Loan row NSC chairman replaced by government senator
A government backbencher has been replaced as the chairman of the National Sports Centre’s board of trustees after a row over a contract for solar power.
Owen Darrell, a government senator, has taken over from Jache Adams, the Progressive Labour Party MP for Pembroke West.
Mr Adams came under fire last year after he authorised the taking out of a $3.2 million loan to pay for the installation of solar panels at the centre.
But other trustees complained that the loan had been arranged without the board’s approval.
The contract for the solar work was awarded to Atlantic Energy Solutions Group in May 2021.
AESG, which is owned by former PLP chairman Damon Wade, claimed it had funding in place and the NSC would not have to pay up front when it was selected as the preferred bidder in September 2018.
One trustee resigned in protest at the move and a letter of complaint was sent to Jennifer Attride-Stirling, the permanent secretary at the sports ministry, who promised an investigation.
A government spokeswoman said later: “The contract documents for this project were reviewed by the Attorney-General's Chambers.
“The Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sport will continue to work with the trustees of the National Sports Centre to ensure that all financial and project controls required to successfully execute a project of this scale are adhered to.”
A government notice posted on Monday showed that four other trustees on the seven-strong panel had also been replaced. They are Katura Horton-Perinchief, Roger Lee, Earl Basden and Norette Simmons.
The board is now made up of Mark Steede and Vanessa Turner, along with new appointees Wayne Dill, Leon Bascome, Ojeda Smith and Taijuan Talbot.