• Home
  • Athletes
  • U.S. Center for SafeSport Independence Certification for Fiscal Year 2020

U.S. Center for SafeSport Independence Certification for Fiscal Year 2020

By on June 29, 2021 0

What GAO found

The US Center for SafeSport (the Center) is an independent, non-profit organization that plays a key role in ensuring the safety of amateur athletes. The Center has jurisdiction over the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (the Society) and its affiliated organizations (known as national governing bodies) with respect to the protection of amateur athletes from abuse in sport.

GAO found no evidence that a former employee or member of the company’s board of directors worked or volunteered with the Center in fiscal year 2020 in violation of the 2-year cooling-off period set out in Olympic, Paralympic and Amateur Athlete Empowerment Act 2020. (EOPAAA). In addition, for fiscal 2020, GAO found no evidence of an inappropriate conflict of interest, as defined by EOPAAA, between the officers or lawyers of the Center and the Company. According to the EOPAAA, an officer or lawyer of the Center will be considered to have an inappropriate conflict of interest if the officer or lawyer also represents the Company. Additionally, GAO’s review of the Centre’s investigative process found no evidence of interference or influence on the part of the Company. Based on the certification provisions of the EOPAAA and the methodology of the GAO, the GAO certifies that the Center was independent from the Company during the fiscal year 2020.

Why GAO did this study

The EOPAAA included a provision allowing GAO to “make annually publicly available a certification relating to the independence of the Center from the Company”, including the following:

  • a finding as to whether a violation of the ban on employment of former employees or members of the Company’s board of directors occurred in the year prior to accreditation (2-year cooling-off period);
  • a finding as to whether an officer or lawyer at the Center had an inappropriate conflict of interest during that year; and
  • a finding as to whether the Company interfered or attempted to influence the outcome of an investigation conducted by the Center.

GAO reviewed the information provided by the Center on its employees and people who worked or volunteered for the Center at any time during fiscal year 2020 (January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020), including conflict of interest verification forms that the Center requires of all such individuals. The GAO cross-checked the information provided by the Center with information received from the Company on its employees and contacts with the Center, such as information on lawyers employed, hired or retained and a brief description of the type of case in which each lawyer has signed on on behalf of the Company. In addition, the GAO reviewed the Centre’s written responses to questions and various documents, such as the Centre’s employee handbook, the Centre’s statutes, the privacy policy, standard operating procedures and the SafeSport Code, which establishes standards of conduct acceptable to all who participate in the Olympic Games and Paralympic events and training.

For more information, contact Kathy A. Larin at (202) 512-7215 or [email protected]

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.