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ND kicks off 2014 season with changes

first_imgNotre Dame students began this year’s football season with ponchos and umbrellas, cheering the Irish to victory in the face of stormy weather and recent game-day changes made by the University.This weekend, Notre Dame not only debuted uniforms from Under Armour and a new turf field, but also instituted a system which allows students to forgo the traditional ticket booklet in favor of electronic tickets on their smartphones.Emily McConville Freshman Enrique Pajuelo said he appreciated the convenience of the “etickets,” even though the new procedure was not completely foolproof.“I’ve been told by sophomores that [in the past] you had to carry all the tickets with you all the time, so with the phone it was easier, but the main problem was that almost all iPhones run out of battery really fast,” he said.Although she agreed the electronic tickets were convenient, senior Annie Plachta said she was disappointed that she would now be unable to have a booklet as a reminder of her last football season at Notre Dame.“I have three ticket booklets from freshman, sophomore and junior year, so I kind of wanted the fourth one to complete the four years,” Plachta said. “It’s kind of sad to have the eticket instead of the booklet.”The new Under Armour uniforms, on the other hand, were a good change, junior football captain and defensive lineman Sheldon Day said.“[The new uniforms were] excellent, especially with the nice, tight fit around the body. You’re just feeling good,” he said.The changes made to the uniforms were not obvious from the student section, however, junior Abbey Dankoff said.“I don’t think there’s that much difference,” she said. “If there was, you couldn’t tell. I’m pretty pumped about the Shamrock Series uniforms though. I think Under Armour has taken the design to a new level.”While the switch to Under Armour is not necessarily apparent from the student section, it is very clear while shopping at the bookstore, Plachta said.“What’s in the bookstore this year is so much better than what they’ve had in the past,” she said. “I don’t remember Adidas having anything cool like [what they have now], especially for women. The women’s stuff tends to be subpar to the men’s, and I thought Under Armour did a really good job.”As for field changes, Day said the new turf made play easier.“Definitely, feeling faster, quicker, more explosive is a good feeling,” he said.Freshman Ivan Carballude said it was unfortunate that Notre Dame had to give up the traditional grass.“I liked having the grass,” he said. “We have such an old stadium, and it’s so traditional … having the grass, and being one of the last teams to have grass was really nice.”Dankoff, though, said the switch to turf was long overdue.“I think that it just allows for a better-played game,” she said. “The athletes don’t have to worry about slipping in mud, don’t have to worry about puddles on the field. … It’s kind of ridiculous. We were one of the only teams to still have grass, and it’s just the way the game is evolving. It’s not that it takes away from the tradition of the stadium.”Junior Megan McCuen echoed the thoughts of many students regarding the new turf and game-day changes in general.“I thought it would look worse with the turf instead of the grass since grass is such a tradition, and it’s so natural — a Notre Dame kind of thing,” she said. “But I guess it proved that even though there are changes, change can be good.”Tags: 2014, Changes, etickets, football, Under Armourlast_img read more

Contractor failed to deliver CCTV cameras after 2 years

first_imgDespite ‘emergency’ spending– US-based company has since declared bankruptcyIt was supposed to be an emergency purchase but since monies were sought in 2015 from the Contingencies Fund for Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) cameras for the National Intelligence Centre, the contractor was yet to deliver the equipment as of 2017 year end.This is according to the Auditor General’s 2017 report, which listed this as an unresolved matter. In the report, the CCTV cameras were supposed to have been purchased at a cost of almost $20 million by the Ministry of the Presidency.In responding to the auditor’s findings, the Ministry revealed that local and overseas background checks were being carried out on the contractor, who Guyana Times understands to be a California, United States-based company named Moonblink Communications.The Audit Office recommended that the Ministry of the Presidency either ensure the items were delivered or the money refunded, as soon as possible. But there is a problem. Moonblink Communication has since filed for bankruptcy.When the matter came up before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) last year, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Abena Moore was called to give account for the status of the undelivered equipment.While she had insisted that the contract, which was sole sourced, was an emergency one, PAC member and Opposition parliamentarian Juan Edghill had at the time disagreed with her. He had noted that the contract could not have been such an emergency if over a year had passed without the items being delivered. December 31, 2017 marked over two years.LawThere are strict rules governing the Contingencies Fund. But in the 2015 Auditor General report, it was found that Government made withdrawals that totalled over $900 million from the Fund. Besides the money for the CCTV cameras, monies were also used for expenses related to the Army, the D’Urban Park Project, and the infamous Sussex Street bond.According to Section 220 (1) of the Constitution of Guyana, “Parliament may make provision for the establishment of a Contingencies Fund and for authorising the Minister responsible for finance to make advances from that Fund if he is satisfied that there is an urgent need for expenditure for which no other provision exists.”Section 220 (2) goes on to say that “Where any advance is made from the Contingencies Fund, a supplementary estimate shall, as soon as practicable, be laid before the National Assembly by Prime Minister or any other Minister designated by the President for the purpose of authorising the replacement of the amount so advanced.”In addition, Section 41 (3) of the Fiscal Management and Accountability (FMA) Act states, “The Minister, when satisfied that an urgent, unavoidable and unforeseen need for expenditure has arisen – (a) for which no monies have been appropriated or for which the sum appropriated is insufficient; (b) for which monies cannot be reallocated as provided for under this Act; or (c) which cannot be deferred without injury to the public interest, may approve a Contingencies Fund advance as an expenditure out of the Consolidated Fund by the issuance of a drawing right.”last_img read more