of equipment and even purchases of vehicles.
The NCN board wants to see the records of all of those purchases. NCN had admitted to the national assembly that in 2011 it raked in over 500 million dollars on its own through advertising and production ventures. The company still wanted an 80 million dollar government subvention.
NCN has on staff just over 150 permanent employees and an additional 70 contract employees. When the former Guyana Broadcasting Corporation and Guyana Television were merged to give birth to NCN, cutting costs and staff were given as the major factors. Since the merger NCN has been spending a whole lot more and hiring a whole lot more also.
The current probe underway is being conduction on the request of President Donald Ramotar who wanted to know how the company would cushion the effects of the budget cuts. NCN on its own makes more than all of the other tv stations in Guyana combined. The government continues to block the other tv stations from extending their broadcast signal.