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PLP, FNM chairmen hit out over NIB

PLP, FNM chairmen hit out over NIB
Guardian Staff Reporter

Published: May 17, 2013

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Charging that the audit into certain affairs at the National Insurance Board (NIB) “exposed another Free National Movement (FNM) mess”, Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Bradley Roberts suggested yesterday that the termination of NIB Director Algernon Cargill should have been expected.

“It seems to be the logical conclusion from my vantage point,” Roberts said.

NIB’s board recommended that Minister of Labour and National Insurance Shane Gibson fire Cargill after a vote was taken on Wednesday afternoon.

The vote came after Cargill defended himself against the findings of the audit which pointed to several irregularities.

FNM Chairman Darron Cash said Cargill was never given a proper chance to present his side of the story.

Cash charged that the Christie administration came to office with the intention of firing Cargill.

“It is clear that this is one of the most expensive witch hunts that the country has seen, all for a conclusion that we knew [would happen] from perhaps the second of third day after the PLP was elected,” Cash said.

“The [PLP] had their sights on Algernon Cargill at the National Insurance Board and no matter what he had done, stellar or otherwise, [he would be fired].”

But Roberts said, “The FNM is culpable and must accept responsibility and be held accountable for this mess.

"...It was none other than (former Prime Minister) Hubert Ingraham who gloated to a Nassau Guardian reporter that the NIB scandal was the making of the PLP and washed his hands when he boasted: ‘I hired Cargill. I thought he did a wonderful job at NIB…We left the place in good shape’."

Roberts said the PLP supports the prime minister’s decision to engage an independent auditor to review NIB accounts.

Grant Thornton (Bahamas) was engaged by the government to conduct the investigation into the allegations made against Cargill in a 22-page letter written by then NIB Director Gregory Moss last November.

Cargill was fired yesterday after being on leave with pay for the past six months.

The forensic audit found that bonuses may have been improperly paid to Cargill and other executives, and also highlighted reported irregularities in the awarding of certain NIB contracts for various projects.

The report also said that auditors found that Cargill is listed as an officer of the company owned by his brother that rented an apartment to NIB.

Earlier this week, Cargill defended the bonuses and salaries that were awarded to him and other executives between 2010 and 2012, and charged that the accountants who carried out the review into allegations against him left out crucial evidence in their report.

Cargill said the bonuses and salaries had the approval of NIB’s human resources committee and then Chairman Patrick Ward.

He filed suit against NIB and Moss. The case is still before the courts.

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