Audit Office hindered in its duties – AG

first_img2017 estimates…grapples with staff shortage after proposed budget slashed by GovtThe proposed budget for the Audit Office of Guyana (AOG) was slashed by the Government side in the National Assembly during consideration of the 2017 Estimates of Expenditure, and the resultant consequences have since included the AOG grappling with not having adequate staff, or adequate funds to pay them.The proposed estimate for the AOG in the last budget was $771.2 million for that constitutional agency that is tasked with auditing ‘the state apparatus’, but Finance Minister Winston Jordan had decreased this sum to $754.9M.Auditor General Deodat Sharma says the AOG has been affected by the cut, being forced to relinquish plans to hire additional staff. And although central government’s accounts have been brought up to date, work has to be done on statutory bodies.“It (the budgetary cut) affected us because we were unable to bring on the rest of the staff that we needed, especially when carrying out our extended mandate,” the Auditor General related in a recent interview.“What is happening (is that) the country’s accounts have been brought up (to date), (and) I’m trying to bring all the other statutory bodies and their accounts up to date,” Sharma pointed out. “And without the adequate staff, it will delay me to bring these accounts up to date.”The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has been vocal in its opposition to the budgetary cut. The party pointed out that the total budgetary allocation for constitutional agencies in 2016 was $8 billion, whereas it is only $6 billion in 2017.Former Junior Finance Minister Bishop Juan Edghill had, during a conference, reminded that a budget was a financial plan which articulated the direction of an organisation and the cost to get there. Therefore, he argued, by cutting the budgets, affected organisations would now have to re-organise priorities and neglect funding for some critical undertakings.“Whenever the Government reduces the allocations for constitutional agencies, they are actually preventing themselves from being scrutinised. For example, the Auditor General would say, ‘This is what we need.’ If you cut the Audit Office (budget), the Auditor General would have to re-organise his priorities, and so something will be left out; which means less scrutiny for Government,” he explained.The AOG has a wide remit, being responsible for auditing the public accounts of Guyana and presenting reports of those audits to the Minister of Finance, thence to the National Assembly. As laid out in Article 223 of the Constitution of Guyana, the AOG is authorised to audit all officers and authorities of the Government, including commissions.Slashing of the AOG’s proposed budget came on the heels of AG Deodat Sharma declaring in his 2015 Audit Report that Government had kept more than $500M, rather than depositing same into the Consolidated Fund. That report, made public in October 2016, had spoken of the millions of dollars used on the D’Urban Park construction, Mashramani celebrations, and $51.5M being spent on ‘music’.Nor was the AOG the only agency to have its proposed funding re-adjusted. PPP Chief Whip Gail Teixeira had lamented that constitutional agencies had altogether requested some $11 billion, but Government was willing to approve only some $6 billion, a difference of over $5 billion.The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has suffered the deepest cut in its budgetary proposals, with its 2017 budgetary request being slashed from $5.8 billion to a mere $2 billion.Government also reduced the budgetary requests for the Ethic Relations Commission (ERC) from $141.2 million to $84.9 million; the Judicial Service Commission’s (JSC’s) budgetary requests from $15.02 million to $10.02million; the Indigenous Peoples’ Commission’s (IPC’s) requests from $33.1 million to $24.4 million; and the Rights of the Child (ROC) Commission’s request from $97 million to only $41.5 million.The Women and Gender Equality Commission requested $62.9 million but received only $42 million, while the Human Rights Commission received $34.1 million of the $74.9 million requested.The Minister of Finance also slashed the budgetary request of the Office of the Ombudsman — still without a head — from $50.3 million to $48.3 million; and the Public Service Appellate Tribunal, which has not yet been established, received $12.4 million of the $13.9 million requested.In response to questions emanating from the Opposition, Minister Jordan had argued that the allocations were made “in context of existing fiscal space and the consideration of the agencies’ requests within national development priorities.” (Jarryl Bryan)last_img read more

Olago slapped with 30-week ban for assault on referee

first_img0Shares0000KCB coach Curtis Olago gestures during the 2017 Enterprise Cup final. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaNAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 16 – KCB’s multiple title winning Head Coach Curtis Olago has been handed a 30 week ban with effect from June 6 following the completion of a judicial process that found him guilty of attacking match official and Kenya Rugby Referee Society Chairman Karimi Mwangi in 2016. The process, led by Judicial Officer Willy Ombisi, reads in part, “pursuant to R20.10.1(c), the Person is suspended from all Rugby activity for a period of 30 weeks, effective from the date of this decision (6 June, 2017). Meanwhile, Resolution Kisii’s Abel Mong’eni was handed a 34 week ban backdated to April 18th. Mong’eni was found guilty of attacking referee David Ng’etich at the close of the side’s KRU Championship 6-3 semifinal win over USIU on 8 April.The verdict, passed by Judicial Officer Bernard Itebete reads in part, ““The JC finds the defendant guilty and suspends the player for 34 weeks effective from 18th April 2017.Under World Rugby regulation 17.19.10(c), the sanction was extended from 24 to 34 weeks to take into account the off-season period when there are no matches where the defendant is scheduled to play.”Lastly, Thika RFC have been banned from using their home venue for 12 weeks following an incident in which a match official was attacked during a KRU Championship match in March.The ban was enforced following the team’s failure to uphold the spirit of the Laws of the Game (in breach of clause 1.2 of the Code of Conduct), promote the reputation of the Game and prevent it from coming into disrepute (in breach of clause 1.9 of the Code of Conduct) by not taking action about the incident on the alleged perpetrators and adversely affected the Game of Rugby (in breach of clause 1.14 of the Code of Conduct).-Courtesy KRU-0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Top 50 Americans in ’22 World Cup player pool

