Last Updated on Thursday, 9 June 2016, 8:51 by Denis Chabrol
The National Communications Network (NCN) has sought to clear the name of its former Chief Executive Officer, Molly Hassan, saying that she was not implicated in any financial irregularities.
“NCN is satisfied that Ms. Hassan always executed her duties with financial rectitude,” the state-owned radio and television broadcaster said in a statement.
Sections of the NCN audit report have raised concerns about debt recovery and management in relation to millions of dollars owed by the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) and companies with which it has been closely associated.
Referring to a GYD$17,525, 326 dollar debt owed by Impressions advertising agency for ads placed for the PPPC’s 2011 general elections campaign, the NCN audit report states that there was no evidence that legal action was taken to recover the monies. However, on April 16, 2016, according to the report, Hassan formally wrote to the Board of Directors to have the amount written off as an “uncollectable” in keeping with the Laws of Guyana. The report claims that the there is no evidence that the then CEO had sought legal advice from the Company’s lawyer, Ms. Jaya Manickchand. “It should be noted that NCN usually make payments for services provided by Impressions. No effort was made to off- set payment for such services against amounts due from Impressions,” the report states.
NCN later issued a statement explaining that in relation to the Auditors report Hassan wrote off millions of dollars of debts by an advertising company, she “neither had the authority to do so nor did she write off any debt.”
“In the case referred to she was asked to enquire whether a debt over 3 years old and incurred in 2011 was legally enforceable, which she investigated and advised upon. She did not write off the debt. The debt remains but it is statute barred.”
The report has found that NCN has not invoiced the PPPC for more than GYD$20 million in political advertisements for the 2011 and 2015 general elections and that a significant amount of those advertisements had been played free of cost as public service announcements. The PPP has said that it was still awaiting NCN to accede to its request for the invoices to be sent.