Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Creed applies for more leave


out of the country: Ashwin Creed

Mark Fraser

The funding and recipients of the LifeSport programme were identified in an investigative series by the Express newspapers. Following the stories, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar directed Finance Minister Larry Howai to initiate an audit into the programme and transferred it out of Sport to the Ministry of National Security. National Security Minister Gary Griffith said LifeSport will now be directed by the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sport Ashwin Creed did not show up for work yesterday.

Creed, who has been absent from the ministry since May 13, yesterday requested an additional month’s leave from line minister Anil Roberts.

No request was made to head of the Public Service, Reynold Cooper, who is out of the country, but is expected back at work today.

Creed’s request to extend his leave to July 31 was yesterday approved by Roberts.

Ian Ramdahin, the acting PS in the Ministry of Sport, yesterday confirmed that his acting appointment, as a consequence, had been extended until the end of the month.

The Express understands that Creed, the deputy director of Physical Education and Sport at the Ministry of Sport Ruth Marchan and Cornelius Price, the director of LifeSport, are supposed to be interviewed by the Central Audit Committee of the Ministry of Finance this week as the report is supposed to be completed by next week.

However, Creed remains out of the jurisdiction on family business and Marchan is now in a Jack Warner safe house after seeking his help following alleged threats against her life for exposing corruption in the LifeSport programme.

Marchan’s bodyguard, Curtis “Tallman” Gibson, was murdered last week. She believes his murder has to do with the fallout from LifeSport.

On Monday, his lawyer, Peter Taylor, said his client, Creed, would return to work: “He instructs that when his business abroad is completed he will be available,” he said.

Creed, who has been in and out of the country since April, is the ministry’s accounting officer and is not present while an audit, initiated by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, is being conducted into how funds in the LifeSport programme was spent.  

LifeSport’s expenses since 2012 have amounted to about $400 million.

AS PS, Creed must make annual declarations to the Integrity Commission.

The Express was told Creed will probably proceed on early retirement leave.