Red Unlimited disappointed in CBA

After much query into the methodology of obtaining the Carnival’s Band of the Year results by key band leaders, the Carnival stakeholders Committee held a special meeting with the St. Lucia Carnival Bands Association (The SLCBA) on night of July 18th 2012 after a press conference was held to announce the preliminary results.
In an interview with Cherry Ann Gaillard of Radio Caribbean International, Mas Action’s Oswald Augustin shared some concerns he had about the events that took place leading to Carnival and in particular the results announced at Wednesday’s Stakeholder’s press conference.
“The organizing committee which is the Stakeholders Committee, I think improved a bit from last year. I would not blame the Stakeholders Committee for it but the Bands Association has to look at themselves,” said Augustin.
He further told Gaillard that it is not fair for some bands to be judged on the same judging sheet and criteria as those who have imported costumes from China.
“It costs the traditional bands quite a bit of money to get materials such as feathers to make their costumes. In so costing them money, it helps the economy quite a bit because a lot of seamstresses do a lot of bulk sowing and tradesmen make money. Now when you have a party band that does not even have a mas camp and orders a full container of costumes from China, they have enough time to party and bring in foreign artistes to make a lot of money and on Carnival day when it comes to judging they are all judged from the same judging sheet and judging criteria. We are saying that there should be some policy in place for party bands if you are going to import full costumes or readymade costumes. There should be a level of duty and you should not enjoy the Government’s duty free concession.”
Augustin also recommended that there be two categories; Party Band of the Year with first, second and third prize winners and Traditional Band of the Year with first, second and third prize winners as well.”                He went on: “Look at what has now transpired with the results— you had the first results reading Rituals first, Reds second, St Lucian Spirits third and Royalites fourth. Now there is a total reverse after a clamour.”
According to a press release by the Carnival Stakeholders Committee, the duly constituted meeting comprised of Executive Members and two-thirds majority of members and in good standing. In attendance were the Chairman of the Select Committee of Stakeholders and the Judges Coordinator.
The meeting, the release said was necessary because the results announced earlier were determined by adding together each competitor’s points for band portrayal plus points granted for individual costumes presented in the Monday parade.
This methodology, according to the Committee has been confirmed to be incorrect as the SLCBA formally agreed since July 2011, not to add the two sets of scores together in determining the Band of the Year ranking. This accounting error was confirmed by the Judges Coordinator.
As a result of the foregoing, the Select Committee of Stakeholders directed the Judges Coordinator to tabulate the scores in accordance with the agreed methodology which rendered a different outcome of the previously announced results. The new results for Band of the Year are as follows:
1st Place: Rituals Carnival: (402 points)
2nd Place: St. Lucian Spirit: (391 points)
3rd Place: Just for Fun: (366 points)
4th Place: Royalites (350 points)
5th Place: Red International (348 points)
6th Place: Toxic Nation (332 points)
7th Place: Looshan Revellers (301 points)
8th Place: Lucian TNT Connection (251 points)
9th Place: Cosy Guzzlers (234 points)
Yesterday Red Unlimited Carnival Band issued as statement surrounding the issue and expressed “deep disappointment in the manner in which the Carnival Bands Association (CBA) has handled the judging of bands in this year’s Carnival parade.”
The statement went on: “We are of the view that the approach used was unprofessional and lacking in respect for due process and procedure. Unlimited confirms that it attended a meeting of the CBA on Wednesday. At the meeting, it was explained that the tabulation of points were incorrectly done and therefore when properly done presented a revised ranking. From the onset even before the revised ranking was presented, Red Unlimited questioned whether the Co-ordinator of Judges could re-tabulate the scores after the auditors had already sanctioned the scores and it had been announced as final and official.
“It was explained that it was the meeting of CBA which had the authority to revise the scores. Red Unlimited expressed its position as such:
1. It needed to be determined what is the proper process for appeals in such matters:
2. That it has to be determined who is the legitimate authority to overturn, if possible, the issue of final and official results:
3. That Red Unlimited request full disclosure of all information relating to scoring and tabulation:
4. That Red Unlimited would need time to have internal consultation as the revision had serious implication for the Band.
“The meeting agreed to provide Red Unlimited with 24 hours to formally state its position and case to the CBA. In addition, it was promised by the meeting that the necessary information will be provided. Accordingly, Red Unlimited was shocked to note the issuance of a public statement by the CBA/Stakeholders Committee before the twenty-fours (24) hours had transpired and before there was even agreement to issue a public statement on the revised rankings. It is even more disheartening that the press release was issued before Red Unlimited was provided with the requested information on scoring and tabulation.”
Red Unlimited in closing congratulated all the winners and thanked its sponsors and revelers.

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