Tue | Aug 22, 2017

I am being victimised - Andrews - Embattled INSPORTS director calls for Sports Minister's intervention

Published:Thursday | February 9, 2017 | 2:00 AMLivingston Scott
Andrews

Embattled INSPORTS administrative director Ian Andrews has accused the agency's board of directors of victimising him for adhering to the organisation's guidelines and protocols and has called on Sports Minister Olivia Grange to intervene after he was suspended on allegations of misconduct.

In a memo to staff members yesterday, which was obtained by The Gleaner, Andrews defended his position and underlined several issues with the Lloyd Pommells-chaired board, ranging from accusations of governance and protocol breaches to what he described as the undermining of his role.

The rehiring of retirees Ann-Marie Heron and Cloyfeld Thomas-Davis has been one of the main sources of contention for Andrews in this, his latest run-in with the INSPORTS Board. However, he added that the board not only undermined his authority, but deliberately hindered the process to access resources, which resulted in the agency not meeting its obligation to creditors.

"I honestly believe I am being victimised simply because I did not follow the inappropriate instruction of the board to hire two retirees without the requisite approval from the Ministry of Finance and Public Service," Andrews' letter read. "The board not only put a lot of effort in undermining my authority at the agency, but also deliberately hindered the process in accessing resources payable to INSPORTS, which resulted in the agency not being able to meet its obligation to its creditors.

"I will seek Minister (Olivia) Grange's intervention in having the matter of the board's inappropriate behaviour rectified."

Andrews, in his letter, noted that in 2007, he was instructed to hire 18 individuals off budget, and this led to a significant shortfall in salaries, which affected pension contributions and resulted in pensions not being paid.

 

ALLEGED UNAUTHORISED PROMOTION

 

In 2013, Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis reported that INSPORTS did not conduct annual performance staff appraisals and that Andrews took a decision to reclassify 13 of 14 appraised staff members to higher positions.

This resulted in unauthorised payments of J$24.6 million for June 2007 to June 2011.

In 2015, the previous Don Anderson-led board removed Andrews' signing authority and sent him on administrative leave. But he was returned with signing privileges after a Ministry of Finance directive.

Andrews wrote to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports on February 3, 2017, listing concerns about the governance of the INSPORTS Board of Directors.

Among other things, the letter pointed to the retirees issues, accused the board of attempts to coerce Andrews to disregard the agency's policy and governance framework, as well as its refusal to sign off on documents for the accessing of funds payable to INSPORTS.