Plans afoot to merge sporting agencies

Report by RJRGLEANER Communications Group Sports Reporter Kayon Raynor

By Kayon Raynor

Plans are far advanced for the merger of sporting agencies such as INSPORTS, the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) and Independence Park Limited, the IPL. The topic was up for discussion during Wednesday's sitting of Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations committee (PAAC).

The question of overlaps and duplication across government run sporting agencies such as INSPORTS, the IPL and the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) was raised by Leslie Campbell, a member of Parliament's PAAC. This came as the management of the SDF, INSPORTS and the Jamaica Anti-Doping commission appeared before the committee.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of sports, Denzil Thorpe was quick off the blocks with this response, later telling RJR Sports that plans for mergers and streamlining of the agencies are far advanced under the Public Sector Transformation Unit.

Further checks by RJR Sports with Sports Minister Olivia Grange revealed that in the long run, the SDF will focus on raising funds overseas and locally; the IPL will deal with infrastruture development, while INSPORTS will focus on sports development at the grassroots and community level.

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary Thorpe is also calling for sports to receive a bigger share of the national budget from the ministry of finance to better aid with development plans. Currently between $550 million and $600 million  go towards the Sports Development Foundation (SDF), from the lottery, via the consolidated fund and CHASE to build out infrastructure and assist with the development of sports.

General Manager of the SDF, Ddenzil Wilks, says in addition to monthly subventions to 42 sporting organisations ammounting to $150 million per year; $140 million for inftrastructure as well as expenses relating to specials projects and administration, the budget is constantly under pressure. PAAC chairman Wykeham McNeil has called for a report from ministry within three months.

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