The then People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC)-led administration paid out GYD$28 million to 35 persons over a four-year period from the National Communications Network (NCN) to perform duties on instructions from the Office of the President.
The auditor, Parmessar Chartered Accountants, recommended that action be taken to recover the money that was paid to the monitors, but no specific process was suggested.
An audit of the state radio and television broadcaster’s operations shows that from 2011 to May, 2015 a total of GYD$28,813,756 were paid out to media monitors who never worked for the company but under direct instructions from then Press and Publicity Liaison Officer at the Office of the President, Kwame Mc Coy. “While these employees were contracted by NCN, they were not located at NCN neither did they perform any duties for NCN or report to any official at NCN. They were reporting directly to Mr. Kwame Mc Coy at the Office of the President.
Mr. Mc Coy would write to the NCN human resource manager when changes were required,” states the audit report that was released on the Ministry of Finance’s website on Friday, June 3, 2016.
Under the past administration, concerns had been raised in some quarters that paid bloggers had been operating out of the Office of the President to attack or respond to critics and opponents of the party and government by taking to fake Facebook accounts and anonymous blogs.
The audit found that those employees, including Clement Rohee’s daughter, Renata Rohee, were contracted by NCN to monitor the transmission of television / radio programmes for content and providing report / analysis for each day of the week on a 24 hour basis. They were then expected to prepare a report on the dates monitored which will be supported by the relevant tapes / reports for verification.
In order to facilitate payment, the auditor found that on a monthly basis all employees were required to submit an invoice. “Employees were required to uplift payments from the NCN’s head office.”
Listed as “media monitors” are: Ameretha Ali, David Williams , Carl Howes, Caelotta Browne, Carlyle Softly , Cleon Maughn, Clive Smith, Dana King, Dellon La Rose, Dekeisha Cumberbatch, Leroy Phillips, Lloyd Hickens, Keisha Cumberbatch, Kerry Joseph, J. Dudhnath, Jason Abdulla, Javed Mustapha, Jemel Semple, Malisa Tatkan, Michael Williams, Michelle Aaron, Nadia Devine, Nayland Walker, Ofaye Cromwell, Orlando Smith, Parbatie Narine, Patricia Barker, Quacy Mc Calmon, Renata Rohee, Robert October, S. Gouveia, Safraaz Shadood, Satya Jyoti Budhram, Vernon Vikerie and Waheeda Saheed.