Calls on the ministers involved to publicly endorse this report
It is now crystal clear why the former Minister Nadir never released the Rupert Foster Report (RFR) to the GCB and the public at large. We are now proud to proclaim that this report fully exonerates the GCB and its operations. Even though there were a few minor concerns, there was nothing of substance to trigger off alarm bells.
The Friendly Societies Registrar, Kareem Abdul Jabar had made an Order under Section 51 of the Friendly Societies Act Chapter 36:04 concerning the GCB on February 2nd 2011, which stated:
‘By virtue of the powers vested in me under Section 5 1(1) of the Friendly Societies Act, Chapter 36:04, I hereby appoint Mr. Rupert Foster of Lot 49 Kururu Kururu, Linden Highway to INQUIRE INTO THE CONSTITUTION< WORKING AND FINANCIAL CONDITION OF THE GCB Regd. #1121 and to make recommendations as may be deemed necessary.
The inquiry shall be held at such time and place as the person herein authorized shall direct, and all officers and members of the Society shall furnish such information in regard to the affairs of the Society(GCB), and produce the cash in hand and such books, accounts, papers and securities of the Society as the person herein authorized may require.
The Inquirer shall examine closely the Registered Rules(constitution) with regard to specifically Nos. 5, 6, 9,11,12,16,21,22 and 23; inter alia statutory audit, annual return and management accounting documents.’
Mr Foster duly completed his report for the periods 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 on the 22nd February, 2011(one year ago) and submitted same to the Friendly Societies Registrar. After several subsequent meetings with the Executive Committee of the GCB, this report was then submitted to Minister Nadir where it has since stuck.
During the course of this Inquiry, Mr. Foster interviewed 24 persons, including all members of Executive Committee (EC) of the GCB and others directly connected with the activities of the GCB such as the staff of the GCB, its auditors, PKF Barcellos, contractor of the hostel and Mr Alfred King, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Sports.
He also entertained a written submission from a very vocal Group, comprising the following persons: Bissoondyal Singh, Ronald Williams, Claude Raphael, Emily Dodson and Roger Harper, of a list of 11 specific issues that centered largely on allegations of financial irregularities, alleged breaches of financial systems and delinquency.
This Group’s submission to the Inquirer mirrored the issues that were being peddled in the news media. Mr. Foster also examined the forensic audit completed by Design & Construction Services Ltd. All of these claims from this famous Group were dealt with individually by Mr. Foster and reveals the Group’s ignorance of the actual working of the Guyana Cricket Board and indeed clearly show a reluctance on the part of Mr. Bissoondyal Singh and Mr. Raphael to get involved in the supervision of projects, but instead they had hoped someone else would do the actual work.
This report has clearly revealed the sinister motives of this Group with their relentless and reckless actions in making false allegations of financial irregularities against the EC of the GCB since these were all aimed at hijacking the operations of the GCB by whatever means.
This Group has now been exposed after having displayed a distinct propensity and ability to manipulate the political spectrum and the media at large with its wild allegations against the GCB and should be condemned by all prudent persons. This was a carefully orchestrated plot.
This Inquiry was prompted by the need for the Registrar of Friendly Societies to clear all doubts raised in the media relating to the proper management of and accountability for the affairs of the GCB, which were widely publicized by this said Grouping of disgruntled persons. During Mr. Foster’s comment in his report he stated” In the execution of his task as Inquirer he found no real cause for alarm as he processed data considered relevant to the state of affairs and financial probity of the GCB’. He further stated that he found a deep commitment to the welfare and progress of cricket in Guyana being expressed by all of the members of the EC of the GCB. He also found that the EC members were men of competence and ability in their right.
One was responsible for managing the resources of a billion dollar public company, and others own and manage successful businesses, or otherwise execute responsible functions within the government service and private enterprise within Guyana.
Further, he found that, despite all the highlighted internal communication failures, the EC of the GCB has managed the financial affairs of the Board creditably, and he accepted the audit reports of the Auditors, PKF Barcellos, Narine & Co.
The main body of his report, with its appendices, tends to indicate that there was a need for greater inclusiveness in the decision making process, and for a greater consciousness of the concept of collective responsibility at the level of the EC of the GCB.
Mr Foster then went on to list 15 recommendations which included such issues as:
· Review of the constitution
· Develop proper terms of employment for the staff of the GCB
· Construct and maintain an asset register
· Making better written arrangements with sponsors and reporting to the EC
· Commitment from the EC towards the principle of collective responsibility in word and deed
· Conduct all media contact through the PRO of the Board
· Submitting of supporting documents for all payments to third parties
· EC members to make better use of the records of the GCB
· Management style of the GCB to be more inclusive and open
· Invoking the terms of the constitution towards delinquent members
· Meet with the Hostels review team to clarify aspects of their report
· Construct and maintain a list of active cricketers for all levels
“All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. “Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take.”…. M.K. Ghandi
The current EC of the GCB is pleased to be finally in receipt of the Rupert Foster Report (RFR) and we would have been even happier to have received this from the then Minister of Labour, Mr. Manzoor Nadir.
We have since commenced circulating this famous report, countrywide and worldwide, including to our President and Ministers in Government who has displayed such a keen interest in the financial affairs of the GCB, Opposition leaders, Commissioner of Police, Caricom Secretary General, WICB, and the media. Anyone wishing a copy can make contact with any member of the EC or the Offices of the GCB.
Mr. Foster must be commended for conducting such a thoroughly professional audit and inquiry and the GCB has carefully noted all of the comments and recommendations contained in the report for immediate discussion and implementation. Many aspects have already been implemented.
Constructive criticism is an invaluable resource and indeed excellence can only be achieved by those who are willing to listen to dissenting opinions.
The RFR will be subject to intense scrutiny and it is important to note that the executive of the GCB has undergone changes since the report was commissioned. Mr. Ronald Williams, a former Assistant Secretary of the GCB, who made an $80 million dollar mistake is no longer with us and Mr. Bissoondyal Singh, the vice-president who signed a canceled letter providing data and statistics for a visa application for a player, who may not have competed at the National age group level (as presented in evidence by Mr. Jaigobin) while still being the President of the East Coast Cricket Board is also not a member of the current executive.
Both of these gentlemen are members of the GOG IMC. Mr. Harper was/is not a member of the executive of the GCB and can be excused for not knowing how it operates and can also be excused for asking irrelevant and baseless questions.
However, Mr. Harper would be well advised to seek proper counsel before making such reckless allegations. We can assure all concerned that our new executive does not suffer from the internal communication failures highlighted in the RFR as all are literate and cognizant of the operational procedures of the GCB.
The GCB is about to start its annual internal audit and we are sure minor issues will again surface. There are no perfect organizations, however, that should not stop the quest for perfection as it often leads to excellence.
In this regard, we have just written to the Minister of Sports to appoint an independent Auditor of his choice to work along with our Auditors during this annual exercise and we eagerly await his response.
In addition, we have also invited him to appoint a fulltime auditor to work in our Offices, obviously at his Ministry’s expense.
The Guyana Cricket Board will continue to strive for excellence on and off the field.
Released by the Guyana Cricket Board.
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