SVGFF making headway, despite fallouts
December 6, 2013
SVGFF making headway, despite fallouts

Despite having had one of its bank accounts garnished, the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF) is said to be making headway towards accounting for the more than $96,000 which is outstanding.{{more}}

President of the SVGFF Venold Coombs acknowledged to SEARCHLIGHT last Wednesday that the account had been garnished through a court order, because of an outstanding debt which was never serviced.

Coombs was quick to admit that the debt was not incurred by his executive, but by the St Claire Leacock led administration. The local football head, however, was confident that things would be sorted out in the shortest possible time.

But Coombs was even more confident in the manner in which his secretariat is going about accounting for the $96,485.00.

“We are making a lot of headway in that regard… We have gone to our banks, made the requests and got the proper documents,” Coombs noted.

“…At present, we have accounted for just over 91 per cent of the monies unaccounted, but again it was no fault of ours,” Coombs said.

Staying on course with his previous claims, Coombs reiterated that the blame must be put on the auditors, BDO, for not being thorough in their work.

Arion Barnwell of BDO, however, declined to comment when contacted by SEARCHLIGHT, saying that being bound by the code of professional conduct, she could not discuss client related matters with external parties.

The auditors, however, in their report, made mention of “internal control deficiencies” of the secretariat of the SVGFF, which have led to them giving the SVGFF “a qualified opinion”.

“Because of internal control deficiencies surrounding disbursements, we are unable to satisfy ourselves with respect to expenses amounting to $96,485 which are included in administrative expenses, Win-in-CONCACAF-with-CONCACAF youth development expenses and local federation expenses,” the BDO report noted.

But Coombs said, showing a document to SEARCHLIGHT: “We have since written to the auditors outlining to her that we are getting somewhere with the outstanding monies and their supporting documents… And, I can assure you as you see here, every cent was spent on football and football matters.”

The issue of the unaccounted funds was the hot topic when the SVGFF held its overdue Annual General Meeting on Saturday, November 9, at its office on Bentinck Square.

At that meeting, second vice president and treasurer of the SVGFF Marvin Fraser took full responsibility for the inefficiencies of the accounting system.

The affiliates at the meeting also gave the executive up to the first quarter of 2014 to report back to them on the unaccounted funds.

But Coombs believes that his executive may have to summon the affiliates before, since they are making steady progress in reconciling the funds.

“We might just have to call the affiliates before that, as we have put a lot of things in place here in light of what we have encountered and we are getting somewhere,” Coombs advised.

He praised the efforts of his accounts staff for such “progress”.

“This executive and this president are here in the interest of football and nothing else”, Coombs concluded.

The current executive of the SVGFF was voted into office in September 2011 for a four-year term.

Since its installation, committee member Guy Lowe was dismissed by Coombs, while first vice president Lloyd Small tendered his resignation.(RT)