Sun | Apr 30, 2017

Financial report highlights JFJ money woes

Published:Friday | May 1, 2015 | 5:00 AM
Dr Barry Wade

The precarious financial position of human-rights group Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) came to light during its annual general meeting (AGM) last week.

A copy of JFJ's financial report for the period ending December 31, 2014, obtained by The Gleaner, indicates that at the end of 2014 the organisation's cash and cash equivalent stood at $2.4 million, down from $11.2 million in 2013.

The accumulated deficit, which stood at $8.3 million in 2013, was reduced by 52 per cent in 2014. The organisation worked to bring the figure down to $4.3 million.

Sources of funds for the organisation include donations, grants, fundraising, Caribbean Vulnerable Communities (CVC) coins and sundry income.

The main sources of income are grants of which $19.45 million was received in 2014, down from $23.3 million the year before.

Speaking during the AGM, JFJ Chairman Dr Barry Wade said that between 2014 and 2015, grant funding was reduced to two projects, namely the Republic of Germany Embassy project, valued at $5 million, and the UDDEF project valued at US$225,000.

Major source of income

Donations are another major source of income and were valued at $3.9 million in 2014, followed by $2.5 million in fundraising.

Wade disclosed that since the financial fallout in 2014, JFJ has been receiving monthly donations of $200,000 and $20,000 from Continental Baking Limited and Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB), respectively. He however indicated that JMMB had written to him a week before the AGM indicating it would be discontinuing its regular donations.

In 2014, administrative expenses stood at $5.4 million and grant expenses were booked at $20.9 million. A breakdown of the administrative expenses show that salaries and statutory contributions decreased from $3.10 million in 2013 to $2.5 million in 2014.

Secretariat and office supplies expenses increased from $67,350 in 2013 to $1.1 million in 2014.

Revenues for the organisation were flat, moving from $29.4 million in 2013 to $30.15 million in 2014.

Expenses however totalled $26.32 million, leading to the deficit of $4.3 million.

Wade highlighted the fact that since the financial report was prepared, other liabilities were discovered and, as such, the deficit position is worse than was reported. The liabilities discovered includes the $11 million in back taxes owed to government, due to the loss of JFJ's charitable status and past consultancy fees amounting to $1.7 million. Another liability facing the organisation is severance pay for workers who were laid off.

This amount is billed at 1.3 million and became due at the end of April 2015.

andre.poyser@gleanerjm.com