Cricket

First salvos?

Heaven questions JCA election delay

BY SANJAY MYERS Observer staff reporter myerss@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, October 24, 2013    

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AS time winds down for the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and the widely talked-about election of its new executive, one presidential challenger is questioning the move from the originally proposed date.

For several weeks, November 7, 2013 was bandied about as being the expected date for the AGM, but JCA Treasurer Nigel Logan said there may be a "two-week delay at most" as a result of the review being done on a draft copy of the association's financials.

"The board of the JCA met last week. Normally we get a draft and we go through before we get the final draft. We expect to receive a final draft of the 2011-12 audited accounts this weekend," Logan told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

But William 'Billy' Heaven, who is running against current Vice President Milton Henry for the job of leader of the JCA, has fired an early salvo by charging that there is "some effort or attempt to delay" the process.

"There is some effort or attempt to delay the calling of the elections. A draft for the audit was provided over two weeks ago," said Heaven, the CEO of the CHASE Fund.

"Last [Tuesday] night, he [Logan] said there were issues with it and the auditors were reviewing the audit. I said it's unusual for an auditor to review the audit, and why they've gone back to review the audit.

"The draft is available and ready, so it has to be a tactic...which I said to them because I don't hang around and I don't waste my time," he added.

When asked why there would be an attempt to delay the staging of the election, Heaven, who is also the chairman of the JCA's audit and finance committee, said: "Some people use time as a strategy. Maybe they [want] to get momentum over time."

Logan, who will run on Henry's ticket to remain as treasurer, did not specify what has forced a review of the draft by the external auditors. However, he flatly denied any ulterior motive behind the delay.

He branded as "mischievous" anyone suggesting that the delay is a deliberate ploy.

"It should be a two-week delay at most. Persons should desist from turning activities like this into political football. I'm not calling anybody's name.

"For a delay of two weeks and to suggest that is somehow political is really being mischievous. People are doing their work, and they are doing it quicker this time as a matter of fact to facilitate an early AGM," an openly disappointed Logan said.

Unlike Logan, Henry, identified Heaven as he expressed disappointment with the accusation coming from the man whom he will face at the polls.

"I believe that is disappointing, because Mr Heaven chairs the finance committee, and I would not expect him to say that. To me, [it is] somewhat unfortunate that that argument could be levelled. I do know that the treasury has been working very hard, with the auditors, to get the financials ready," Henry said.

Logan explained that, after next week's meeting of the finance and audit committee, the JCA board members will be able to set a meeting to approve the accounts and ultimately confirm a date for the AGM.

The Observer understands that under the JCA Constitution, a 21-day notice of the AGM's date is mandatory following the approval of the financials.

He continued: "I think the members of the association would be interested in seeing that the association has up-to-date accounts and that is what we are working towards.

"The audit started in July or August, so actually we are going to get a draft and be able to approve the accounts in a little over two months. I think that is actually excellent.

"I can't see why the excitement because, to tell you the truth, this is an improvement in the situation."

The JCA elections are held every two years.

Logan said the previous AGM was held in September 2012.

In 2011, the general meeting and elections, which were stricken by a series of frustrating delays, were held in May. At that AGM, Lyndel Wright, the now outgoing president, dethroned Paul Campbell.

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