CLINT CHAN TACK
THE final audit reports for the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians’ Organisation (TUCO), Pan Trinbago and National Carnival Bandleaders Association (NCBA) will be sent to the Auditor-General. Cabinet has requested the Auditor-General provide an urgent response on these reports within one month. The Parliament will be informed of Cabinet’s decision on this matter. Community Development, Culture and the Arts Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly made this announcement yesterday in the House of Representatives.
Gadsby-Dolly identified areas of concern found in the audits. These included no documentation for tenders for the selection of vendors for signficant purchases over $100,000; no evidence that tendering processes happened before vendors were selected;
Annual budget allocations being significantly less than their requests to NCC; conflicts of interests regarding executives being awarded contracts for the procurement of goods and services. negative net current assets value from 2013 to 2017 and increases in bank overdrafts, loans and amounts payable in relation to events held for financial years 2015 and 16.
The ministry provides funding to TUCO, NCBA and Pan Trinbago through the National Carnival Commisson (NCC). The audit reports for these groups cover the period October 2013 to September 2016. Gadsby-Dolly said the hosting of Carnival, as well as the execution and management of Carnival-related activities, “has been under criticism and scrutiny by members of the special interest groups, other cultural stakeholders and the general public.”
Among the more serious criticisms, she continued, “are the disbursement and alleged mismanagement of funds to the stakeholders of these fraternities.”