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Sunday 24 March 2019
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Cycling boss says NSOs may get stigma

Following NGC’s audit of TTCB…

TT cycling boss Robert Farrier, right, shakes the hand of former International Cycling Union (UCI) president Brian Cookson.
TT cycling boss Robert Farrier, right, shakes the hand of former International Cycling Union (UCI) president Brian Cookson.

PRESIDENT of the TT Cycling Federation Robert Farrier says national sporting organisations (NSOs) may get a bad image owing to the National Gas Company(NGC)/TT Cricket Board audit.

A financial audit by the NGC, has shown that 24 per cent of its funds to the local cricket body was not spent according to stipulation. The audit showed that between 2014 and 2016, $2,983,000 was spent without NGC approval and not in accordance with the memorandum of understanding (MOU).

The TTCB president Azim Bassarath said the funds that were under utilised were reallocated to other cricket programmes under the NGC sponsorship.

National League representative Daren Ganga, who has been questioning the running of the TTCB for years, brought the situation into the public domain. Since then, there have been calls for the entire TTCB executive to resign.

Farrier said sponsors and NSOs must play their part to ensure funding is not misused. “It is always good for sponsors to do internal audits on their sponsorship agreements with organisations. It is also important for sporting organisations to put clear governance policies where those things are concerned.”

Farrier said the terminology used in MOUs must be clear to both sponsor and the national sporting body to avoid any confusion between the parties.

Farrier said the NGC/TTCB issue may affect the image of other sporting bodies. “The media is not a place to address these issues. I think those things could have been sorted out among the parties, because when this happens it puts other sporting organisations at a disadvantage. It is already a stigma attached to sporting organisations, where volunteers run organisations and there always seems to be that lack of transparency when it comes to funds,” Farrier said.

Farrier, asked about the practice of reallocating funds, said a sponsor may allow it if the NSO communicates properly with their sponsor.

“I think most NSOs are challenged for funding. However, those things (reallocating funds) should have been communicated in a proper manner to avoid this situation. I don’t think a sponsor would have a problem with knowing you are using funds for another cricket programme.”

Section (1) clause (iv) of the MOU signed by the TTCB and NGC expressly stated, “TTCB shall not transfer disbursement allocated to any of the line items on the Funding Requirement and Disbursement Schedule to items not included in this schedule unless agreed to by the NGC. All requests for transference must be made in writing. NGC reserves the right to refuse any such request for transference.”

According to the audit, the TTCB did not inform NGC of their intention to reallocate funds.

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