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JCSA calls for INSPORTS board to resign

Published:Monday | May 2, 2016 | 5:00 AMLivingston Scott
INSPORTS chairman Anderson

The Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA) has again called for the resignation of the entire board of directors of the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS).

This position, it said, was made on the grounds of a second round of attacks on the agency's administrative director, Ian Andrews, with regard to having his signing authority removed, as well as its proposed action regarding retirement and contract extension of staff.

Last year, the Don Anderson-led board rid Andrews of his signing authority - which is part of the administrative director's job description - a decision that was overturned after a directive by the Ministry of Finance.

Now, the INSPORTS board is headed in the same direction.

However, the JCSA, which represents government workers, has filed a strong response.

In a letter dated April 27 to board Chairman Don Anderson, President of the JCSA, O'Neil Grant, revealed that they were in receipt of two correspondents sent to Andrews (April 8th and 14th) by Anderson on behalf of the INSPORTS board.

Grant raised a number of concerns and insists that the action proposed by the board is "ridiculous" and "untenable" and clearly violates the statutes and regulations applicable to government entities.

 

UNHEEDED CONCERNS

 

The letter highlighted that the board had failed to heed concerns pertaining to the institute's governance and reminded its members of the Civil Service and the Ministry of Finance's concerns that the agency is regulated by rules governing public-sector bodies, that the board is not an executive board and has no authority to revoke or appoint signing powers, cannot authorise who signs or who does not, or has any authority or privilege to sign cheques.

It also objected to the board's interference in deciding staff retirement and reassignment.

"The board is acting beyond its scope and authority in removing senior staff from signing on behalf of the institute without cause," said Grant.

"Furthermore, your letter (April 14) indicates you (board) have informed the banks that staff are not to sign cheques. This is an absurd request, they (bank) cannot ignore the legitimate signatures approved by the Ministry of Finance how signatories must be assigned or removed from government accounts."

He continued: "Any decision by the administrative director is legal and binding. You have indicated that you will decide as a board who should retire or have employment extended.

"To be so involved in the day to day issues of staff retirement and reassignment is another ridiculous stance as these persons are treated under the Civil Service Pensions Act," Grant stated in his letter.

Although citing the board's instructions as "untenable", the JCSA head advised Andrews to comply with the directives until, but specified that the administrative director cannot be held liable or responsible for any decision taken by the board.

 

LEADERSHIP BREACH

 

"I must alert you (board) that the JSCA will be calling for the replacement of the board and particularly you (Anderson) as chairman, as we have seen where your leadership of the organisation has breached all public bodies' guidelines, acts and regulations. Mr Andrews cannot be held liable for any decision taken by the board that he is forced to comply with, despite his declared concerns," highlighted Grant.

Efforts to reach chairman of the INSPORTS board, Anderson, for comments via telephone proved unsuccessful, as all calls went unanswered.

The JCSA letter was copied to Minister of Culture, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, Alison McLean, the ministry's permanent secretary, Mrs. Loris Jarrett, deputy financial secretary, Ministry of Finance and Public Service, the ministry's financial secretary, Devon Rowe, Mrs. Pamela Monroe-Ellis, auditor general, auditor general's department, all members of the INSPORTS board and Andrews.