Kingston and St Andrew take lion’s share of CHASE Fund spend
WITH 600 active projects under way, Kingston and St Andrew have taken the lion’s share of financial contribution, as well as the number of funded projects from the Culture, Health, Arts, Science and Education (CHASE) Fund in its 15 years of operation, executives of the agency told a recent Gleaner Editors’ Forum.
The CHASE Fund, which is financed from the taxes from lottery winnings, has seen increased revenues in all but three years since its inception in 2002. The agency has, as per its mandate, made significant contributions to sports and early childhood development, as well as health, arts and culture.
The entity has not been stingy with revenues, donating billions of dollars in total to the sectors to which it is constitutionally required to make contributions, including the Sports Development Foundation, which has received 38 per cent of the $14.8b disbursed by CHASE since inception.
CHASE Chairman Phillip Henriques described himself as a board member for the majority of the years the agency has been in operation. Now, in his second stint as chairman, he said CHASE’s reach allows it to impact all areas of the society and its good-cause mandate has given benefits to deserved projects.
“Good cause is part of our mandate. Originally, as we were set up with taxes forgone from Supreme Ventures, the Government put the tax money into CHASE for the purpose of having something to show the public this is where their tax dollars have gone from the gambling industry,” Henriques told the forum.
“We choose projects because we go out there and look for them and also projects come to us. We choose them on a broad basis because of our mandate, one of which is early childhood education, and within that sector we have a series of categories we look at,” he told the forum.
Henriques said that the primary position of the entity is to show that everyone across the country is likely to benefit from a CHASE-contributed project.