Thu | Oct 19, 2017

Cash prizes and payments to ball boys shot down in CDF committee

Published:Wednesday | May 20, 2015 | 12:00 AM

ONE MEMBER of Parliament who submitted a $2-million project under the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to pay cash prizes and cover fees for umpires, referees, linesmen, scorers, coaches, ball boys, and travelling and medical expenses for players under a sports-development programme ran into a roadblock yesterday as the CDF Committee of Parliament rejected the proposal.

Head of the CDF Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister Moveta Munroe raised concerns about the human and social development project for North Western Sports Development for the 2015-2016 period submitted by Member of Parliament for St Elizabeth North Western J.C. Hutchinson.

"What is the problem with my project? I am asking the committee to decide whether or not it can go through?" Hutchinson, who is also a member of the CDF committee, queried.

Acting committee chairman Mikael Phillips asked members of the committee to examine the project and determine whether they shared the same concerns as Munroe.

"When I look at the justification and the number of things that this project is attempting to do, I really cannot see ... we ought not to be doing prizes - prizes are included in here. I see fees for umpires, referees, linesmen, scorers, coaches, and ball boys, travelling and medical expenses for players," she told the committee.

Munroe contended that the operational procedures and guidelines of the CDF prevent MPs from using the funds for cash prizes.

Hutchinson asked: "Can you take out fees?"

Munroe replied: "There is a whole lot of stuff in here that cannot be covered by our operational procedures."

Phillips then instructed that the document be withdrawn.

Munroe said the CDF Unit did not have a problem with allocations from the fund being used to finance sporting activities but cautioned against money being spent for cash prizes and fees.

She said MPs ought to have known that such projects are not in keeping with the CDF guidelines.

edmond.campbell@gleanerjm.com