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Decision to relieve CEO and ED binding – RICBL board

No actions taken on their submission to voluntarily resign on moral grounds

The Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan Limited’s (RICBL) Board decided yesterday that it need not take any action on the letters submitted by the chief executive officer (CEO) and executive director (ED) to resign voluntarily on moral grounds.

The board’s media spokesperson said that the board decision of January 17 to relieve the CEO and ED is binding and already conveyed to them.

The board’s decision was made after reviewing various administrative lapses and other alleged charges against them by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

The charges have been forwarded to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG)

He said that the board’s decision is also in line with the RICBL Service Rules and Regulations 2016. “All options on the separation from the services of CEO and ED were tabled in making the January 17 board decision,” the spokesperson stated in an email response to Kuensel.

“As clearly reflected in the press release issued on January 19, the board during its board sitting on January 17 decided to relieve both the CEO and ED from service with immediate effect,” he said. “In conclusion, the board decision made on January 17 was carried out after detailed deliberations. RICBL being one of the oldest and biggest financial institutions in Bhutan and being custodian of public money has to prevent corruption and set an example in terms of having good Corporate Governance,” he stated.

The spokesperson also said that the board chairperson personally met with the CEO and ED on January 18 and conveyed the decision to them. “The application for voluntary resignation on moral grounds by CEO and ED was received only after conveying the board’s decision to them,” he said.

CEO Namgay Lhendup and ED Sonam Dorji submitted their resignation to the board on January 18, to take the moral responsibility and also submitted that the other employees be spared of any administrative action.

The spokesman stated that the ACC’s letter sent to RICBL clearly mentioned that the administrative action on other employees are not warranted at this point of time since their alleged charges are forwarded to OAG. “However, the Board Sub Committee is already formed to identify, recommend and implement all the administrative measures/actions to be taken as reflected in the ACC letter,” he said.

He also said that immediately after the January 17 board meeting, the board members met with all the RICBL senior managers to reiterate the board’s full support, guidance and confidence on RICBL employees in carrying out its day-to-day functions in the institution. The board also decided to recruit a new CEO for RICBL immediately.

The ACC on December 29 forwarded cases that involve 16 RICBL staff and three private individuals to the OAG in connection to the irrational financial transaction between the RICBL and Nubri Capital Private Ltd and Sherab Reldi Higher Secondary School in Mongar, fraud and collusion in the settlement of false insurance claims, and embezzlement cases.

It has also written to the board’s chair to take punitive action against the CEO, ED and other officials of the RICBL.

The commission has also written to the Governor of Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) to take appropriate actions against them for breaching RMA regulations in force.

Both the CEO and ED did not comment as they are yet to receive the decision of the board.

ACC, in the meanwhile, is waiting for the board’s Action Taken Report.

Rinzin Wangchuk

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