World Cup ticket rush is on

first_img28 January 2010Over-the-counter sales, 15 new ticketing centres, two new call centres for queries, and a further 280 000 lower-cost category 4 tickets for locals – the 2010 Fifa World Cup™ ticket rush is about to kick in!South African football fans claimed the bulk of applications for the 2010 Fifa World Cup™ third ticket sales phase, which closed on January 22.Since the Final Draw for the 2010 Fifa World Cup held in Cape Town on 4 December, nearly one-million applications from South Africans have been received – 79 percent of the total.“Clearly, since the Final Draw in Cape Town, until the close of this sales phase, we have seen a flurry of activity around ticket sales,” World Cup Organising Committee (OC) CEO Danny Jordaan said on Wednesday. “Indications are that in the last two weeks there has been increased activity around the national team, and I am sure that we will see the stadiums sold out for these matches.“We are in good shape. I am very excited to see how eager South Africans are to experience this tournament.”Due to high demand for tickets reserved specifically for South African residents (category 4), Jordaan announced that a further 280 000 category 4 tickets would be released to accommodate for the local rush.Speaking at a press conference held in Sandton in Johannesburg on Wednesday, the chairman of the Fifa World Cup ticketing sub-committee, Horst Schmidt, said that six World Cup matches were already oversubscribed, including the opening match and Final at Soccer City in Johannesburg, the group match between Portugal and Brazil in Durban, as well the Semi-Final matches in Durban and Cape Town.“Another 55 matches are oversubscribed in at least one category for the third phase,” Schmidt added.To date, two-thirds of the available tickets for the tournament have been sold, with more than one-million applications received during the third phase. The two-million tickets include those which will be allocated during the random draw, which will be held on 1 February.Schmidt revealed that two call centres, one international (00 41 44 583 2010) and the other in South Africa (083 123 2010) would be set up to deal with fan queries regarding ticket sales.There was more good news for South Africans. From April 15, ticketing centres in each of the nine host cities will be opened. Here, fans will be able to not only collect their confirmed tickets but also purchase any available tickets over the counter on a first-come, first-serve basis.Jordaan said the OC and Fifa would evaluate the feasibility of opening these ticketing centres even earlier than the planned April 15 date.Apart from South Africa, as the host country, the USA leads ticket applications for the third phase with 50 217, the UK comes in second with 41 529, followed by Australia (15 523), Mexico (14 804) Germany (14 647) and Brazil (10 767).South Africa’s neighbours have also starting showing an increased interest in making the trip across the border to see the worlds superstars in action, with Botswana (2 519) Mozambique (1 795) and Namibia (1 191) showing the greatest interest so far.Source: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committeelast_img read more

SA to crack down on tender fraud

first_imgMeasures to curb tender fraud Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has proposed levying penalties of up to double the value of the contract on those who obtain contracts fraudulently as one of a number of proposed measures to eradicate fraud in public procurement in South Africa. Implementing measures to ensure that officials who have breached the buying rules remain under suspension while an investigation into them is under way. Making public officials who assist in tender fraud liable for the resulting losses incurred by the government. A total of R25-billion of procurement and tender fraud was currently being investigated by the government, Gordhan said, adding that the government was recently awarded preservation orders worth about R200-million on a Lear jet, a golf course, a holiday home and a hotel, following the arrest of prominent business people and senior government officials. Gordhan also outlined further measures to reduce the amount of wasteful expenditure within the government. Some of the other measures Gordhan proposed to curb tender fraud include: In a bid to increase the detection of fraud, government departments and agencies would be required to provide specific information to the National Treasury on procurement practices. The government was also looking at improving administrative capacity to help departments to deliver services more cost-effectively, and called for a new initiative to ensure that funds for training programmes were spent. He added that IT systems and management consulting services would also be subject to additional scrutiny within the supply chain regulatory framework. Revising procedures for the issuing of tax clearance certificates, so that the South African Revenue Service (Sars) can more easily check whether a bidder has the required tax compliance or not.center_img “As a result of these efforts, Honourable Speaker, we are beginning to see a change of attitude on the part of service providers. In a recent case, a firm which was paid R10-million by a department for work that they had not done, voluntarily returned the money to the fiscus,” he told Parliamentarians. Improving administrative capacity Presenting his medium-term budget policy statement to Parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday, Gordhan said the National Treasury had been working with other departments to crack down on fraud and corruption. He said R12.4-billion budgeted for capital projects in the last financial year had gone unspent, pointing out that the approach included technical support to those agencies and departments that underspent. “Where necessary, the cash disbursements process of government agencies will be temporarily assumed by Treasury, thereby ensuring that only valid contracts are honoured and government is charged a fair price,” Gordhan said. 27 October 2010 With the proliferation of quasi-independent agencies in recent years, he said the government also planned to scrutinise non-departmental agencies with a special focus on staff establishments, remuneration and governance. Strengthening tax compliance measures associated with government procurement, including the introduction of a withholding tax on payments made to businesses selling to the government. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Three young Ohio sheep farmers receive scholarships

