Small questions ‘corporate amnesia’

The Independent Senator also criticised CAL about the absence of tender documents for its $700 million acquisition of turboprop aircraft, which also took place under the PP. During a public hearing at Tower D of the Port-of-Spain International Waterfront Centre, Small remarked, “We have a difficulty understanding how you could spend $2 million of taxpayers money and then nobody is able to evidence same report or know anything about it.” He said the committee requested a copy of the Lufthansa report and received a document which was not the report. Small added the full report was subsequently sent to the JSC.

Saying the contents of the report present, “a blueprint for the turnaround of the airline”, Small declared, “We are astonished that this disappeared from the system.

The question we have to ask is, ‘was this a case of corporate amnesia?’ He opined that had the report’s recommendations been implemented since 2014, CAL, “would be profitable today and not be a fetter on the purse of the Ministry of Finance.” In response, CAL Acting CEO Capt Jagmohan Singh said only two managers saw the full report. “Those two management members are no longer with CAL.” CAL chairman Jameer Mohammed confirmed this. He was concerned that the report has, “been in existence for two to three years.” Mohammed said CAL had “fallen extremely short” in implementing the report’s recommendations. He said while the board had some reservations about certain aspects of the report, the majority of its recommendations were reasonable and CAL’s management will pursue their implementation.

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Acting Permanent Secretary in the Finance Ministry, Lisa Phillips, said the ministry was unaware of this document.

On the acquisition of the ATR-72 aircraft, Small was concerned that, “$700 million of taxpayers money was spent and there is zero documentation that you can find that some proper process was followed.” He added that the committee requested the tender documents for this acquisition but received none from CAL. Small noted there was a Cabinet minute to purchase the ATRs and then an internal CAL document to justify the purchase.

Source: Newsday http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,243375.html

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