by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Minister for Sports expected to meet with members of the Local Organising Committee
- LOC failed to provide account of government financial resources for Grenada Invitational Track and Field Meet in April 2018.
- Government signed an MOU with the LOC for the next 3 years to provide technical support
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell says the Minister for Sports Hon. Norland Cox is expected to meet with members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) after they failed to provide an account of government financial resources granted to them to host the Grenada Invitational Track and Field Meet in April 2018.
Dr Mitchell was responding to questions from the media one day after the resignation of chairman of the committee Michael Bascombe was made public.
An email issued by Bascombe on Tuesday indicated several reasons for his resignation and has cited the inability of treasurer Fenton Frederick to provide an account of committee financing and outstanding payments to some athletes who participated in the event.
Dr Mitchell indicated that government is not concerned with the resignation of an individual but is mainly concerned that the country’s image is not tarnished and that the committee provides an account of the resources granted to them by the government.
He said although government endorsed the athletic games, the hosting of the games was a private initiative. However, Dr Mitchell said this unfortunate situation has placed the country’s image on the international scene at jeopardy.
“The Grenada invitational was a private sector-led initiative and of course government supported it. Like any other issues that are promoting the country’s development the government is quick to support it but you notice that government did not initiate it. But it is now clear that the private sector institutions involved in promoting and implementing the Invitational have run into problems and clearly they will have to sort out their individual problems but an individual resigning is not our key concern. If the government supports something and the country image is involved and of course if we have invested resources, it has to be accounted for and if it is not accounted for the government is not prepared to support it.”
The government signed an MOU with the LOC for the next 3 years to provide technical support both in cash and kind. Dr Mitchell said government will be demanding that the committee provide an audit of their financial books.
“The Minister of Sports will be engaging the parties to involve and not just the person who resigned but clearly other members of the organising committee to see how best we can solve this problem going forward. But all I can say is that government resources will not be placed into something where the monies are not being accounted for.”
Dr Mitchell indicated that government is still prepared to back the Grenada Invitational in the future as long as the committee can account for government’s financial resources.