Get your house in order! - Sports Ministry outlines new approach to funds disbursement

April 25, 2019

Sport Minister Olivia 'Babsy' Grange has announced a "new approach to how the Ministry makes decisions" and how it will "direct investments in sport."

Grange outlined the new approach in a meeting with national sports federations and associations yesterday.

In explaining the reason for the changes, Grange said public funding of sports is an investment for which good returns are expected.

"We must review and update our processes to ensure that public money that is invested with sport governing bodies is well managed," she said. "At the end of the day, we must all be able to say we received value for money from our expenditure on sport."

Under the new arrangements, the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) will no longer consider requests for funding from sports federations/associations without a full accounting for monies being requested. Associations are also now required to submit outstanding financial reports to be eligible for further financial support.

Grange made clear that the new requirement will also apply in the case of requests to use national sports facilities. The new approach also has implications not only for sports governing bodies but for other entities that organise and promote competitions and which seek sponsorship from the SDF and from the Ministry.

"I believe this new requirement will help us to bring about greater accountability -- which is something that we all desire," Grange said. "Greater accountability will also make local federations more attractive to private sector sponsors. There is no downside to having greater accountability."

The minister pointed out that some national federations/associations do not routinely submit financial reports, and urged them to move swiftly to become compliant with the reporting requirements.

"If you receive over $5 million from the Sports Development Foundation as subvention, you must provide audited financial statements annually. If you receive below $5 million, you need to submit a financial statement.

"The organisations that receive monthly subventions must submit quarterly reports.

"And so I'm putting everybody on notice. If [your quarterly reports are] not submitted, your monthly subvention will be held. In other words, I'm saying to you, we have to get our house in order. We have to respond to you when you call on us, so you need to get your house in order so that we, as a team, can proudly say to the people of Jamaica 'Your money is being wisely spent'".

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