Query over funds for Arafura Games

Normal, Sports

The National – Wednesday, June 15, 2011

RECOMMENDATIONS have been made to the PNG Sports Foundation board for a full financial on how funds allocated for the Arafura Games in Darwin were spent last month.
The government had allocated K700,000 while an additional K130,000 was given by the National Gaming Control Board for the games.
A source made the recommendation after a sport (named) and its athletes to the Arafura Games in Darwin last month expressed dissatisfaction over the disbursement of K130,000 earmarked for athletes’ levy fees.
The sport, travelling under the auspicious of Team PNG, claimed that the PNG Sports Foundation had never fully refunded their K1,000 levy fee paid by the National Gaming Control Board (NGCB). 
The NGCB had given K130,000 to the PNGSF to cater for the 130 athletes travelling to Darwin last month.
Fearing serious repercussions, an official who wanted to remain anonymous, also said the foundation officials went around the respective sporting venues in Darwin dishing out K500 cash.
The official said the K500 equivalent was A$200, however the officials and the athletes were still querying the balance of the funds.
Apart from the purchase of uniforms, accommodation, airfares, vehicle and other invoice oriented payments, some questions have arisen over the payment of allowances to players, officials and the team management.
During a Team PNG farewell function at the Sir John Guise stadium, Minister for Sports Philemon Embel said that K1,000 each would be paid to the players and officials to help with their living and meal costs in Darwin.
The source added that a cheque for K184,000 was cashed to pay for these allowances.
However, players and officials, who attended the games, are now saying they received only K500.
“If all (some may not have received the monies) players and officials were paid only K500 in Darwin, where is the rest of the monies totally up to K92,000?” 
A further amount of K55,000 was paid into the CEO’s personal visa card to assist Team NCD players and officials plus an amount of US$20,000 (over K60,000) was also paid into the CEOs visa card for contingencies and freight expenses.
There were some cash payments made and received by the CEO which remained unaccounted for.
The source said the PNGSF only received K50,000 and banked it in their account after the games.
During the presentation of the cheque, the NGCB executive director Simon Sanagke said the money would go towards the players’ levy fees to allow them to concentrate on their training.
A spokesman for the Minister’s office, John Kambuou confirmed that Embel made a mention that the money would go towards paying the players’ levies.
PNG Arafura Planning Committee chairman Thomas Kahai when contacted was surprised and referred The National to the PNG Sports Foundation executive officer Iamo Launa.
The National sent several emails, including telephone calls to Launa but there were no responses.
The next board meeting is expected this month and should decide the fate of the PNGSF chief.