Bowleg promises accountability at NSA following auditor’s report

Someone will be held responsible following a recent auditor general’s audit that raised concern with the issuance of several contracts by the National Sports Authority (NSA), Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Mario Bowleg said, adding that an investigation into the matter is ongoing.

“In everything that we do in life, if you are head … you should be held responsible,” Bowleg said following the announcement on the new NSA board members.

“Whoever was in charge at that time should be held responsible. If this board acts in a manner that is not pleasing to the sight of the Bahamian public, and I am at the head, I expect to be held responsible.”

Bowleg said he did not want to speak more on who will be held responsible “because there are things being sorted out, investigated”.

“This administration has met some things in place,” he said.

“Some things have been reported to us and, at the right moment in time, as we continue to look at the documents, decisions will be made.”

Bowleg said that after reading the audit, he concluded that rules and regulations were breached.

He said anyone who reads the report will come to the same conclusion.

“Again, if there are any steps to be taken, that would be done not by myself but by this administration,” Bowleg said.

“I think if the country sits back and wait, if … we feel that steps must be taken, then that will happen.”

Bowleg said he does not expect the mistakes that were made in the past to be repeated.

He said that is why business-minded individuals with backgrounds in sports were chosen to sit on the board.

“There are things they must adhere to as it relates to giving out contracts or whatever it may be and I expect that this board, these people, will not put their names on the line for anything,” Bowleg said.

The audit found several instances where people were hired by the NSA without board approval, without positions being advertised and, in one instance, where an employee’s salary exceeded the “midpoint” range of $50,000.

Auditor General Terrance Bastian reviewed eight contracts issued by the NSA.

He found that the procurement exercise was not conducted for a contract valued at $45,600.

“The NSA management team nor the board was involved in the selection of this vendor,” Bastian wrote.

“We were informed that a contract was prepared between the authority and the company with instructions for the general manager and the chairman to agree to the terms and conditions of the contract.

“The scope of the works to be executed was for a monthly landscaping contract to clean the tennis center, which is not a part of one of the assets that is managed by NSA. We further noted that the contract duration period was for five years for the sum of $45,600 with a monthly payment of $3,800.”

In another instance, Bastian found that a December 14, 2020 contract, valued at $168,000, was signed “without board approval”.

The contract, he wrote, was signed by the chairman and the contractor.

The audit into the accounts of the NSA was conducted between February 23, 2021, and March 10, 2021, and covered the period July 1, 2018, and January 31, 2021.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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