Caricom rescinds offer to Naresh Singh

Caricom has rescinded the offer of the position of Deputy Secretary-General made to Guyanese Dr Naresh Singh, who is under investigation in Canada over a possible conflict of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 statutory 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 yesterday.

“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.”

Dr Naresh Singh
Dr Naresh Singh

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.

On February 16, amid the concerns raised about his Caricom candidacy, Singh took the unprecedented step of announcing that he had been appointed Deputy Caricom Secretary General. In a statement issued to the media, Singh said:

“With more than 30 years of experience as an international development specialist, senior manager and policy adviser, I am very dismayed at the unproven allegations that have been circulating in the media.”

“I left CIDA to continue my work in international development in the Caribbean region, under the auspices of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) The short consulting contracts in international development with the United Nations undertaken during my private time while employed at CIDA were permitted by CIDA rules at the time, as long as I received advance clearance.

“I failed to obtain clearance for two or three consultancies of two or three days duration, for which I accept full responsibility. In execution of my consultancies I received a very small number of isolated emails and conference calls during business hours which were inappropriate. At no time did I intentionally break the rules or attempt to enrich myself at the expense of the Canadian taxpayer.”

“The recent suggestion that I may have been in a conflict of interest while at FMC are mystifying.”
“Any suggestion that I left the Caribbean Local Economic development Programme (CARILED) because of media inquiries is totally untrue. I resigned from the position of Programme Director at CARILED in order to accept an appointment as Deputy Secretary General at CARICOM. My CARILED superiors were aware that I had applied for the CARICOM position and supported me throughout the hiring process that lasted nearly 5 months.”

“I look forward with great anticipation to beginning my work at CARICOM.”

More in Local News

default placeholder

Suspect confessed to murder of Herstelling manager – Police

The Guyana Police Force today said that the suspect in the murder of Herstelling, East Bank Demerara, resident Terry Lackhan has confessed.

Indrawattie Chandradeo and her two remaining sons and her only daughter in tears at their home yesterday

Two men, teen boy found shot to death at Mibicuri Creek

By Bebi Oosman   The bodies of two men and a teenage boy, bearing gunshot wounds, were discovered yesterday at Mibicuri Creek, Black Bush Polder and police had one person in custody up to late last night facing questions about their shocking deaths.

Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson and contractors checking out the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) booth at the procurement symposium for new entrant contractors, which was held at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre yesterday. (Minister of Public Infrastructure photo)

Patterson underlines need for transparency in public procurement

Speaking at a symposium for new and existing contractors, Minister of Public Infrastructure (MPI) David Patterson yesterday stressed the need for transparency in the huge public procurement sector and added that distrust in the system has to be dispelled.

default placeholder

Granger says evidence of dereliction needed for Lawrence’s removal

Minister of Social Protection Volda Lawrence would be removed from office once evidence is presented supporting her dereliction of duty, according to President David Granger, who has lauded her for her work so far.

Dr Madhu Singh (at right) with the team of doctors during the press conference

Dr. Balwant Singh’s Hospital saves heart patient given 48 hours to live

Dr Balwant Singh’s Hospital Inc recently performed its first ever pericardiectomy on a 27-year-old patient who had been given 48 hours to live while hospitalised at another institution.

default placeholder

Private Sector flays City Hall over ‘unlawful’ container fees

While the Private Sector Commission (PSC) has agreed that the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) needs to collect revenue, it has lambasted the council for doing so without consultation and in an unlawful manner.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.



Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: