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Improvements in NSC’S accounting

Ernest Peets, Senate Leader and the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sports (File photograph)

Improvements in accountability are underway at the National Sports Centre after it failed to meet financial reporting obligations.

Ernest Peets, the Minister of Youth, Sports and Recreation, spoke on developments at the centre as senators passed the budget for the ministry yesterday.

Dr Peets said: “We are certainly seeing some recent improvement but all of us are aware that there was a period in the NSC’s not too distant past where there were significant challenges in getting financials to the ministry.

“As of last year, some significant improvements were made prior to my appointment. The board is working very, very hard to ensure that they are remaining compliant.

“It is our expectation that progress will be achieved.”

Numerous financial documents were destroyed from mould and leaks. Ben Smith, Opposition Senate Leader, said he thought it was odd that there was no digital back up of the documents.

Dr Peets said he couldn’t answer the question on whether there was any electronic back up for the accounting system, but said: “They do have the resources necessary now to make sure their financials are on time and audited.”

Dr Peets said that “active plans” are in place to reduce the “exorbitant” energy bill at the centre including the installation of solar panels. This would free up funds for other needed improvements in the long term, he said.

Chances of a second swimming pool at the centre are unlikely in the short term. Dr Peets said: “Without funds it is something that will remain on the long-term plan.”

The Bermuda Amateur Swimming Association’s learn to swim programme is unlikely to run owing to Covid-19 budget cuts, but Dr Peets said that if the situation changes, an application process for funds would be initiated.

Dr Peets responded: “I am aware that the programme is experiencing some difficulties. The programme doesn’t fall under our remit … but it does relate to sport.

“I would hate to see the programme and facility not be a part of overall inventory for our athletes.

“As such, our ministry is standing in the wings waiting to see if there is something that can happen on our end. I know cabinet is aware of that situation.”

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Published March 31, 2021 at 8:51 am (Updated March 30, 2021 at 7:51 am)

Improvements in NSC’S accounting

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