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Nick Fowler (Guernsey Co.) was awarded a $1,500 scholarship for the first annual Dr. Jack Judy Memorial Scholarship and Jacob Wenner (Delaware Co.) was awarded a $1,000 Ralph Grimshaw Memorial Scholarship at the 2016 Ohio State Fair.  Delanie Wiseman (Madison Co.) received a third scholarship for $500 awarded through the Ralph H. Grimshaw Memorial Scholarship Fund.Fowler is a junior at the Ohio State University and Wenner is a freshman at the University of Wisconsin. Wiseman is a senior at the Ohio State University.The Ralph Grimshaw Memorial Scholarship is sponsored by the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association and is awarded annually to at least one young sheep producer. Funds for this scholarship come from the Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium and Ohio State Fair silent auctions and from private donations.The Dr. Jack Judy Memorial Scholarship is also sponsored by the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association in coordination with the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation.Please attend the Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium and support the silent auction which supports young people in the sheep industry. Congratulations Nick, Jacob and Delanie.last_img read more

Minor details can lead to major issues when offering employee benefits

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt ReeseAt first it can seem like a very minor (yet complicated and costly) detail that may be better off ignored by employers. And, in many cases it can be inconsequential, until it is not.The potential for problems with this detail start, very simply, when an employer hires an employee and offers benefits, such as health insurance. When employees receive benefits, the employer is legally required to provide a Summary Plan Description (SPD) through the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).On Oct. 1 of 2013 a notice went out through the Affordable Care Act to every employee in the U.S. informing them of the new options available. To be better informed, the notice instructed employees to consult their legally required SPD of workplace benefits. Guess what most employers did not have or had never even heard of before?In short, if an employee requests an SPD or the business is audited and the employer does not have it, this minor detail gets very consequential very quickly.“Every employer has to have a SPD for each employee for any health or welfare benefit that they provide. If you don’t have a SPD and it is requested in writing, all that employee has to do is turn you into the U.S. Department of Labor and, after 30 days, you have to pay a fine up to $114 per day until you provide the document,” said John Mayer with the Association Benefit Planners in Dublin. “The DOL starts an investigation and you get a letter from DOL about a full audit. If you don’t have the documents to produce, you have to figure out how to provide them. Most employers do not even know they need this. Then they don’t know who to call, so they call their lawyer. Then that gets expensive.”The specifics of the necessary SPD documents depend upon part-time or full time status, the particulars of the benefits offered and other factors.“This becomes an issue as soon as you have a full-time employee with benefits. The small employers are the hardest hit because they don’t know who to talk to about it. Where do you go as a small employer to find out about this?” Mayer said. “From our side, it can be a difficult discussion to get an employer to understand what they need. They don’t know what they don’t know. They tell us, ‘We’ll take our chances.’ But you as an employer are responsible for making sure this information gets to employees. A normal employer is not going to have any idea how to handle these things.”This is where folks like Clint Carter come in. Carter is retired and lives out of state, but for many years lived in Columbus and worked with businesses (including small Ohio agribusinesses) of all sizes to get them in compliance with federal acronyms aplenty, including ERISA. Carter admits that his services were not cheap or always pleasant to procure, but they very clearly beat the alternative.“If you can’t provide the SPD — a required document —now you have the Department of Labor involved with an audit, you have the IRS involved, and you have Health and Human Services involved,” Carter said. “They can all look for this Summary Plan Description.”To make matters even more confusing, many employers do have a Summary Benefits of Coverage document given to them by the benefits provider and think they have the situation covered, but they don’t.“In some cases, employers gave out the Summary Benefits of Coverage, which is not the Summary Plan Description. If they give out the SBC instead of the SPD and when that clock of 30 days is up, they literally could owe $114 a day until they are in compliance. Both the plan document and the Summary Plan Description must be furnished to the employees by the employer. The common mistake is that the employer thinks they are getting the documents from the carrier, which they are not. Carriers do not supply the federal ERISA documents. The employer can get them from third party administration firms or they can go to an ERISA attorney. One way or the other they need to obtain the documents,” Carter said. “If I hired you to work for me, and I offer health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, long-term disability, short-term disability, and life insurance, each and every one of those has to have a document that is wrapped around it that has the ERISA language. Brokers go in and tell a small business owner that it would be great for them to put in benefits, which it is. But then they fail to help them realize that they have to be in compliance with the Department of Labor at the same time.”One way for employers to avoid this issue is to not offer any employee benefits, but that is not often a realistic or reasonable option.“At first, when employers hear about this they get upset and say they shouldn’t offer benefits, but in reality you should be offering benefits as an employer. Most employees today go to work not only for the salary but also for the benefits that are offered,” Carter said. “If you are not offering benefits, even if you only have 10 employees, all you are doing is training someone else’s employees because they will go work somewhere else that offers benefits. It is more expensive to train employees than it is to get these documents.”Of course, many employers who have employees with benefits never have an issue with ERISA compliance because they are never audited or no employee ever requests the documents. But Carter wants employers to understand the risks of non-compliance.“It is risk management. The increased scrutiny of the Affordable Care Act has increased the number of audits — I would say 60% of businesses get audited. Ohio is a huge state for audits, partly because it is a union state and partly because the Cincinnati region of the DOL looks at things more closely. I have had a three-person dental group get audited. I have worked with small employers in Ohio who have been audited multiple times by the DOL for their ERISA documents. One had 14 employees. That was 10 years ago and we have kept them in compliance since then,” Carter said. “Most brokers or CPAs will say that you are too small and you don’t have to worry about this, but this is an employer-plus-one law. Do you think the DOL would rather cut their teeth on small employers or large employers when they are training their own employees about ERISA?“My advice is that it is always cheaper to get in compliance than it is to pay the penalty. Whether you get in a wreck or not, you buy auto insurance every year. You also have homeowners insurance even in years where your house doesn’t burn down. Why would you not do risk management and make sure you have all of your documents? Most employers think this is inconsequential, but it can turn into something pretty major pretty fast.”For questions, contact Association Benefit Planners in Dublin at 614-527-6760.This is the fifth of a series of five stories in cooperation with the Ohio AgriBusiness Association highlighting human resource management solutions in Ohio agribusinesses.last_img read more

