Gavin Myers, Community Outreach Officer with NIA
With the popularity of road races, runs and walks increasing in Jamaica, National Integrity Action (NIA) is calling for regulation of these events to ensure transparency.
It says the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) which is the national governing body for the sport of athletics is the best entity to manage the process.
Concern has been raised recently that these events are unregulated, there is no entity which checks what happens to the money raised, and little control over how and when they are held.
The matter is being discussed after a Gleaner article last month said there were reports from at least two communities about road walks where the entities which were slated to get the proceeds were yet to receive the funds.
Gavin Myers, Community Outreach Officer with NIA, has suggested that there needs to be greater communication between the organisers of these events and the public to prevent the perception of corruption.
He noted that at the moment, there are no systematic checks being made into such events. He said this can be addressed if road run organisers begin to secure documents from the Ministry of Health, the police and local government for the staging of their events.
He was speaking Thursday morning on TVJ's Smile Jamaica.
In the December 30 Gleaner article, Minister of Health Dr. Christopher Tufton called for the strengthening of protocols for the ministry's gift policy, based on the reality that events such as five-kilometre run/walks are increasingly being promoted as fundraising initiatives for hospitals or health facilities.
Dr. Tufton said as far as he was aware, some of the events are mounted without the appropriate levels of transparency and governance on where the funds end up.