Friday, Dec 13, 2019
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BOC to assist federations in preparing funding requests

The Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) is prepared to be of assistance.

It has come to my attention that the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture is being buffeted with requests from federations for money, without accompanying official documents, stamped or signed.

For instance, the request is made: “We need $50,000.” However, there is no paperwork for future reconciliation purpose. There is the expectation for verbal communication to suffice, however. Well, the ministry is acting properly to deny such requests. In fact, it would be out of order for funds to be advanced in such cases.

Based on a flurry of comments on social media, relating to requests for sports funding, many are not aware of the true facts of the situation. Federations are not feeding the full information to their members. There are, indeed, federation leaders who seem to believe that the funding made available by the government of The Bahamas is for their needs in large part, and does not have to be verified.

BOC Secretary General Derron Donaldson went on the record on Tuesday in endorsing the position of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.

“Look, we accept that the time has come for federations to understand that proper applications must be made, when funding is requested. This is a must. I can tell you that the International Olympic Committee (IOC), that we have to satisfy, is adamant. We have been told that hand-written receipts and invoices will no longer be accepted.

“We understand the reasoning. Whoever, whichever department gives out money, they have to account for the funds. Accountability goes hand and hand with official, stamped or signed paper presentations. We have offered our help in assisting federations in need, to help them understand how to properly prepare applications for funds. Maybe a standard application form can be devised and simply filled out, and, stamped. The point is, we have to consider handwritten receipts and the like, to be something of the past. That method will no longer be accepted,” said Donaldson.

I have seen the criticisms which targeted Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Lanisha Rolle. The situation begs several questions.

Why would sports leaders insist upon being funded without providing the necessary official documents? Don’t they see the honor in being able to justify spending, to prove that the funds were handled properly? What’s going on? What is this resistance to provide appropriate paper work for funding all about?

So, we say to Minister Rolle, protect the integrity of your office. Continue to adhere to the upfront, transparent manner of advancing funding to sports organizations and individuals.

That course of action is in your best interest, and that of your ministry associates.

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address sturrup1504@gmail.com or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.

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