– Minister insists naming commissioners first is import to getting Director of Sport
By Rawle Toney
IN 1993, Samuel Hinds, in his capacity as acting President of Guyana at the time, assented to the National Sports Commission Act which was passed in the sitting of the Sixth Parliament on December 3 that year.
The Act was passed to make provisions for the establishment and functions of the National Sports Commission, which was identified to be responsible for, among other things, the promotion of sports and its organisation by all available methods including to make grants, provide for the establishment, erection and maintenance of sporting and other recreational facilities; to encourage, in cooperation with any sports organisation, the attainment of high standards in sports and to encourage the conduct of sporting activities in accordance with the national policy on sports.
Neil Kumar was the first to be named as Director of Sport and he served in that capacity from 1993 until the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) lost power in the 2015 Elections to the APNU+AFC coalition.
However, after Christopher Jones was installed in the position in 2015, following the March 2, 2020 elections, and the announcement of the return of the PPP/C Government on August 2, many have since been speculating as to who will be Guyana’s third Director of Sport in 27 years.
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr, speaking to reporters this week, said since the March 2 Elections, the PPP/C party has been vocal about being compliant with the laws of the land, and as such, he is insisting that he doesn’t “intend to break the law” when it comes to the appointment of a Director of Sport.
Ramson said it’s not until the NSC is fitted with commissioners, “can we go about having a Director of Sport. So until you have a fully established National Sports Commission, then you’ll have a Director of Sport”.
According to the National Sports Commission Act, Section 11 (1), “The Commission may, after consultation with the Minister. employ upon such terms and conditions as it thinks fit a Director of Sport, and such other officers and employees as the Commission deems necessary for the proper carrying out of its functions.”
The Act outlines the Director of Sport as being the “Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, and subject to any general or specific directions of the Commission, be responsible to the Commission for ensuring that the functions of the Commission are properly discharged and objectives achieved.”
The Director of Sport shall be responsible for “managing the Secretariat of the Commission; managing the funds as directed by the Commission and preparing quarterly financial reports, accounts for presentation at meetings of the commission; causing minutes of meetings to be kept, and keeping members of the Commission informed, particularly by presenting an activity report at each meeting of the Commission.”
Meanwhile Ramson said, “Interestingly, even though the Act is what creates the position of Director of Sport, we would’ve had the renewal of a contract even in its absence; the fact that it was already expired.”
The National Sports Commission is a very critical entity in the area of sports development in Guyana.