Sports News of Thursday, 10 May 2012Source: GNA Director General of the National Sports Authority (NSA), Worlanyo Agra, has explained that the proximity of the Unity Games to the All Africa Games resulted in the administrative challenges and the weak financial position of his outfit ahead of the Pan African sports festival.
Agra said the NSA requested for funding on the 9th of August 2011 and was directed by the Ministry of Youth and Sports to the Chief of Staff on 15th August 2011.
According to Agra, The Chief of Staff wrote to the Finance Minister to approve the expenditure on August 23, 2011, adding that on 1st September, 2011, the Finance Minister then directed the Controller and Accountant General to release the funds.
Explaining further, the Director General stated that the release of funds was concluded on the 2nd September, 2011 just a day to the tournament and more than three weeks after the request had been submitted by the NSA.
These explanations are contained in a letter written to the Minister of Youth and Sports on Wednesday, May 9, by the NSA Director General.
Mr Agra noted that the Committee on the contrary, created an erroneous impression that funds were provided on the 12th day of August 2011, instead of 2nd September, 2011 on which the actual funds was released and insisted that the Committee rejected their explanation as some of the challenges and overlooked all documents they tendered in as proof.
“This unfathomable and scandalous error tells the full story of the character of the Report placed before you for your consideration.
“It was this difficult situation of non availability of funds that compelled the Director General to borrow money whiles waiting for the approved funds from the Bank of Ghana, and traveled to Maputo to solve some problems confronted by the contingent.” Agra stated in a 12 page document sighted by the GNA Sports.
Agra indicated that the conclusion of the Committee that, the absence of an International Games Committee was deliberate, without giving any evidence, portrays arbitrariness which falls below the standards of public inquiry.
He denied findings of the Committee which also states that the NSA Board was sidelined, saying a Board Meeting was held on the 25th of August, 2011 and all issues relating to the All Africa Games were discussed including the Budget.
“It was at the same meeting that the number of participants for the tournament was increased resulting in the inclusion of Tennis, Cycling and Swimming. It is also important to note that two members of the Board were added to the official delegation.” He indicted in the letter.
The NSA boss said the Committee was wrong in stating that he single handedly awarded Royal Derby Tours a contract worth US$ 620,000.00 to lift over 200 athletes and officials to Maputo for the All Africa Games.
Mr Agra said, Royal Derby Tours had been one of three service providers to the NSA for the past three years, adding that the decision to engage them was based on capacity of delivery on credit terms, noting that the Entity Tender Committee (ETC) of the NSA played a role in the award of the contract which was in line with existing standard practice.
He further added that records indicates that there was no single award of GH¢66,000.00 to Kwashie Tailors and argued that there were three different awards in line with the non-tender limit of GH¢25,000.00, an itemized bill of transaction, mode of delivery and distribution of the attire sewn by Kwashie Tailors which were all tendered at the Committee sittings, but were overlooked.
On the award of a catering contract to Trafix Catering Service, Agra said the company provided services for the Unity Games, fed athletes preparing for the All Africa Games and provided an invoice of GH¢92,265.88 as cost of feeding 200 athletes; and explained that the whole transaction was handled by the Technical Head of the NSA.
He said after a post-auditing review, it was suggested that the number of athletes taken care-of, were less than 200 hence the need for Trafix Catering to refund the difference.
According to Agra, the matter is in dispute as lawyers of the company have responded that it acted on a basis of a contract to feed 200 athletes.
Mr Agra said the Committee’s report that the Entity Tender Committee (ETC) of the NSA is dominated by management members of the NSA and that the assertion that it is incapable of independent evaluation and assessment were baseless.
“I want to state emphatically here that, the constitution of the Entity Tender Committee (ETC) of the Sports Authority is in line with the Public Services statute. It is therefore mischievous to make such claim against such a competent entity.” Agra stated.
The NSA boss, who has come under intense pressure after contents of the Report was leaked, also rejected the Committee’s recommendation for an institutional restructure, saying administrative and organizational structure of the NSA is determined by established Public Service regulations.
“The need for restructuring of the entire Public Service to make it more efficient and transparent falls under a broader scope of concern and cannot be addressed by a Committee whose members have no adequate Public Service experience.” He noted.**