Minister of Public Service and National Insurance Brensil Rolle yesterday confirmed that the government has reached a settlement with former National Insurance Board (NIB) Director Algernon Cargill over his termination from the board back in 2013.
Though he wouldn’t say how much Cargill was paid, Rolle insisted that the settlement was not in the sum of $500,000, as has been speculated on social media.
“The NIB board did settle with Mr. Cargill,” Rolle told reporters, outside Parliament.
“He has separated from the board and the conditions upon which he separated we regard as fair.
“What I can tell you is it’s not $500,000 that was agreed to in separation.”
Rolle continued, “It has to do with the whole issue of how he was separated and we thought that we offered him a fair package and we both are satisfied that the separation was justified and we move on.”
The public service minister refused to say how much Cargill was paid in the separation.
“No, I can’t discuss that. That’s his personal business,” he said.
In late 2012, and much of 2013, the government probed hefty bonus payments to NIB board members and other alleged financial abuses.
The government ordered a forensic audit of NIB’s accounts after then Chairman Gregory Moss wrote a lengthy letter to then National Insurance Minister Shane Gibson in late 2012, advising that the board had voted to fire Cargill.
In that letter, Moss outlined a series of damning allegations against Cargill.
Cargill was placed on leave pending the outcome of the audit. He filed suit against NIB and Moss.
After a nearly four-month investigation, Grant Thornton, the accounting firm contracted to conduct the forensic audit, handed over its reports on March 24.
Gibson called the findings “shocking”, but it would be weeks before the government released the findings.
According to information on NIB’s files, eight NIB executives and one person on contract collectively received bonuses of $723,333 between January 2010 and May 2012.
That information also indicated that Cargill took home $194,791.66 in bonuses during that period.
Cargill said the bonuses and salaries had the approval of NIB’s human resources committee and then Chairman Patrick Ward.
When the report was finally released, the public learnt that accountants had found the bonuses appeared to have been improperly paid to Cargill and other executives.
That probe also highlighted reported irregularities in the award of certain NIB contracts for various projects.
The investigation found no negative conclusions into allegations made against Moss by Cargill.
But Cargill charged that the accountants who carried out the review into allegations against him left out crucial evidence in their report.
Amid controversy surrounding the reported irregularities, the board of NIB voted on May 15, 2013 to fire Cargill.
It was the second time that the board voted to fire Cargill within a seven-month period.
The exact cost of the forensic audit was $861,606, according to the government.
Asked yesterday why Cargill is just now being paid so many years after his termination, Rolle said, “Well, he has been agitating from he was fired by the PLP, and we just determined that we wanted to have a clean separation. That’s what we did.”
He said while Cargill is no longer attached to NIB, “there was exchanges between himself and his lawyers with NIB over that period”.
“[He was threatening legal action] from day one and we just determined that it was appropriate that we separate and after negotiation with him, we agreed on a settlement and that was done,” Rolle added.
When contacted by The Nassau Guardian yesterday, Cargill said he did not want to comment on the matter.
“In short order I will be able to defend the comments that were made, as well as speak to the truth that actually happened, and there’s nothing else I can say at this point,” he said.