Kingston and St Andrew take lion's share of CHASE Fund spend
With 600 active projects under way, Kingston and St Andrew have taken the lion's share of financial contribution, as well as the number of funded projects from the Culture, Health, Arts, Science and Education (CHASE) Fund in its 15 years of operation, executives of the agency told a recent Gleaner Editors' Forum.
The CHASE Fund, which is financed from the taxes from lottery winnings, has seen increased revenues in all but three years since its inception in 2002. The agency has, as per its mandate, made significant contributions to sports and early childhood development, as well as health, arts and culture.
The entity has not been stingy with revenues, donating billions of dollars in total to the sectors to which it is constitutionally required to make contributions, including the Sports Development Foundation, which has received 38 per cent of the $14.8b disbursed by CHASE since inception.
CHASE Chairman Phillip Henriques described himself as a board member for the majority of the years the agency has been in operation. Now, in his second stint as chairman, he said CHASE's reach allows it to impact all areas of the society and its good-cause mandate has given benefits to deserved projects.
"Good cause is part of our mandate. Originally, as we were set up with taxes forgone from Supreme Ventures, the Government put the tax money into CHASE for the purpose of having something to show the public this is where their tax dollars have gone from the gambling industry," Henriques told the forum.
"We choose projects because we go out there and look for them and also projects come to us. We choose them on a broad basis because of our mandate, one of which is early childhood education, and within that sector we have a series of categories we look at," he told the forum.
Henriques said that the primary position of the entity is to show that everyone across the country is likely to benefit from a CHASE-contributed project.
CHASE Fund beneficiaries
Disbursements as at December 31, 2017:
Sports Development Foundation (SDF) $6.6b
Arts and Culture $2b
Value of approved projects as December 31, 2017:
Arts and Culture
Total of $2.7b has been disbursed to arts and culture under the following categories: performing arts, literary, heritage, historic sites and monuments, libraries/archives, visual arts, museums, media/films/music and craft.
The highest sum of $808m has been disbursed to projects under heritage and craft; $743m to the performing arts; $318m to historic sites/monuments; $237m to music/film/media; $164m to literary works. Visual arts and museums have both received in excess of $112m each.
A total of $3.6b has been disbursed to health under the following categories: the development of healthy lifestyles, building of health facilities, equipping and enhancing health facilities, training of personnel, support for the mentally challenged, collaboration with private sector, prevention of drug abuse, programme for cancer care and research.
The top four funded areas receiving funds are equipping and upgrading of health facilities receiving $2.2b; the promotion of healthy lifestyles $595m; medical assistance, $410m and training $256m.
The top three areas receiving funding are $2.2b to equipping and upgrading basic schools; $1.09b to build and outfit basic schools and resource centres; and to provide training in the sector totalling $779m. The smallest contribution in this area has been to childcare centres, with a sum totalling $4.8m.
-Sports projects are approved by the Sports Development Foundation.