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Closer financial scrutiny ahead

Thursday, August 9, 2018
Gypsy denies NCC takeover of Pan Trinibago but...

The National Carnival Commission (NCC) has begun monitoring all Government subventions handed to Pan Trinbago, the Unified Calypsonians’ Organisation (TUCO) and the National Carnival Bandleaders’ Association (NCBA) to run their affairs.

This was revealed by NCC chairman Winston “Gypsy” Peters yesterday, as he responded to rumours that the NCC had taken over Pan Trinbago’s operations.

As he denied the rumours, which surfaced on social media, Peters said while it was NCC’s responsibility to monitor subventions of the three organisations to ensure accountability and transparency it was never previously done.

In going forward, Peters said the NCC will ensure Government’s subventions are well spent and bring returns to taxpayers.

“Those are the things we are working on and is now the remit of the NCC. NCC has always been in charge of the subventions but in some ways we may have lapsed in the way we have administered it,” Peters said.

“Those lapses would have to be looked at in a different light. We will call for more string accountability.”

But the move, which came even as Pan Trinbago signed off on a Memorandum of Understanding with Government, was not done haphazardly, as Peters said it was prompted following an audit by the Ministry of Culture into Pan Trinbago, TUCO and NCBA for the periods 2013 to 2016, where certain observations were made.

“Things prompted a lot of decisions being made now,” he said.

While concerns were raised about allegations of financial impropriety at Pan Trinabgo, Peters said where there were funds unaccounted for “somebody will be culpable for it. And whatever has to be done in terms of whatever actions that have to be taken will be taken.”

“We are asking for the accountability of it and searching for where it went wrong. We are going to deal with all aspects of Pan Trinbago in terms of its subventions or any money that the Government will be spending on Pan Trinbago.”

In a press release yesterday, Pan Trinbago said president Keith Diaz and treasurer Andrew Salvador were signatories to a memorandum of agreement which deals with funding of its operations, events and development programme.

“The NCC, apart from funding artistes, has the right to insist on accountability for funds advanced and more than that, to have random audits done,” the release stated.

The steelpan body added that they recognise the usefulness of accountability and transparency.


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