Fri | Apr 28, 2017

Multi-million dollar fix-up - CHASE to spend nearly $95 million renovating corporate offices

Published:Saturday | September 5, 2015 | 9:00 AMDaraine Luton
The CHASE Fund building, at Belmont Road, St Andrew.

Nearly $95 million is to be spent renovating the corporate office of the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports, and Education (CHASE) Fund located at Belmont Road, St Andrew.

Cabinet in June approved the award of a contract in the amount of $94.5 million for MLO Services Limited to undertake renovation of the permanent corporate office.

"The premises acquired by CHASE Fund is over 20 years old and requires upgrade works. In addition, the building needs to be retrofitted to accommodate members of staff and customers, as well as enable CHASE Fund to provide safe and secure parking, storage, and research facilities," a ministry paper tabled in Parliament said.

CHASE now operates out of rented premises in New Kingston.

The CHASE Fund was established in late 2002 by way of provisions in the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act. Under these provisions, the Fund receives a percentage of the proceeds of the gaming industry, which it uses to invest in five defined areas of national life. The bulk of the funds are allocated between sports development (40 per cent) and early-childhood education (25 per cent).

Health gets 20 per cent, while arts and culture are allocated 15 per cent.

Between its establishment in 2002 and 2012, CHASE took in $7.9 billion, $294 million of which was used for administrative expenses, according to its latest annual report.

In her 2012 annual report, Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis said that an audit of the Fund revealed weaknesses in the internal controls governing the management of revenue, project management, bonding arrangements, and fixed assets.