first_imgUnited States Top 100 Americans in the 2022 World Cup player pool Ives Galarcep Last updated 3 months ago 00:05 7/30/19 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(13) Christian Pulisic Weston McKennie Tyler Adams USMNT 11142018 John Dorton United States World Cup As the USMNT begins to march into a new World Cup cycle, it is time to look at the generation of top talent ready to lead the way to 2022 If the 2022 World Cup seems a million years away, it’s because it’s going to feel that way as U.S. national team fans are forced to endure a longer wait than they are used to in order to see their team return to the sport’s biggest stage. The next World Cup is slated to take place in November and December of 2022, adding half a year before we can hope to see American players taking on the world’s best in an event U.S. fans grew to take for granted after qualifying for seven straight tournaments. All that changed in 2017 on a fateful night in Trinidad. The dust has settled since that historic disappointment and the USMNT has a new coach in Gregg Berhalter.   Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player The process of rebuilding the program has begun.  The good news is that there is a considerable amount of young talent on the way up the pipeline – arguably more talent than we have ever seen at once – in MLS and abroad. Christian Pulisic’s meteoric rise in Germany has inspired dozens of fellow Americans to make the jump overseas in search of glory, while more and more teenagers are signing deals in MLS. With that in mind, here is a closer look at the talent pool that will be drawn from to build the next U.S. World Cup — assuming the Americans successfully qualify. The Top 100 is based on a variety of factors, including recent form and high-end potential. This is why some top prospects just beginning their careers are listed ahead of established professionals, and why an elite talent like Giovanni Reyna can be included despite having yet to formally start his professional career. The list excludes some dual-national players who have reportedly expressed interest in playing for the United States but have yet to fully commit, such as Theoson Siebatcheu and Folarin Balogun, though they could be added eventually if they declare for the USA.  After originally excluding players who will be older than 30 by the next World Cup, we are including older players on the revised rankings. Obviously there should be a few players in their 30s on the 2022 U.S. World Cup squad, but the number of players in their 30s is limited on the list, and players such as Tim Ream, Brad Guzan and Fabian Johnson were left out even though they could very well still have parts to play in the next World Cup qualifying cycle.The Top 100 has been updated to reflect changes in status after the Gold Cup, a tournament which served to help boost the stock of some players, while also leaving some others sliding down the list.Here are the Top 100 Americans in the U.S. national team player pool for the 2022 World Cup.last_img read more

Tourism Minister Says Countries Can No Longer Ignore Threat of Pandemics

first_img Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says countries can no longer ignore the imminent threat of pandemics, as world tourism could face a myriad of global challenges in the event of such occurrences. Story Highlights The Minister pointed out that experts have also warned that the world is nowhere near safe from the next pandemic, noting that the number of new diseases per decade has increased nearly fourfold over the past 60 years. Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says countries can no longer ignore the imminent threat of pandemics, as world tourism could face a myriad of global challenges in the event of such occurrences.Addressing an International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank forum on the ‘Tourism Industry and Pandemics’, at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C., on October 13, Mr. Bartlett said among the threats are the possibility of location quarantines; fear to use airports and other centres of mass gatherings; fear of not knowing what to do in case of illness in a foreign land; the need for speedy diagnosis; and cross-border medical insurance.The Minister pointed out that experts have also warned that the world is nowhere near safe from the next pandemic, noting that the number of new diseases per decade has increased nearly fourfold over the past 60 years.He said that since 1980 outbreaks per year have more than tripled, with the 2003 SARs outbreak, which started in Asia, quickly spreading to more than 24 countries in North America, South America, Europe and Asia; and the 2009 H1N1 or Swine Flu outbreak that spread to 120 countries and territories in about eight weeks and was ultimately responsible for over 284,000 deaths.The Minister added that there was the Ebola outbreak in 2014 which accounted for over 11,000 deaths; the HIV/AIDS pandemic which has affected more than 75 million people since its detection in 1981 and has resulted in over 35 million deaths; and more recently there have also been deadly outbreaks caused by migratory insect carriers, such as the Chikungunya and the Zika viruses transmitted by the mosquito.Mr. Bartlett suggested a number of measures to counter the threat of pandemics, including the development of a comprehensive knowledge management and response system; conduct targeted communication; factoring the direct cost of medical care; surveillance and diagnosis; public education; financially sustainable basic research to strengthen preparation, mitigation, response and rebuilding; and a real-time, consistent, reliable and accurate flow of information.The Minister emphasised that there needs to be active networks involving all major tour operators, airports, cruise liners, attraction parks and other service providers, reserve human resources personnel with the skills and training to manage emergency cases, regular simulation exercises that include private and public sector participation, and strong participation of international organizations.Mr. Bartlett urged delegates and members of various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have a vested interest in both human and healthy security, free movement of human beings across borders, a sustainable tourism sector contributing to economic, social and political stability and a healthy ecosystem and a disease-free world, to support the tourism sector’s initiatives to enhance its response capabilities to pandemics. The Minister emphasised that there needs to be active networks involving all major tour operators, airports, cruise liners, attraction parks and other service providers, reserve human resources personnel with the skills and training to manage emergency cases, regular simulation exercises that include private and public sector participation, and strong participation of international organizations.last_img read more