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July 27, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Life Sport programme director
Cornelius Price has condemned
the manner in which the auditors
undertook their investigations into
the controversial programme.
Price yesterday said they failed to
do their job thoroughly.
The audit was done by the Min-
istry of Finance s Central Audit Unit
In the 53-page audit, Price s name
came up several times, mainly for
the criteria he used in selecting com-
panies and the exorbitant prices paid
The report stated that Price was
unable to provide adequate answers
to the issues raised.
Yesterday, a fuming Price said he
did nothing wrong and was not to
blame for the Life Sport fiasco.
He said the auditors did not carry
out the audit properly, which put
Life Sport in a bad light.
"The auditors, in my view, never
checked certain things. I find the
audit did not pay much attention
to checking files. You compiled files
for them and they never checked
it."He said the auditors did not look
at certain files, which he found
"Some of the procurement
processes were outlined in the files."
Price said Life Sport was asked
by the auditors for certain docu-
ments, which were supplied to them
but "I don t think they read it."
Computers accounted for
In one instance, Price said, the
auditors refused to see certain files.
Price said last Friday, a package
was sent to the CAU for their perus-
al, but he later found out that it was
too late since the report was being
"They say they did not get certain
documents. Well, all right."
Price said he had written state-
ments from co-ordinators who stat-
ed that the auditors queried the
location of certain "boys" at certain
centres, and upon receiving the
information, never checked.
Price said he was interviewed by
the auditors twice.
Price said the auditors highlighted
in the report that 200 laptop com-
puters which cost Life Sport
$998,500 were not physically located
at the centres visited.
However, the auditors stated that
enquiries from Theodore Charles,
assistant programme director,
revealed that only 70 laptops were
Price said as far as he knows "all
the laptops are accounted for. I don t
know what the auditors looked for.
They did not check nothing. That
was a pattern. They start off badly."
'I never encouraged anything'
He said normally the auditors
would visit the ministry and talk to
the permanent secretary and they
would compile files and hand over
"In this instance, the auditors
went straight to the Sport Company
Price also took issue with the
report, which recommended that
the relevant unit of the Ministry of
National Security conduct an inves-
tigation on the programme s 43 co-
"You cannot make a blanket
statement. You are saying that all
of them are criminals. That is mad-
He felt that the auditors could
have observed all the centres and
co-ordinators over a period of time,
than draw their own conclusions.
Tomorrow, Price said, he would
hold a press conference at the Min-
istry of Sport to clear the air on
matters that fell under his
In March, Price was appointed
the programme s director.
"I wasn t involved in certain
things directly. I could only deal
with matters relating to me. When
I came in I tried to put things in
place. As a manager you have to
make decisions on the spot. I never
encouraged anything. Let the audi-
tors go and deal with their foolish-
ness that I encouraged things. That
He said any invoices that came
to him would have been verified.
"There are one or two things that
may have slipped through. When I
came into the system I saw an
arrangement...that is something I
was accustomed seeing. So when I
became director there was no reason
to stop those payments because I
saw them coming in all the time.
However, there were several other
payments that were stopped about
two or three months ago for differ-
ent areas because I became suspi-
cious. When I checked there was
nothing. I was being harassed about
Price said the bills had to do with
the rental of tents at Bagatelle,
Barataria, Carapo, Sangre Grande
He admitted that files had gone
missing from Life Sport.
"There are a lot of files that go
missing sometimes. You cannot find
it."Price said the only bills he did
not sign for were those for janitorial
services, "until recently" when his
signature was required.
Those bills were previously signed
off by the project unit for matters
in that area.
Asked if he was scared that the
PM had sent the report to the Direc-
tor of Public Prosecutions and Com-
missioner of Police, Price said,
"There is nothing to be scared about.
I have not done anything wrong."
Is the audit an indictment of him?
Price said, "I don t know about any
indictment of me. If you look at the
report you would see things as far
back as 2013. What happened before
(my time) is not my business."
The burying of Life Sport, Price
said, was not the end of the world.
"It finish, it finish. I wasn t born
in Life Sport. It was a good pro-
gramme but it had issues."
Price said even though the pro-
gramme had been scrapped, he
would not be out of a job since he
had other things to fall back on.
Price condemns 'sloppy'
Life Sport audit
Life Sport Project Director Cornelius Price during an interview with the
Sunday Guardian earlier this month. PHOTO: MICHEAL BRUCE
Captain of the T&T Red Steel Dwayne Bravo shows off his extempo talent with Black Sage at a welcome
cocktail reception in honour of the T&T Red Steel hosted by the Hilton Trinidad and Conference on Friday.
PHOTO: ANDRE ALEXANDER
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