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Pm Confirms Sports Audit Goes To Police

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.

By MORGAN ADDERLEY

Tribune Staff Reporter

madderley@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis yesterday said he is referring the matter concerning the Auditor General’s report into the National Sports Authority to the commissioner of police for “proper investigation”.

Dr Minnis made these remarks while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a loan signing ceremony. “I would have spoken to the commissioner of police, I would have spoken to (the) attorney general and I would have spoken to the auditor general,” Dr Minnis said. “And I informed the commissioner of police that I’m sending (a) report to him so that they can do a proper investigation and deal with the matter appropriately.”

These comments came one day after Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister K Peter Turnquest said the government is now considering whether to launch a forensic audit into the NSA for a legal basis to recover funds.

Meanwhile yesterday, Progressive Liberal Party Chairman Fred Mitchell hit back at Mr Turnquest in a statement, saying the paperwork Auditor General Terrance Bastian “claims” is missing is “right there”.

“Almost two years into their administration, the (Free National Movement) FNM is still not governing but wasting time chasing after their tails,” Mr Mitchell said.

“If anyone had any doubt that the political fix was in when the auditor general wrote the report that seemed to suggest missing money at the National Sports Authority, the announcement by (Mr Turnquest) that he is considering a forensic audit to find the legal basis to recover the monies paid confirms that the fix is in.

“The former Sports Minister Dr Danny Johnson has laid out chapter and verse the value for money that the government obtained during his time as minister. It was just as we predicted.

“The paperwork that the auditor general claims cannot be found is right there. The FNM has control of all of the government’s files, not the PLP.”

Mr Mitchell also said what is “really operating here” is a “continued campaign of denigrating the PLP and its work” by the FNM leading up to the next general election.

“The PLP has evidence of past audits where claims have been made about one thing or the next with regard to expenditure under the governance of the PLP, only to find that the premise on which the accusations were made was entirely false,” Mr Mitchell continued.

“We have no doubt that this is the same scenario at work here, again. An auditor can only speak to what they find on the day they showed up for the audit.”

Last week it was reported that during his audit of the NSA, Mr Bastian found that contracts for work issued by the entity were not transparent and its financial allocation from the government increased by more than $3.3m in the fiscal year containing the May 2017 general election.

Mr Bastian’s report further uncovered how one company received more than $1m in taxpayer funds, but did not complete any of ten deliverables promised to the NSA.

While the report did not name any of the companies to which it referred, research by Tribune Business reveals that the one which received the $1m despite not performing its global sporting and entertainment giant, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG).

AEG’s management and consultancy deal with the NSA was much-touted by former Prime Minister Perry Christie, who even suggested the group could bring the Los Angeles Lakers and other sporting teams in which it has an ownership stake to the Bahamas, Tribune Business reported.

The auditor general’s report also concluded NSA’s accounting practices did not fully comply with regulations and weaknesses were apparent.

In reviewing the engagement of certain employees – some without the necessary qualifications - how they were paid and the “unusual” handling of petty cash, Mr Bastian said the NSA did not adhere to the Financial Administration and Audit Act 2010, Financial Regulations 1975 and the Sports Authority Act 2011.

Irregularities regarding their terms of work were revealed in the audit report, tabled in the House of Assembly on Wednesday, which covered the operations of the authority from July 2011 to December 2017.

Over the weekend, Dr Johnson also defended his ministry’s accomplishments in a letter to the editor, stating he took “full and unmitigated” responsibility for the conduct of affairs, administration and protocols of the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture during his tenure.

The former sports minister added he was not surprised by the “recent back jumping exercise of others to pay homage and obedience to their political masters,” and appealed for young Bahamians to be given a chance to be the best in the sporting industry.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 8 months, 1 week ago

Just how many times does Minnis want to foolishly crawl down the same rabbit hole? The very definition of insanity is repeating the same mistake over and over again with the expectation of a different outcome. The police are no longer capable of doing proper criminal investigations, the attorney-general (Carl Bethel) is unable to competently discharge his functions and properly manage his office, and many of those employed within the offices of the AG and director of prosecutions have proven themselves to be nothing but a flopping fizzle when it comes to handling most cases that have a politically charged air about them. Minnis has taken us down this same road many times before, only to come up empty handed. He's already 0 for 4 by my count, and each one of these cases costs us a small fortune. Having failed to catch the criminal whales, it seems Minnis is now resorting to going after the criminal guppies. Come on Minnis, give us a break...there's only so much VAT we can stomach and you seem hell-bent on squandering our VAT dollars at every opportunity you get. Stop letting your arrogance and nastiness get the better of both you and our tax dollars!

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licks2 8 months ago

Ya know ya talking nonsense there fella now? A country don't. . .can't run like a stupid farm fulla chickens them like you suggesting there aye? Settle down and read what you saying. . ."YOON MAKING NO SENSE". . .YOU THINK YOU LIVE IN A BARN AYE? I wonder what you ger say when they come and just "grab up" ya tail and deny you all justice. . .pronounce you guilty and put you in jail using that jumbled up extra-judicial nonsense you advocate there!!

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pro_test 8 months ago

What our tax money you talking about. first explain this. you said this.

Well_mudda_take_sic19 minutes ago I self-deported myself, my family and my small fortune quite a few years ago. I now spend most of my time between my ranch in Montana, my condo in Toronto and my villa in Costa Rica. My home in the Bahamas is under lease for the next several years (leased by a foreigner). In another few years, when the U.S. economy rolls-over, you're going to be wishing you could have done the same. ROWL

Cause you sound like a Bahamas hater and just want to destroy this country on the sly.

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birdiestrachan 8 months, 1 week ago

May I suggest that doc turn himself over to the Police along with the report.

If telling LIES is a crime then doc is guilty.

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TigerB 8 months, 1 week ago

I saw the information from that report, not sure why the previous administration be barking about transparency with this government and they never had any on their watch. lock 'em all up. Brave dem never supported the findings of the Auditor general, I guess the P.L.P is always right, even when they are wrong when it comes to the people's money. I saw the former minister on TV upset and admit to no wrong doing, I hope for his sake he right. Too much teefin does be goin on in the public arena. I hope PM Minnis dem taking note too.

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ThisIsOurs 8 months, 1 week ago

We just signed a 30 million dollar contract with the PM saying "I HAVE NO IDEA HOW LONG IT WILL TAKE". Who asks fir 30 million dollars without knowing how the money will be used and how long it will take. If you have no idea you get 100,000 and do a requirements phase which tells you exactly what has to be done and provides all the deliverables and time line. THEN you can ask for the big money. When you ask for big money with "no idea" The money good as gone.

30 MILLION.

And we asking the police to investigate 1.2????

The auditor general needs to stop what he's doing immediately. Write everything off and start investigating CURRENT contracts. The ones we can do something about.

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licks2 8 months ago

WHAT YOU TALKING ABOUT? Let us go read it for ourselves. . .yoon making much sense here Sir!! Please give me where I can find that story. . .then I will come back and comment. . .but for right up in now. . .WHAT PROJECT YOU TALKING ABOUT?

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sheeprunner12 8 months, 1 week ago

Where or WHO is the Bahamian version of Bob Mueller to uncover this money mess in the NSA? .......... and scores of other Government agencies, authorities, departments, and corporations?????

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DDK 8 months ago

We ain't got none! How could we?

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sheeprunner12 8 months ago

Well the AudGen is doing a fine job uncovering shaddiness in some Departments .......... He should be the first Ombudsman of this country .......... There is time to shake up this status quo

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