May 09, 2017 News
…also paid for lights that commission never received
The Director of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Christopher Jones, has found himself in ‘hot water’ after allegedly instructing the accountant of that entity to pay his Personal Assistant, Brian Smith, over $3M by way of
The only trouble is, the payment was for works that were allegedly done by three companies that provided cleaning and other services to the commission during the 2016 Inter Guiana Games.
This newspaper has seen evidence that Smith did not do any work on behalf of the commission and therefore the cheque should not have been paid to him.
What is strange about the request is the fact that Jones had initially instructed Radhika Sukhai, the NSC accountant, to make the said cheque payable to a ‘Mr. Harry’.
Wanting to do due diligence the accountant contacted Mr. Harry who informed her that he had no knowledge of what she was referring to. In fact, the gentleman said he did no such works and was not entitled to that sum.
It was at this point that Jones then changed his request and asked that the cheque be paid to his Personal Assistant, the accountant duly complied and cut the cheque to Smith.
Upon preparing the cheque the accountant sought the signature of one official who refused to sign clearing the payment.
This was brought to the attention of Jones who took the cheque to the Ministry of Education Culture Youth and Sports Permanent Secretary himself and it was then that the cheque payable to Jones’s Personal Assistant was cleared and signed.
When contacted yesterday Jones said that he did not make such a request to the accountant and that yesterday was the first time he is hearing of such an issue. Jones asked this newspaper to send all questions in relation to our queries by email and he will respond.
Additionally, evidence seen by this newspaper showed that on three separate occasions, advances in excess of $4M were received during the conduct of the last Inter Guiana Games in clear breach of financial regulations.
When the advances were cleared by the accountant an examination of the bills and receipts presented showed that no contracts were drawn up for works in excess of $10,000 and in violation of the rules.
Further the accountant found that the bills presented were handwritten and there were no addresses for those contractors who ‘supposedly’ carried out those works.
As if that was not enough, Jones is alleged to have discussed with one NSC commissioner the granting of a $600,000 loan to the Guyana Baseball League for assistance with airfare travel.
On the granting of the loan, Jones verbally assured the accounts department that the money would have been repaid. When the repayment was not forthcoming and Jones was asked to clarify he presented a letter from the Baseball League stating that they were unable to make the repayment.
The Sports Director’s suspect decision-making did not stop there, on another occasion a cheque for $300,000 was made out to one individual for reimbursements for 400 LED lights and the servicing of electronics score board at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
The accountant then informed Jones that a contract was not drawn up for the repairs and the LED lights did not pass through the NSC store. Despite this Jones reportedly instructed that the payment be made.
As if those aforementioned were not enough, the director has been using his personal vehicle to do the work of the commission despite that entity owing its own vehicle.
Jones then claimed expenses from the NSC for the servicing of his vehicle and when fuel was bought for his vehicle the commission repaid him.
When Kaieteur News contacted the Minister of State Joseph Harmon last Sunday, he said that an issue in relation to Jones was brought to his attention and that the matter is being investigated.
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