ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Cricket West Indies (CWI) president, Ricky Skerritt, said there was never any intention of the regional governing body to “hide” the contents of a recent audit report which had uncovered “illustrations of questionable executive standards and practices”.
In a statement late Sunday, Skerritt pointed out that the audit commissioned by his administration and carried out by accounting and management consulting firm, Pannell Kerr Foster (PKF), was for internal consideration only and thought had not been given to releasing it publicly.
He was speaking in the wake of a leak of the report, which saw international broadcaster and legendary former West Indies fast bowler, Michael Holding, revealing sections of the document on a Youtube cricket show called “Mikey – Holding Nothing Back” hosted by Asif Khan.
Telling the host that he had obtained a copy of the audit report, Holding said CWI had been in receipt of the audit for some time but had chosen not to release it “for what reason I don’t know”.
Skerritt, who came to office last year March after unseating three-term incumbent Jamaican Dave Cameron, said serious consideration would now have to be given to releasing the report especially since it had now been made public.
“Since the adoption of the PKF report six months ago, numerous references to the existence of the report have been made in media statements and interviews by the CWI CEO (Johnny Grave), vice president (Dy Kishore Shallow), and myself,” Skerritt said.
“I can confidently assure you that at no time was there any decision taken by the Board or anyone associated with CWI to ‘hide’, ‘conceal’, ‘withhold’ or ‘hold-back’ the PKF report.
“However, in light of an apparent recent access to some of its contents by the media, the CWI Board will now have to contemplate whether it may be appropriate at this time for the report to be shared publicly.”
In assuming office in April last year, Skerritt said the commission of the audit was one of three immediate actions taken, in keeping with his campaign promise to reform the governance structure and enhance financial transparency.
As such, PKF was “was engaged for a six-month period to conduct a business situation assessment and review of the organisation’s financial management systems, and to provide recommendations for addressing any shortcomings”.
“In carrying out its assessments PKF uncovered some illustrations of questionable executive standards and practices,” Skerritt said.
“It verified and emphasized the need for drastic operational reorganisation and realignment, with an urgent need for improved risk assessment and cash flow management.
“The PKF consultants accordingly presented their report in person to the CWI Board of Directors in December; and their 28mrecommendations were unanimously adopted.
“Publishing the document was never considered by the Board, as the report is an internal report.”
According to Skerritt, CWI had moved “as swiftly as we are able” to implement several of the report’s recommendations, pointing out that some had already been made operational in CWI’s daily functioning.
Listing a number of the changes, the former St Kitts and Nevis cabinet minister said the board had acted to ensure timeliness in accounting, strengthened internal controls, modified management practices to ensure best practice and further empowered the CEO and management team while reinforcing the non-executive role of the president.
Importantly, Skerritt said CWI had also instituted the timely reporting to the board of the “accurate financial situation”.
Skerritt said it was critical the board continued its mandate of governance reform while also learning from the mistakes of the past.
“I want to assure all stakeholders of West Indies cricket that whether the PKF report is made public or not, CWI will not be distracted from correcting, and learning from, any identifiable missteps or shortcomings of the past,” he stressed.
“I am determined as the president of this Board, to ensure that CWI conducts its business with integrity, accountability and transparency and without fear or favor, affection or ill-will."