By Angelos Anastasiou
THE head of the Cyprus Sports Organisation (KOA) Klea Papaelliina has decided to forward a file containing mismanagement of funds by sports organisations within its remit to the Attorney General’s office, as urged by outgoing Auditor General Chrystalla Georghadji before she took the helm at the Central Bank of Cyprus.
Some 50 sports organisations under KOA’s administration received state funding of €6m in 2012 and are required to account for expenditure following clearly laid-out rules. Such rules include a transparent expenditure authorising procedure, inviting supplier tenders and regular accounts submission.
Papaellina’s list contained the findings of an audit performed by PwC for 2011 and 2012 which revealed instances of improper, and possibly illegal, funds’ management practices.
Points raised in the audit report include payments made through unclear expenditure authorisation procedures, inflated expenditure reports and expenditures to suppliers connected with board members of various sports organisations.
With these in mind, Georghadji – as Auditor General – had warned KOA that it needed to hold its sports organisations accountable for their financial affairs, which needed to be streamlined and become more transparent. “Otherwise, KOA will risk being shut down,” she said, citing the Troika’s list of ‘troubled semi-state organisations.’
In a letter to Costas Clerides dated March 26, Papaellina informed the Attorney General of the issues raised and requested that he “act accordingly.”
An example of the suspected wrongdoings was the case of the archery federation which the PwC audit report for 2012 stated that it had bought supplies from a company run by one of its board members, even though this was explicitly forbidden by the organisations’ regulations. This board member, the auditors said, even sat in the board meeting that evaluated and approved the supplier tenders for the contract his company was eventually awarded.