Computer with PNCR’s membership register removed without permission; Executive Member calls for “integrity audit”

Last Updated on Monday, 15 April 2024, 19:24 by Writer

Dawn Hastings-Williams

The opposition People’s National Congress Reform’s (PNCR) General Secretary, Dawn Hastings-Williams has told fellow executive members that the computer processing unit (CPU), which contains the membership register, was removed from the membership department without permission.

“No permission was requested of the General Secretary nor the Administrator of the Secretariat to remove the said equipment,” she told executive members. According to Ms Hastings-Williams, the CPU was removed on Wednesday 10th April, 2024 during the lunch period and was not returned up to Friday afternoon “when I left office.”

In response, the PNCR Chairman Shurwayne Holder informed his colleague executive members that “I understand that the head for the membership unit removed the CPU due to what she thought was a breach in protocol with respect to access of the said computer.” He said the party leader, Aubrey Norton was informed and he would “engage all persons involved” when he returns from the United States.

The PNCR Chairman said the General Secretary spoke with him on Thursday and she did not raise the issue of the CPU, causing him to believe that the matter had been already resolved.  In seeking to assure that there was no need to be alarmed, he described the occurrence as “a case of simple misunderstanding.” At the same time, he recommended that “stricter measures” be put in place.

PNCR Chairman, Shurwayne Holder

Ms Hastings-Williams planned on Monday to ascertain the reason for the CPU’s removal.

Weighing in on the issue, PNCR Central Executive Member, Dr Gary Best said the whereabouts of the CPU could not be unknown to the General Secretary. He recommended that checks be made to ensure that there was no unethical or dishonest act. “This is totally unacceptable. This now raises data integrity issues! An integrity audit is strongly recommended,” he said.

In recent decades, a number of PNCR elections had been marred by claims of irregularities. The last congressional elections at which the incumbent party leader, Aubrey Norton, and his executive had been voted into office was regarded as transparent and free and fair.