Aug 24, 2010

Audit of Carnival groups|Newsd@y


MINISTER of Arts and Multi Culturalism Winston “Gypsy” Peters yesterday issued a no-nonsense warning to the Carnival fraternity as he called for audits of all State-funded Carnival groups, including the National Carnival Bandleaders Association (NCBA).

Peters , who is charged with cultural affairs, warned that if management of any Carnival body is found wanting, that body will face losing its Government subvention. “It is not going to be business as usual,” Peters warned.

“These people have to get their act in order. If it is that they have to be audited, then they will be audited. There are a lot of things that have to change and there will be a lot of things that will be changed,” he said.

His stark warning came in the wake of a Sunday Newsday report detailing questionable spending practices, mismanagement and issues of conflicts of interest at the NCBA, as detailed by the NCBA Secretary’s Report for October 2008 to September 2009.

The report outlined how the body paid $300,000 for a software system from a little known CL Financial Limited subsidiary and reported that it paid over $140,000 for the rent and refurbishment of an office which is virtually unused and not listed in the phonebook among other things.

This is what is needed to ensure that things don't go down the same path. We need to let these organizations know that someone is watching over them. They need to know that all activities will be monitored and that will redound to a better system for the entire carnival festival.

Let us hope that Minister Gypsy and his special advisor Sprangalang have their way and that they can change the current modus operandi. If they can achieve this goal then they would ensure that a remake of the model to benefit the system of Carnival and not just a few interested parties.

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