Sat | Sep 18, 2021

‘Unethical and unacceptable’

Charity Authority calls for overdue JOA financial statements as Beckford again demands postponement of AGM

Published:Thursday | July 8, 2021 | 12:11 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
BECKFORD
BECKFORD
SAMUDA
SAMUDA
1
2

Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) presidential candidate Alan Beckford maintains that this weekend’s extraordinary annual general meeting (AGM) should be called off until a more ethical process is employed. Beckford mentioned a letter from the...

Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) presidential candidate Alan Beckford maintains that this weekend’s extraordinary annual general meeting (AGM) should be called off until a more ethical process is employed.

Beckford mentioned a letter from the Charity Authority, which declared that the last JOA Annual Return (financial statement) was made for the period 2018 and 2019.

It said that the JOA is not current on all filing obligations with the Charity Authority and that it has not received the 2020 returns and financial statements that were due by March 30 this year and that the corrected 2018 and 2019 statements are still to be resubmitted.

It also said that the current memorandum of association is dated May 26, 1993, and that there is no document at its office that indicates that the constitution or article was approved at the JOA AGM in December 2018.

Beckford says that the Charity Authority revelation proves that the Christopher Samuda-led JOA is not being managed properly and that failure to produce the 2020 financial audit for the AGM is unethical and unacceptable.

“I don’t think they should call elections without audited financial statements,” Beckford told The Gleaner. “It goes against my grain.

“He (Samuda) said he will not present the financials because he does not have them now. But the IOC (International Olympic Committee) charter says for an AGM, you should have your financial statement. So what this says is that you are incompetent. It is not too late (to call off the election).

“You are paying people (staff) $36 million and they can’t even file things properly. This can’t be good governance.

“There should be audited financials before they called the election. Members must know what is happening with the organisation.”

Beckford mentioned a number of other issues he has with the JOA administration, including questions about sponsorship funds received by the JOA in relation to to salaries.

“People should not vote for a president who clearly cannot manage the organisation, and he does not have good governance either,” Beckford said. “Management and governance go hand in hand.

“We changed the constitution, the members voted for it, and it was required to be lodged in 28 days at the Charity Authority under the Charities Act, and it still has not been done — two and a half years later.”

The Gleaner sought a response from Samuda and Chief Executive Officer Ryan Foster, but calls to both went unanswered.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com