–Government illegalities and serious failures in performance being identified
Head of the Special Purpose Unit (SPU), Colvin Heath-London, has been fired from his post with immediate effect by the Government of Guyana as of today (Friday).
London had been employed by the Government to head the SPU for the privatization and divestment of assets identified by the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and was later tasked with the responsibility of performing of duties of the Chief Executive Officer of National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (“NICIL”).
According to a media statement by the Government today, a review of the operations at both SPU and NICIL revealed the following “illegalities and serious failures” by London in the performance of his duties, which have had a detrimental effect to the Government’s and NICIL’s business.
These include but are not limited to the following:
- The issuance of various leases of various NICIL properties located in Peters Hall, East Bank Demerara without (i) public tender, (ii) valuations, (iii) board approval, (iv) Cabinet approval, (v) review by approved NICIL counsel and (vi) ensuring that the issued leases contained the standard and customary provisions relating to termination and non-assignment and other protections to NICIL.
- The issuance of approximately 14 agreements of sale and leases for NICIL lands located at Ogle, East Coast Demerara (the “Ogle Transactions”), and the subsequent vesting of 7 tracts of lands without ensuring that full payment was received for those lands in accordance with the terms of the relevant agreements, and without ensuring that the vesting orders issued were drafted by approved NICIL counsel or contained the usual and customary language sufficient to protect NICIL’s interests.
- Procuring the execution and gazetting the aforementioned vesting orders without first ensuring that payments were made in accordance with the terms of the various agreements executed by the parties.
- Failing to facilitate and procure the auditing SPU’s accounts by the Auditor General.
- Failing to facilitate and procure the necessary NICIL account reconciliations in order to allow the Auditor General to audit NICIL’s accounts from 2014 to 2019, these reconciliations being performed within six (6) weeks of the appointment of new management.
“Mr. London’s failure to properly perform his duties and referenced transgressions constitute serious misconduct and dereliction of duty generally, not only breaching applicable laws and violating policies established by the Government and NICIL, but causing NICIL and the Government to lose millions of dollars,” the statement added.
His actions also amount to a breach of the fiduciary duties and duty of care owed to NICIL imposed by the relevant provisions of the Companies Act 1991 and generally, warranting his immediate termination.