Caricom rescinds Naresh Singh’s contract
Caricom has rescinded the offer of the position of Deputy Secretary-General made to Guyanese Dr Naresh Singh, who is under investigation in Canada over a possible conflict of interest.
“The allegations and findings of that statuory body of inquiry are of grave concern to the Caribbean Community and the Secretary General. The Secretary General has taken the necessary action to repudiate the offer,” a statement from the Caricom Secretariat said.
“The Caribbean Community made an offer to Dr Naresh Singh for the post of Deputy Secretary-General consequent upon requisite checks. This candidate had been proposed by the Secretary-General in accordance with the recruitment process for executive management of the secretariat,” the release said. “Subsequent to the offer and Dr Singh’s acceptance of that offer, information came to light regarding certain allegations against Dr Singh which had been the subject of a confidential investigation by the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner, which is an independent Agency of the Parliament of Canada.”
Sources said the Canadian investigation has proven embarrassing for Caricom and given the risk of an adverse finding the decision was taken to withdraw the contract.
Singh resigned recently from a Canadian-funded programme CARILED to take up the Caricom position. He had moved to the CARILED project from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) amid an investigation by a watchdog agency of practices at CIDA. Singh was said to have been at the centre of this investigation. CARILED is funded through CIDA and this resulted in Overseas Co-operation Minister Julian Fantino last week referring the matter to the integrity commissioner. Further funding for CARILED has also been suspended.