by Zena Henry
An investigation is to be launched into the alleged disappearance of items belonging, in particular, to the National Sports Commission (NSC), Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Alfred King.
This follows a report by State newspaper, Chronicle which alleged that numerous documents detailing the spending of millions of dollars at the NSC went missing from the office of Director of Sport Neil Kumar who held the position for some 22 years.
The PS said that, any unauthorized movement of public records and state assets or the destruction of such is a criminal act. He said he heard of the allegations and a “thorough investigated will be held.”
He said too, “Whatever is the outcome we will be supportive of that.” King suggested however that the agency’s inventory and record-keeping documents would have to give an idea of what might have been removed.
In light of the change in government, the administration has found the need to beef up security at public offices to protect records and assets. The A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) government late last week heightened security detail to government agencies as it was recognized that information were allegedly being removed or destroyed.
“Clear instructions are given to all heads to ensure that the government records and assets remain intact for a smooth transition that we anticipate will be very professional,” said King.
“We expect a professional transition meaning, records, assets; inventories must remain intact to be properly handed over to whoever next is appointed to take responsibility of those things.”
The PS noted that the ministry has put security measures in place, not to deprive public access, to sporting and culture facilities, but the security check was beefed up for persons who are going into the various facilities and also leaving. Strict instructions were also given to security personnel that no one should be moving that which is supposed to be public assets and or records.
As far as it is known King said Kumar is still employed as the Director of Sports on a contract basis. He said he spoke with him on the allegation and the information received was based on a media report about assets being taken to the Palms for an event.
King said on Sunday, he directed security personnel to place locks on the ministry’s building facilities and to ensure that persons are approved to get in and properly checked out. The decision was made with instructions from the Office of the President. In the meantime, the appointment of the Minister will see deeper view into the allegations.
It is stated that the NSC functions based on the NSC Act and is answerable to the designated Minister who lays the agency’s annual report in Parliament.
The former Administration had been continuously accused of massive corruption. The current government is undergoing a transition phase from the former government and the tracking of state funds, assets and records is a priority.