'NO DEVELOPMENT UNIT': Ashwin Creed

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Creed: SporTT not properly set up

By Kern De Freitas

The Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SporTT) is only now being suitably organised to fulfill its mandate, according to acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, Ashwin Creed.

Along with members of the SporTT executive, Creed appeared before a joint select committee (JSC) of Parliament at the Red House in Port of Spain on Friday to answer questions into the operations of the company.

Creed was responding to a question posed by JSC chairman James Armstrong to SporTT CEO Errol Ashby regarding the rental policy of SporTT. After Ashby explained that the Sport Company was currently being restructured, Creed supplemented the answer with a further explanation.

"When the company was set up, it was set up to look at national organisations and sports programmes," he explained. "The company was subsequently given the mandate of overseeing the sports infrastructure construction, so that what is happening now with the company is the company is now setting up itself properly."

Creed added that SporTT was set up with no development unit, no human resources component, and no facility management department.

"The whole question of sport development is now being set up," he said.

He explained further that the mandate of SporTT—which is the implementation arm of the Ministry of Sport—has changed from developing the SporTT policies and working with national sporting organisations (NSOs) to include the construction and oversight of new sport facilities, as well as the upgrading of existing stadiums.

Sebastian Paddington, one of the SporTT directors, told the committee that SporTT is reviewing the projects in the pre-tender, tender, contracting and project management phases of previous projects.

SporTT has already gone through the tender process for the planned national aquatic, cycling and tennis centres in Mucurapo, Mount Hope and Tacarigua, respectively.

Said Paddington: "Our findings were that the procurement procedure was generally along the lines of transparency and accountability, and that has allowed us to continue the process towards the final round of interviews and negotiations. We look to continue where the previous administration left off in those projects."

Ashby reported that SporTT was operating within difficult conditions, having their initial budget of $100 million reduced by $40.2 million.

The Sport Company, he added, must meet the same demands with limited finances.

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