The Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) has found itself in a bind as the role of the administrative director, Ian Andrews, particularly as it relates to signing powers, has not been restored – as mandated – by the board of directors, which is led by Don Anderson.As a result, staff and creditors of the government-run agency are being significantly impacted as health benefits and personal deductions for staff, which have been signed by Andrews, are not being co-signed by Anderson or any other board member.Also, some creditors who have rendered services in various sports development programmes carried out by the government organisation cannot be paid, as Anderson refuses to co-sign the cheques with the administrative director.And only last week, one creditor, Edward Cooke, filed for compensation by the agency through his lawyer, for monies ($619,000) owed by INSPORTS.The issue is long-running, since September last year when Andrews was sent on administrative leave and his signing powers revoked by the board, following appraisal by the Auditor General’s Department.The Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA), which mediates on behalf of government workers, intervened and cited discrepancies in the removal, noting that it was unconstitutional.It said the decision to send Andrews on administrative leave was not in line with public-sector leave protocol and instructed Andrews to remain in his job as the board acted irrational and without foundation.The JCSA also insisted that Andrews’ signing powers be restored and even warned against the current dilemma facing the Institute, as a result of the administrative director’s signing restrictions.”This goes against proper governance … and will impair the smooth running of operations,” a portion of the letter from the bargaining unit shared.Further, it said because the bank had already accepted on the board’s request to relieve Andrews of signing power, it called on Anderson to make the corrective changes with the bank to restore such privileges.Since then, the Ministry of Finance and the permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister have instructed Anderson to restore the signing powers of the administrative director. However, he has refused.The request was first made at a meeting between representatives of government ministries, the INSPORTS board and Andrews.In a letter to Anderson dated November 9, 2015, Alison McLean, chief technical director, Ministry of Finance, called for the expedition of the removal of the administrative leave and that “any consequential arrangements that were predicated on that instruction be rescinded from the date of the correspondence as agreed in the October 6, 2015 meeting”.A second letter to Anderson, dated November 18, 2015, from Elaine Foster-Allen, permanent secretary attached to the OPM, instructed: “Following our conversation this morning (Foster-Allen-Anderson), I write to confirm that the directives issued in relation to the administrative leave of administrative director Ian Andrews, which has been withdrawn, also indicated that his authority to sign on behalf of the Institute of Sports has been restored.”Please be kind enough to indicate that this has been done.”When The Gleaner asked Anderson about his refusal to follow the directives, he gave no clear answer.”That is a redundant question (why Andrews’ signing power is not restored). When you spoke to me last week I told you exactly what the position was … The thing about it is that I have answered this question already, unless you are trying to stoke up something else,” he said.”Talk to me in a few days time and all will be clear, hopefully. But I have to be sensible about my response, so later on we will talk,” he promised.
Dear Editor,Well, finally, it seems as though there will be some sort of audit carried out at City Hall in Georgetown.Of course this audit will be a very small, focused one that will be concentrated on the millions of dollars in funds provided by Central Government to the Georgetown Municipality since 2015.But, hopefully, the findings of this forensic audit will raise the awareness of, and trigger the effecting of, a much more comprehensive audit of the workings of the Georgetown Municipality. The kind of audit needed at the Georgetown Municipality — because of the protracted period since one was held; because of the enormous sums of money and assets involved; and because of the amount of scandals that have surfaced over time at City Hall — would need to be forensic in nature, and would require gargantuan resources.The claim made two years ago by the Mayor — that she was open to facilitate any forensic audit, and that the Office of the Auditor General was welcome at any time — was nothing more than spouting hot air. The Audit Office of Guyana has clearly indicated that all attempts to conduct an audit at City Hall were frustrated and were stymied by documents not being provided. It is time for this charade to be put to an end.To further throw dust in the eyes of the citizenry, the City Council had set up a fully staffed Internal Audit Department. This turned out to be a complete waste of time and revenue earned from ratepayers, as these persons just sat and idled all day long whilst receiving fat salaries for doing little or nothing.Auditing City Hall would require the engagement of several experienced and capable accounting and auditing firms, as the load would simply be just too much for the Audit Office of Guyana. Over the last two decades, many things have been hidden, destroyed and misplaced. Crooked contracts will have to be examined; equipment that has gone missing will have to be traced; persons illegally given interest waivers will have to be pursued and made to pay their correct dues; equipment that has been sent to do private jobs, including work at officers’ residences, will have to be paid for; municipal equipment that was sold dirt cheap would need to be properly assessed, and the proper prices paid for them; municipal property sold or leased when that should not have been needs to be retrieved. Oh, the task would be titanic, but it must be done.Corruption is a true enemy to development, and fighting it at City Hall would not be a one-day or one-time affair.Best regards,Deodarie Putulall