Former NCN manager Goolsarran now at the helm of MTV

Former National Commu-nications Network (NCN) Programme Manager Martin Goolsarran quietly assumed the post of General Manager of Multi Technology Vision Inc Channel 14/Cable 65 two months ago.

The former MTV General Manager, Kamini Persaud, was recently let go along with others attached to the newsroom and an acting General Manager had been appointed prior to Goolsarran.

Goolsarran’s appointment has raised eyebrows in light of the fact that he was one of the persons at the centre of an inquiry into financial irregularities at the state-owned NCN two years ago. The NCN board, because of the findings of the probe, had indefinitely suspended Goolsarran.

President Donald Ramotar, who is also the Minister of Information, has repeatedly avoided addressing the financial scandal at the network, which also saw the resignation of then NCN CEO Mohamed Sattaur.

Ramotar has yet to disclose what course of action will be taken against officials implicated in the financial irregularities and public statements by him and Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon suggest that no action is likely.

Critics have said the reason why there has been no action is that the two persons at the centre of the probe have close ties to the ruling party. Analysts see the case as a litmus test of whether the government is serious about accountability and financial probity in the state sector.

In June 2012, NCN’s board launched an investigation over the suspected financial irregularities, after board members were considering the way forward for the network in the light of the cut of its subvention by the opposition. Around that time, NCN had publicly indicated that most of its revenues come from advertising and that it raked in over $500 million in advertising revenue in 2011.

Parmesar Chartered Accountants was hired to carry out a special investigation into the alleged financial irregularities and several breaches were uncovered. Key findings of the audit surround an incentive payment to NCN by the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company for production services for the broadcast of its jingle and song competition. Millions of dollars of GT&T monies were de-posited into Goolsarran’s personal bank account and among other things, the report also said that a number of functions of other staff/departments were usurped by Sattaur and Goolsarran.

 

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