-The minutes of payment and other financial documents are nothing secretive as they are expenditures captured in the national estimates
In a statement last evening, the Office of the President said it would like to clarify the position with respect to the ending of its contract with Ms. Marcelle Joseph as a junior employee.
Following is the text of the statement:
“ Ms Joseph was previously employed with the Press & Publicity Section but was transferred to the Permanent Secretary’s Secretariat five months ago.
“Recently, suppliers of goods and services have been complaining that Ms Joseph was in the habit of requesting lunch or lunch monies from them whenever their payments were ready for uplifting. As a result of such reports, the Permanent Secretary decided to transfer Ms Joseph to the Administrative Division.
“On February 4, 2011, Ms Joseph uplifted the keys to the Permanent Secretary’s Secretariat from the office security and unauthorisedly entered the office. She removed four flash drives and apparently downloaded routine information which was stored on the computer there. Additionally, she deleted some of the same minutes of payment records and other information from the computer.
“It was the unauthorised entry into the Permanent Secretary’s Secretariat, the copying and tampering with records that led to the termination of her contract subsequent to being interviewed by both the Permanent Secretary and the Minister of the Public Service Ministry on her wrongdoing.
“We wish to categorically state that her termination had nothing to do with her role in the leaking of information on the one laptop per family project.
“The minutes of payment and other financial documents are nothing secretive as they are expenditures captured in the national estimates. These payments are made openly and the records are easily accessible by junior level staff. These are processed and audited as a matter of routine. These payments are legitimately made for authorised transactions. There is nothing to hide.
“The efforts of Kaieteur News and Mr. Mark Benschop to market these disclosures as leaks represent their mere clutching at straws and attempts at creating sensationalism.