Poor County Meet Organization Undermines Celebration of Peace

first_imgMr. Alfred Sayon, technical committee chairman of the Grand Kru Sports Association, has indicated that the poor organization of the 2014 National Meet has brought disunity to the celebration of the ten years of peace the country has enjoyed.He said the theme, ‘Celebrating 10 Years of Peace through Sports’, could not be achieved due to poor organization in handling and managing resources to counties.Sayon, in an interview Tuesday in Monrovia, raised concerns about three important issues: organization, financial contributions and the officiating of the games, particularly outside Monrovia.Sayon suggested that the Ministry of Youths & Sports must establish a National Steering Committee, comprising of representatives from all the counties.“The steering committee will then be able to understand what it takes to prepare teams and be able to come up with appropriate recommendation that will make a difference,” he said.Sayon said that will create confidence in the organization of the County Meet since it will involve technical professionals from outside the Ministry of Youths & Sports.He said since the County Meet is an annual event funds for the counties must be provided ahead of time to ensure adequate preparation.“Grand Kru’s players could not be pacified despite the fact that the check of U$4,000.00 was on hand,” Sayon said. The amount should have been $6,000.00.He added that the check was released when there was no chance to cash it, and as a result the players could not see reason to wait and it was a day before a scheduled game.“The money was needed to pay the players but we could not get to cash the check so it meant that we were in for trouble,” Sayon said disappointed. And the trouble was the team’s elimination by Nimba.He made reference to the late distribution of funds to the counties, even as county teams qualify from one stage to another.“In last year’s county meet,” Sayon said, “we received funds for the game three days before the meet and since this year’s was not even better, it leaves much to be desired.”“We don’t seem to learn from what we did wrong three years ago,” Sayon said. “This is because past mistakes have been repeated in every County Meet.”He explained that the U$20,000.00 provided to each county is not enough to cover preparation, transportation and remuneration to players.Due to the late release of funds for this year’s meet, there were overwhelming problems, including the one in Sinoe County, where players set up roadblocks, demanding for funds entitled to them, he noted.The County Meet is an annual affair, Sayon said, and as a result the ministry must be able to learn from past mistakes to make the future ones better.The third concern is how games were officiated in the preliminary rounds in the counties.“Officiating games in the counties is not the same as handling matches in Monrovia,” he said, “there was a high degree of favoritism where the norm was loyalty over professionalism.”He recommended a check and balance or a system that can oversee the performance of match officials to ensure fair play which he said was lacking in the 2014 preliminary rounds.At a press conference last week, Youth and Sports Minister Eugene Nagbe admitted that clearance for the distribution of the funds came two weeks before the tournament.He explained that his administration followed the PPCC law to set the standard for the future.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

GAC ‘Chose the Sensational over Objectivity’

first_imgThe Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) has sharply reacted to the recent audit report from the General Auditing Commission (GAC) on the Ministry.MFDP said the Commission “chose the path to the style of the sensational rather than an objective and professional reporting.” According to the Ministry, this way of doing things has now become the standard practice of the GAC.GAC in its audit reported by some media outlets, accused the MFDP Minister Amara Konneh and his Comptroller and Accountant General of not providing supporting documentations for some transactions. “We noted during the audit that out of the total selected sample of US$4,123 payment transactions, the Comptroller and Accountant General did not provide supporting documents for US$3,419 payment transactions for various components in the financial statements amounting to US$209,790,651.04,” GAC report said.The GAC audit report, which contains this statement, is the Special Procurement Audit Report of the Ministry of Public Works and the Audit Report of the Consolidated Financial Statement of the government for the Fiscal Year 2012/13. The Ministry said while it views the GAC reports as being “critical to our collective determination to improve the public financial management system of the government, our attention has been drawn to a number of conclusions derived from the report and reported on by the media to the effect that public resources have either been unaccounted for or abused. These very disturbing insinuations could and should have been prevented had the Commission acted reasonably in incorporating some of the pertinent clarifications provided by the MFDP.”However, MFDP said it remained committed to implementing the recommendations of the audit exercise and has, as a matter of policy, begun instituting some of the recommendations as contained in the Auditor General’s report. The Ministry also charged that for the GAC’s audits to be seen as credible, “the basis for institutional improvements, handling of the audit process has to be treated with the outmost degree of professionalism, mutual respect and good faith for system improvement.” “In this respect, the MFDP wishes to register for the record, a number of issues raised in the audit report that are not only questionable and in some instances laughable, but creates a misleading impression that either public resources have been squandered or the public trust compromised.”Included in its response, the Ministry listed four areas, including audit integrity, material issues with Public Works Audit, material issues with audit report of the Consolidated Financial Statement and ancillary issues, which it said need clarification because of some of the confusing conclusions stemming from the Auditor General’s report. The Ministry’s press release is published in detail on pages eight and nine of today’s edition.One internal auditor, a public financial analyst, who asked to remain anonymous, rhetorically asked when contacted for his opinion on the audit, “Why should everyone have problems with the GAC audit reports? It needs to look at the ways, methods and procedures of its material gathering.” He, however, noted that it is also a human tendency to “cry wolf.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more