Head of Caricom security agency fired

(Trinidad Express) Lynne Anne Williams, executive director of the Caricom Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (Impacs), has been fired.

Lynne Anne Williams

Williams’s employment at the regional security agency was terminated on September 29 by the Council of National Security and Law enforcement (Consle), the governing body of Impacs.

She was suspended from the agency by Consle in May and was replaced by Francis Forbes, a retired Jamaican commissioner of police, the agency’s interim director until December 31 of this year.

The decision to send Williams on leave and order an audit into the agency was taken in June after the Sunday Express exclusively highlighted allegations of corruption at the agency.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and National Security Minister Brigadier John Sandy yesterday confirmed Williams’s dismissal from the agency. Persad-Bissessar and Sandy were speaking with reporters after a ceremony marking the destruction of illegal firearms at the Police Training Academy.

“…Minister Sandy has advised me that the decision was taken to terminate the employment of the director, and there are some other matters they recommended, a forensic audit. The reason why? As a result of the investigations based on the allegations that were made,” Persad-Bissessar said, referring to stories published by the Express regarding corruption at the agency.

When questioned further on the issue, Sandy said the decision to fire Williams as head of the agency came after Consle reviewed evidence before it, which was overwhelming.

“…Consle, an organisation involving ministers of Caricom, took a decision based on the evidence that they had because what had happened first is that a diagnostic audit (was conducted), and based on the diagnostic audit, the information coming out of it, they are now going to do a forensic audit.

“But it was felt that the information coming out of the diagnostic audit is sufficient to revoke her appointment,” Sandy said. Persad-Bissessar, head of regional security at Caricom, had described the allegations as serious and had raised the matter before Caricom member states in order to institute an audit at the agency. Attorney General Anand Ramlogan had also expressed outrage over the allegations, which he said must be thoroughly investigated, and anyone found culpable should feel the full brunt of the law.

He had said he was particularly disturbed when his office was brought into disrepute by a former employee at the agency, who was fired for a host of fraudulent activities and who implicated his office in an attempt to defraud the agency of TT$440,000.

Williams, who has declined comment on the allegations, was appointed executive director of Impacs, with effect from September 1, 2009, at the 20th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government, held in Belize in March of that year.

Through her attorneys, Williams had sent a pre-action protocol letter threatening to take legal action against the Express, regarding a series of articles by this newspaper into Impacs.

Last Saturday, Williams collected her personal effects at the Regional Intelligence Fusion Centre (RIFC), a sub agency of Impacs, on Victoria Square, Port of Spain, the Express was reliably informed.

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