The General Manager of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) Doreen Nelson yesterday resigned with immediate effect after a disagreement between herself and officials at a meeting.
The surprise decision was taken even as the NIS is under intense scrutiny following the last actuarial report that warned that it was approaching crisis stage and that there was the need for serious reforms to safeguard its viability.
When contacted by Stabroek News, Nelson declined to comment. “I have no comment. Any statement or anything on the matter will come from the NIS. I have nothing to say,” she said.
Several efforts to contact the NIS Public Relations Officer Diane Baxter proved futile. This newspaper was told she was somewhere in the building, not available and not in and that she went out, among other replies. Chairman of the NIS Board Dr. Roger Luncheon could not be reached. One of the directors on the board told Stabroek News that he could not comment as this was asked of all members of the board. Instead, the NIS will today issue an official statement on the matter.
It is unclear what drove Nelson’s abrupt resignation. However, this newspaper was told Nelson’s resignation was sparked by an ongoing dispute between her and the board.
An official explained to Stabroek News that sometime late last year, it was highlighted that Nelson had failed to follow protocol as her portfolio required. Several documents highlighted this and she was admonished first at a board meeting held last year and shown the documents to substantiate the claims. She was then asked to correct it and it is here that the official said she “offended the board” as she passively refused to comply.
Given that she had leave remaining, she proceeded on her vacation and resumed work to the very end of December.
When she returned the issue again arose. “The board wanted no dealing with Ms. Nelson until she complied with what was expected of her as the General Manager and the head of the ship that she lead by example and accept wrongdoings so that we could put that on record and move ahead with the business of getting this ship in order.” However there was no change in the situation, the official said.
Another official informed that yesterday the board met for the first time for the year. Nelson was supposed to chair the meeting in the absence of Luncheon but before any matter, Nelson’s came up. It was then she used the opportunity to inform the board that she no longer wanted the position and was resigning with immediate effect.
The official opined that Nelson’s resignation would have been no surprise to her co-workers as she had signalled that the end of her service was looming.
Manager of the NIS’ Brickdam branch Terry Thomas will now act in Nelson’s place until a substantive replacement is identified.
Nelson replaced Patrick Martinborough as General Manager in 2009.