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O'Mard Slams CDC Indiscipline

Kayode O’MardAntigua St. John's - Newly re-appointed chair of the Carnival Development Committee Kayode O’Mard has identified poor management and budgetary indiscipline as the main sources of the massive waste that has plagued the CDC in the past.

The CDC chair made the remark while recording the latest installment of the current affairs program Media Roundtable, fielding questions from a 4-member media panel. The one-hour panel discussion is a joint production of the Public Administration Communications Unit and ABS Radio & Television, and will be aired during primetime on Sunday evening.



O’Mard’s comments were in response to a question relating to his announcement that the CDC had realized savings of some $600,000 on the 2012 budget of $2.5 million. The CDC chair also confirmed that all 2012 participants and prize winners had been completely dealt with, with only two service providers left to be paid off.

This scenario contrasts sharply with previous years, when traditionally prize monies and appearance fees were not yet paid as the following year’s carnival festivities approached. Service providers have several times been forced to refuse to provide any further services until long-overdue accounts have been cleared.

Not only are the Carnival 2012 accounts virtually wiped out, but the CDC chair has indicated that the same $2.5 million budget will be adequate for the demands of Carnival 2014. $2.5 million is a relatively small budget compared to allocations for previous years, when large outstanding accounts remained long after the close of carnival.

Kayode O’Mard attributes a large proportion of the savings realized in 2012 to the outstanding contributions made by Dr Sir Prince Ramsey, who chaired the Sponsorship Committee. Sir Prince was able to attract substantial amounts of sponsorship support from the business community in general, and this went a long way toward improving the CDC’s financial performance in 2012. O’Mard smilingly confessed that he had “begged” Dr Sir Prince Ramsey to chair the Sponsorship Committee for another year.

The CDC chair however noted that some of the eventual savings for 2012 arose out of a careful review of the service contracts entered into by and on behalf of the committee. More savings came from cutting out unspecified “bad habits” through improved budgetary management and tighter fiscal discipline, areas in which previous CDC management appears to have been relatively weak. O’Mard was unable to provide precise figures in advance of the audited accounts now in preparation.

Announcing the forthcoming launch of the 2013 marketing campaign under the slogan “Sweet Misbehavin”, the CDC chair called for the summer festival to be viewed as a three-month event starting as early as May. He suggested that the “Queen of Carnival” competition be staged several weeks prior to the carnival itself, with much higher competition standards to ensure a winner capable of representing Antigua & Barbuda at Miss World and Miss Universe level. O’Mard wondered, for example, whether such events as “Teen Splash” could not be staged at some other time of the year, such as Independence season.

The CDC chair observed that the week of carnival was chock-a-block with pageants, and wondered if this might not be a marketing issue for the festival from a tourism perspective. Though he has been quite vocal in setting forth his own views, O’Mard looked forward to wider public consultations to achieve public buy-in on the way forward for the Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival.



Insisting that it was the function of the Cultural Division to determine and foster the cultural and creative aspects of the festival, the CDC chair also called for Stakeholder Associations to become more pivotal in staging the various carnival events. O’Mard expressed the view that Mas’ maker groups step up the level of their formal organization, to improve operational capacity as well as build stronger linkages with the corporate sector.

The CDC chair fielded questions from a 4-person media panel consisting of Mickel Brann-Public Administration Communications Unit; Alicia Simon-Observer Media Group; Azara Lavia-ABS News and Colin Sampson-Caribarena.com.

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11 Comments In This Article   

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RE: O'Mard Slams CDC Indiscipline

#11 Just a repeat » 2013-05-24 16:08

I have heard those sentiments being expressed by the National Festivals Office. So Mr. Omarde is only simply copying what he has heard before like some of us. I still don't even get why there is a CDC when there are government workers employed who can perform such duties without having to pay out a stipend. Why aren't the employees within the culture department and nfo used??? Where is Namba?
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Just a repeat

Local artist

#10 Bla Bla Bla » 2013-05-01 21:15

Always in denial. Local artiste only perform during carnival and in my opinion they donot understand what carnival is made of.
As for Avid Reader You only want white people to flock to Antigua, right?
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Bla Bla Bla

RE: O'Mard Slams CDC Indiscipline

#9 Avid Reader » 2013-04-30 18:28

It is good that he is bringing payments current, but he is still lacks the understanding that carnival is a year round event and should be treated as such. You cannot advertise an event such as this three months in advance and expect people to rush into your country. If you want cheap airfare, you have to book early in the year, you can't wait until May to book. There is still a lack of understanding of the economic bounty that carnival can provide for the country if handled correctly.
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Avid Reader

RE: O'Mard Slams CDC Indiscipline

#8 Just imitating Trini » 2013-04-27 20:27

I Heard this guy on ABS tonight and it seems he has no commitment to Antiguan artiste. The problem is not allowing outside artiste to be on our shows. it is that the shows should not be filled with them at the expense our our local artiste most of whom cannot get on any of those shows if they cannot get on our shows where else can they get work. This not a music festival just to have a show it is our national festival! get real!! it seems this guy only see carnival through the eyes of a promoter and not as one who has the responsibility of building and showcasing our culture .
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Just imitating Trini

@ zzz

#7 Lord Have Mercy » 2013-04-26 21:46

Please do not bother cheerleader george, he is recovering from not getting an invitation to the wedding, which would have legitimized him, but because of the Sarah Palin factor, the ABLP big wigs neither like or trust him.

Cheerleader George promised the ABLP that he could bring legitimate investors to them and when they asked if his investors were willing to put some skin in the game and come up with some campaign funds, he start to tata.

He just get the job an he dun in de dog house.
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Lord Have Mercy

RE: O'Mard Slams CDC Indiscipline

#6 zzz » 2013-04-26 11:25

skye you are plain and simple Sarah Palin.
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zzz

RE: O'Mard Slams CDC Indiscipline

#5 vendetta » 2013-04-26 11:16

the 50th anniversary of carnival had money like rain falling. those DSC boys made a killing not surprise how the football saga is turning its their mantra.
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vendetta

Finally some "common sense"

#4 Common Cents » 2013-04-26 08:34

Mr. Omarde,

Thank you for showing that the excessive waste was nothing but laziness, and in some cases pure nepotism.

For too long have we (the people of Antigua and Barbuda) sat back and simply allowed mispending, running overbudget, and late payments to be the norm.

Mr. Omarde shows that a PROFITABLE government run programme is possible.

I hope all the other Ministers learn something and follow his lead
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Common Cents

Just saying...

#3 Indiscipline » 2013-04-26 08:24

Perhaps if previous CDC's had members of the caliber of Sir Prince, who could attract such massive sponsorship, they would've been able to clear debts as well!
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Indiscipline

No Plan!

#2 Watching » 2013-04-26 05:57

We continue to waste money annually by not planning. How can we be undertaking road shows in May/June for a July event?

However, it is a breath of fresh air to hear someone speak about accountability in such a positive way.
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Watching

Good Job

#1 Skyewill » 2013-04-26 04:51

New ideas, new blood that's what it will take to put Antigua & Barbuda on track again. In with the new and out with the old who form many years took the cream out the milk, while milking our country. Like I have said and will say again. All the money Amtogia meed is already in Antigua.
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Skyewill

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