Monday, August 8, 2022

Rejoinder to Nagaland Olympic Association

Refer to the rejoinder issued in various papers where the Nagaland Olympic Association claims to be “functioning with utmost transparency with utmost efforts to maintain best practices.”

  1. The excuse that I do not attend office is not convincing because in the first place, my service to the NOA is voluntary. Do all the members attend office everyday compulsorily? If all are to be taken on board for any discussion, why not immediate information be sent to the office bearers? Was any information given at all for such meetings?
  2. The office of the NOA has all along taken the name of the Executive Council for whatever decisions and instructions issued. How many Annual General Meetings (AGMs), or extraordinary meetings of the General Assembly, the Executive Council or any Committees have been held from 2018 till date? I would like to see the minutes of such meetings and the signatories of the attendees who were present in such meetings, what agenda/issues were discussed and what decisions arrived at.
  3. Article 12 of the Constitution requires that an audit be carried out once every year. Article 12 clause (ii) states that the Executive Council shall appoint Auditor to audit the accounts of the Association. Article 13, Clause (v) sub-clause (b) states that the Treasurer shall prepare and submit an annual income and expenditure account together with an audited balance sheet. So, when and where did the Executive Council convene such meeting to appoint a “registered chartered accountant”? Conducting regular audit is a best practice to maintain transparency. This is the make and break of any club, society or association.
    I stated that during my tenure as the Treasurer i.e. till December 2020, not a single audit was carried out for reasons best known to them. I am glad to hear that audit has been carried out. Perhaps the expenditure statements from those individuals who could not submit their accounts of Rs. 70 lakhs or so have also submitted the financial statements which they could not for the last 2(two) years till I was holding the post of Treasurer. Public can imagine the veracity of such a statement!
    If the NOA is working with utmost transparency and best practices as claimed, why only “authorised agencies” can check the audit report? Who would they be? Someone appointed by NOA? If it is, as they say, an “open book”, then please publish the audit reports in the public domain since everyone has a right to know as we are all stakeholders. The accounts of any public organisations which receive government assistance or funds are liable for any member of the public to examine. Failure to do so would tantamount to mere word-play by the Association to confuse the general public.
  4. With regard to the NOA logo, the crux of the issue has not been addressed or answered. Where and when was the decision taken to use English words in the Logo? Was it by an individual? if not, publish the names of the members of the Executive Council and the minutes of such said meeting. It is hoped that there is no manipulation in this regard.
  5. The NOA office complex was originally formulated, planned and constructed for the Civil Services Club when Shri Lalhuma was the Chief Secretary. It is a Government funded and executed project on allotted land which remained half completed without fund for years. Therefore, this issue has been raised to get clarity on the history of the building. The NOA in its ‘transparent functioning’ has never disclosed to the public that the building in question was originally meant for the All India Services to have a Civil Services Club but was diverted to become a sports complex, thereby denying the Civil Services of its recreational centre in the State Capital.
    It is heartening to know that the authority decided to give it to the NOA. Still then, certain expenditures must have been involved in completing the building including expenditures on furnishings, fittings and office equipment.
  6. I did leave during the inauguration of the building and also the AGM. When I went to attend the inauguration programme of the building, I found that my name had been printed in the programme to present the vote of thanks. I was informed, not requested, only that morning to propose the vote of thanks. I politely declined saying that I will not be able to do so at such short notice. Despite this, my name was printed for which I was unhappy. I narrated this to a friend sitting next to me and then left the venue. Any self-respecting individual with a conscience will walk away from such instances that are purposely designed and orchestrated to humiliate and undermine one’s dignity.
    As for the AGM held on 08th July 2022, Article 8 clause (i) of the Constitution provides that the Annual General Assembly shall be held in the first quarter of every year. Article 16 states that the Notice for Annual General Assembly should be given 30 days prior. And whereas, an Executive meeting was held on 08th June. A notice NOA/AGM/01/2022 dated 22nd June was circulated calling for the Annual General Meeting to be held on 08th July 2022. One can discern whether the Constitution is followed / adhered to in letter and spirit, as against the claim of the NOA to “functioning with utmost transparency with utmost efforts to maintain best practices.”
  7. The NOA has maintained utter silence on the Sports Policy. It is a known fact that the Hon’ble Chief Minister is also the President of the NOA. It is understood if he cannot be always present to attend to the works of the Association because of his busy schedules. But, we also have an NOA office bearer who is Advisor to the Chief Minister. It is expected that there should have been seamless coordination between the NOA and the State Government, but such has not been the case, which is disappointingly unfortunate to say the least.
    Keeping these in mind, it would be in the interest of transparency and accountability if the NOA can substantiate its claims with all relevant documents and audited reports in the public domain because this is about the future of our sportspersons and youths who should be given due opportunities to excel with proper infrastructure and incentives.
    K. Kire, Vice president NOA and former DGP

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