Tue | Dec 1, 2020

JOA explains increased expenditure

Published:Friday | July 24, 2020 | 12:27 AMRachid Parchment/Assistant Sports Editor
Christopher Samuda is the president of the Jamaica Olympic Association.
Christopher Samuda is the president of the Jamaica Olympic Association.

The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) says an increase in salaries and wages is the reason for more than two thirds of its costs associated with administrative expenses.

This, it said in a press release on Wednesday, is because of changes to its structure by its board of directors and member associations.

The JOA’s explanation is in response to a report by Television Jamaica (TVJ) on July 16 which showed that salaries increased from just under $10 million in 2017 to just over $34 million in 2018, while the figures for administrative expenses went from $32 million to $60 million over the same period.

The JOA confirmed these figures, but explained that it took on more staff to serve its member associations. It cites the introduction of scholarships, internships, educational programmes, and free upgrades to some of its member associations’ websites as some of the results of this increase in personnel.

Receivables Reduced

The release also mentioned that because of completion of outstanding financial reports for the period of 2013-2016, there was a reduction in the JOA’s receivables from $85 million in 2017 to $20 million in 2018.

“The increase in the administrative expenses of the JOA was as a result of the full establishment of a corporate organisational structure,” the association said. “This involved the modernisation of the operations of the JOA, again in keeping with the ‘Pathway to Success’ programme, and entailed the full computerisation of our accounting systems, the introduction of a payroll system to replace the paper-based manual system and a complete revamp of the website.

“As a consequence of resolving long-standing receivables owed to the JOA from as far back as 2013, the JOA was able to assist more member associations in 2018 in not only their Olympic qualification exploits, but also for the Commonwealth Games and CAC Games. The result was having the most successful Games ever, with the most diversified teams being sent. This supports the JOA mandate of equality of all sports in Jamaica.”

Per Diem Cuts

The body also explained why per diems (money to cover daily expenses) for athletes and officials attending regional and international competitions decreased.

“In relation to the issue of per diem, the reason why the grant was decreased related to the board’s decision to invest significantly in athletes and coaches of the various associations in the athletes’ bid to qualify for and attend the respective Games, as well as in the development of these sporting associations,” it said.

“This investment amounted to $192 million. The decision was facilitated by the fact that, in respect of Games, the costs of accommodation, meals and ground transportation are covered. Both the CAC Games and Commonwealth Games resulted in a $32-million increase in expenses over 2014, when both Games were last held.”

The association said that the 2018 financial audit reported by TVJ “were presented and tabled in a question and answer session, and thereafter unanimously approved by member associations at the extraordinary general meeting of the JOA.”