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Accounting of sports funding advocated

Sports Scope
  • Dr. Daniel Johnson.

FRED STURRUP

Published: May 29, 2013

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For decades now, since the beginning of the distribution of financial grants for sporting federations and other appointed entities, the Government of The Bahamas through the ministry of sports has requested financial reports to verify the spending.

The rule has not been hard and fast. Interestingly enough, those organizations that receive small grants and never go back requesting more in the same fiscal year, have been more inclined to comply.

I believe, generally, there is honesty within the sporting fraternity. I do feel however that when millions of the taxpayers’ good money is being funneled through some organizations, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture should insist on a financial report in a timely fashion.

I also think the ministry is obligated to the nation, to report annually that everything is in order with the reports. I don’t expect publication of reports, as is the case with the banks and other financial institutions but the public needs to be satisfied in general that the money is being spent justifiably.

When huge sums are advanced to enable events such as the CARIFTA Games 2013 to be staged without embarrassment to the country, the people ought to be given an accounting. Also, because additional money gets advanced, other areas of revenue should also be reported to ensure that spending of the people’s money was necessary.

In the case of an organization such as the National Sports Authority (NSA) where there are salaried personnel, just as the salaries for every category of civil servants are public knowledge, such should be the case with the NSA. The salaries are being paid from taxes, out of the pockets of the people. To keep such items hidden is not justified.

The people should know. Each government since 1992 and the rise of the Free National Movement (FNM), has preached transparency. Yet, the people have been left in the dark about so many things they should be privy to. Hopefully in sports, the new culture that Minister Dr. Daniel Johnson, is driving, will indeed mean full transparency in sports.

The people should know exactly what happened with the funds advanced for the CARIFTA Games. What is the salary of the chairman of the National Sports Authority? How much are the people paying the NSA General Manager? It’s all about transparency in the new sports culture.

(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com)


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