Sat | Feb 24, 2018

Auditor general blasts INSPORTS

Published:Tuesday | March 14, 2017 | 12:00 AMAndre Lowe

The Institute of Sports' (INSPORTS) failure to submit an audited report in 23 years was one of several breaches to the Public Bodies Management and Accountability (PBMA) Act committed by the agency, according to the Auditor General Department in its latest report.

INSPORTS, which is charged with grassroots development of several core sports, was a focal point of a recent report tabled to Parliament by Auditor General Pamela Monroe-Ellis.

The report notes that INSPORTS has not addressed and corrected several issues, ranging from poor corporate governance and improper payment, to procurement breaches, which were raised in a 2011 report by the department.


Special audit report


Under Section 23 of the PBMA Act, INSPORTS is required to submit to the minister of sport quarterly, half-yearly and annual reports.

"INSPORTS' failure to prepare audited financial statements was the subject of our special audit report (dated November 2011), which recommended that INSPORTS should prepare and submit, without undue delay, to the portfolio minister all outstanding annual reports and audited financial statements for tabling in the Houses of Parliament," the report notes.

"... INSPORTS failure not only breached the law, but is worrying from a fiduciary responsibility position, given that its accounting records showed that for the six-year period 2005-06 to 2010-11, total revenues amounted to $1.4 billion, while expenditure totalled $1.5 billion," it continued.

The PBMA Act also requires that the organisation prepare audited financial statements, which has not been done since the 1991/1992 financial year, bringing into question the accountability of the body, which has been led by embattled administrative director Ian Andrews since 2004.

Monroe-Ellis also took issue with the re-engagement of nine retired officers, who were contracted on annual salaries and allowances totalling $14 million between June 2013 and February 2015 without the prior approval of the Ministry of Finance and Public Service.

The highest paid officer among this lot took home over $2.1 million between June 2014 and September 2015.

Four of those appointments were eventually approved by the Ministry in March 2015.

The auditor general also raised concerns over the lack of proper controls and financial management at the agency, as well as a failure to implement standard operational procedures and a weak evaluation and reporting system.

The INSPORTS board, which is led by Lloyd Pommells, was also in for criticism, with the auditor general pointing out that irregular board meetings has hampered the operations of the organisation.


Performance targets


The board, according to the audit, has also failed to provide minutes of meetings held and develop specific objectives and performance targets, as required by the PBMA Act.

Andrews was recently suspended by the INSPORTS board on allegations of misconduct, with the administrator retorting with accusations of victimisation in the latest of several run-ins with the agency's leadership.