(CNS): The chief executive officer of Cayman Airways Ltd (CAL) has defended the chairman of the airline’s board, Phillip Rankin, after he was criticized by the Public Accounts Committee chair for failing to attend the latest meeting. Ezzard Miller claimed that the committee had rearranged the schedule to accommodate Rankin, but CAL CEO Fabian Whorms told CNS Monday that the chairman never received an invitation and that he did not attend PAC last week due to a chain of miscommunication. However, Whorms said the board leader would be attending next week.
Whorms said part of the miscommunication was due to the Legislative Assembly using a wrong email. He said that Rankin and CAL management had also assumed that board chairman would attend PAC at the same time that he and the chief financial officer went before the committee, as is the usual course of events when CAL is asked to attended any LA committee meeting.
But on this occasion, he said, no one at the airline or Rankin were aware that the PAC members wanted to speak with the chairman separately from the operational management team until a few days before the committee meeting was set.
Given the fact that Rankin, who is a volunteer on CAL board and not a civil servant, was expecting to attend in the morning and already had a scheduled meeting, he had problems making the afternoon session.
Whorms said that Rankin is always accommodating when it comes to the affairs of Cayman Airways, despite working as an auditor during his day job. Now that he had received advanced notice of the meeting next week, which was an invitation and not a summons as Miller had suggested, he would be there, Whorms said.
Concerned that the public might think that Rankin was not respecting either his role as chair of the national flag carrier or the Public Accounts Committee, Whorms stressed that the issue was due to a misunderstanding and not disrespect, noting that Rankin has attended every PAC meeting with CAL management for the last seven years.
“It is very unfair to state or imply that Chairman Rankin takes anything to do with Cayman Airways less than seriously,” he said. “Mr Rankin actually had every intention to attend the morning session, which he was aware of, with the CEO and CFO of CAL. He was not aware of the evening session until two days before. Whereas this unknown afternoon session posed a challenge for Mr Rankin, as he had another meeting previously schedule, Mr Rankin was also intent to attend that afternoon session, under the circumstances, despite the short notice.”
But when Miller opened the morning session and said that a summons was being issued for Rankin to attend a PAC hearing, Whorms said he advised Rankin that the PAC chair had cancelled the afternoon session and a new date and time would be prescribed by summons.
See details of the communication here: Record of CAL-PAC mix-up