PNP objects to appointment of Sports Development Foundation board

PNP objects to appointment of Sports Development Foundation board

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The People's National Party (PNP) is voicing strong objections to the announced appointment of the board of the Sports Development Foundation (SDF).

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange recently announced the appointment of members of the Board of Directors for the SDF, who she said will advance the Government's mandate to develop sport from the grassroots to the high performance level.

George Soutar now chairs the SDF Board with Lloyd Pommells as deputy chairman, while, the other members are David Shirley, Molly Rhone, Donovan Bennett, Christopher Stokes, Annmarie Heron, Newton Amos and Compton Rodney.

The appointments are for a period of two years with effect from November 12.

PNP, through its spokesperson on sports, Natalie Neita Headley, said this appointment is in stark contravention of the articles of the SDF and serves only to politicise the entity.

“The SDF was established as a private entity and was designed in such a way as to prevent political interference and manipulation of the funds under its control. The articles of association of the SDF are very specific in how members of the board are appointed. Items 42 to 47 of the Articles of Association deal specifically with the matter of appointment and removal of directors and contain a breakdown of the composition of the board,” PNP said.

“The minister has thrown this out the window and has taken it upon herself to name the board of the SDF in breach of the articles of the SDF. The Government of the JLP and minster Grange in particular seems to have a particular fixation with breaching the articles of the SDF as a similar action was taken by the minister when she held the post in 2007,” the statement continued.

The Opposition said the SDF has contributed billions of dollars to local sports throughout its existence in keeping with its mandate, and recognised sports associations not only benefit from monthly subventions, but share in the acquisition of structural projects undertaken by the SDF.

“While it may be argued that there could be improvements in the efficiency and spend of the SDF, there is nothing to indicate that there is a need to change its nature, restructure its articles, or to reconstitute the manner in which the board is appointed.

“We are vehemently opposed to the blatant breach of the articles of the SDF by the minister, as this move only serves to disrupt the non-partisan nature of the SDF and will now open it up to political influence and consideration,” PNP said.

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