Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Cooke seeks compensation from INSPORTS

Published:Wednesday | January 6, 2016 | 1:00 AM

The Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) is being challenged by one of its creditors, Edward Cooke, whose lawyer has filed on his behalf for compensation from the government agency for monies owed for his services.

Attorney Davion L. Vassell served the notice yesterday on the agency largely responsible for grassroots sporting development. It seeks payment for services allegedly rendered between July and October 2, 2014, which amounted to $619,000 and was accompanied by six invoices.

The letter was addressed to INSPORTS to the attention of its chairman, Don Anderson, "re payment of funds to Edward Cooke", with administrative director Ian Andrews and Cooke also cited.

"I act for Edward Cooke in the captioned matter," it said. "I am instructed that Mr Cooke did work on several occasions for the Institute and to date has not been compensated for services rendered.

"I am further instructed that despite several demands, the Institute has failed and/or refused to honour its obligation to Mr Cooke."

Further, it said: "We demand that this sum be paid in two weeks of the date of this letter (January 5, 2015), failing which we will explore other avenues available to Mr Cooke without further notice to you if the debt is not paid."

UNAWARE OF DEVELOPMENT

When contacted, Anderson said he was oblivious to the development.

"I am not aware of it. I am sitting in my office working now and I will continue for the rest of the day to work, no intention to investigate this," he noted.

"If it comes to me, fine, but right now, I have no idea of it. If it comes to me, I will consult my lawyer, but I know nothing about it, so I cannot answer any question," he further stated.

Further calls were made to INSPORTS, where a source, who requested anonymity, explained that the situation stems from a policy change in September 2015 by the new board of directors, which relieved Andrews of the authority to sign cheques. The source said that has resulted in a backlog of payments to its creditors.

Andrews was also barred from his office and sent on leave at the time.

However, the latter actions were reversed after union intervention, with the exception of Andrews' signing power.

ALLEGED BREACH

This authorisation of cheques is now facilitated with signatures by two board members, an action the source alleges constitutes a breach of government financial regulations on the grounds that the board functions in an advisory capacity and is only responsible for setting policies, as opposed to an executive capacity, which would make it responsible for the day-to-day running of the agency's operations.

In the meantime, Cooke's attorney expressed hope in the letter that the matter against the government agency would be resolved soon.

"We look forward to a prompt and positive response in light of the above," said Vassell.