Owner of Wind Turbines Fined $1 Million in Bird Deaths

first_imgDuke Energy Renewables has become the first wind energy company prosecuted under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and will pay a $1 million fine for the deaths of eagles and other birds at two Wyoming wind farms, the Associated Press reports.The case represents the first time the government has used environmental laws to protect birds from the hazards of wind energy installations, and it follows an earlier report by the AP that dozens of eagles had died in collisions with wind turbines.“In this plea agreement, Duke Energy Renewables acknowledges that it constructed these wind projects in a manner it knew beforehand would likely result in avian deaths,” Robert G. Dreher, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, said in a statement Friday, according to the AP.Duke Energy Renewables President Greg Wolf said the company deeply regretted the deaths. “Our goal is to provide the benefits of wind energy in the most environmentally responsible way possible,” he said.One of the two wind farms is located in Campbell Hill, Wyoming, northwest of Casper, and the other is the Top of the World farm outside Casper.The AP said that turbine blades look as if they’re moving slowly, but blade tips can move at speeds as high as 170 mph. Eagles scanning for food on the ground don’t look up as they fly, the report said, and don’t notice the spinning blades until it’s too late.Utilities have tried a variety of tactics to reduce fatal collisions. As part of the agreement, Duke will continue to use biologists to identify eagles and shut down turbines when they get too close, the AP said. The company also has agreed to install new radars.last_img read more

The Leadership Playbook: Execute Before Change

first_img Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now New leaders often believe that they need to immediately make change. Some believe that the faster they change things the better their results. Other leaders believe the more they change things the better. Sometimes change is necessary, and sometimes fast change is what’s needed. But more often, the reason the leader’s team isn’t producing the results of which they are capable is that they aren’t executing.The Other 99%Execution is difficult, time-consuming, political, and messy. Chances are, many (if not most) of the past initiatives were great ideas. It’s likely that those ideas, if well implemented, would have moved the organization forward towards its goals.But somewhere along the way the train came off the tracks. The status quo won out. The team waited out their leader. The new shiny object grabbed someone’s attention (likely the leader), and one incomplete change initiative was replaced by the next.There is no strategy, no opportunity, no initiative that can or will produce the results that are possible unless it is faithfully and religiously executed.You adopted a new sales process. You announced it at the kickoff meeting to great applause and fanfare. But the salesforce went right back to doing what they’ve always done, and their sales managers went back to serving the organization instead of the sales force. Now, it’s business as usual.You’ve chosen a new strategy. Instead of pursuing the low price, transactional space in your market, you’ve launched a suite of solutions designed to help you move to the smaller, more profitable segment of your market. But the time, money, resources, and compensation plan weren’t changed. Your sales and marketing teams still have the goals and the structure to support the old strategy. There is no change.Execution or ChangeBefore you decide what you need to change to move your organization into the future you imagine for it, you need to first spend time ensuring that the real need isn’t simply greater execution on what has already been put in place. It’s likely that the last leaders didn’t produce the results they could have because of execution, not their strategy. Execution is likely change.There is nothing wrong with making your greatest initiative execution on what is already in place. Your job as a leader is to make the changes necessary, not to make changes for change’s sake. You aren’t measured on the change you make, you are measured on the results you produce and the leaders you build.last_img read more

PH gets bronze medals in table tennis, javelin throw

first_imgPhilippines got medals from table tennis and athletics to hike its bronze medal haul to 12 in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games Tuesday night.Richard Gonzales won a bronze medal for the country in the table tennis men’s singles, a first for the sport so far.ADVERTISEMENT Evalyn Palabrica also secured a bronze in women’s javelin throw in athletics.On the same night, athletics top bet Eric Cray got gold and silver in 400m hurdle and 100m dash, respectively.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony MOST READ Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters LATEST STORIES Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next 50 million could watch Mayweather-McGregor in the US alone Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more