Airline CEO defends board chair over PAC mix-up

| 06/09/2016 | 22 Comments
Cayman News Service

CAL Chairman Philip Rankin and CAL CEO Fabian Whorms

(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

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Category: Government oversight, Politics

Comments (22)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Of course he defends the board members – what else is he supposed to do. All I read is bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla!

    Ridiculous excuse for thinking one can ignore the PAC and now having been publicly embarrassed. The public deserves to know every bit of that nonsense that goes on with those board.

    PAC – please name and shame them all!!! Perhaps it would be good if more ministries would refuse to provide further subsidy to certain areas for not complying. Sports minister set a good example by pulling funds from CIFA…………

  2. Annonymous says:

    I used to always wondered why there was so much hype on getting on these government boards and ahhhhhhh, it all makes sense now. I wonder what are the other perks for the other boards? Free servicing or fuel on the nra board, free banking for CIMA, free passports for immigration, free liquor on the liquor board. I recall JFK once said “ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country” no patriotism in cayman – it’s all about the benjimans!!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I would like to ask Mr. Whorms to list the dates and times that Mr. Rankin and himself attended PAC meetings. I keep a close watch on the activities of the PAC and do not recall every hearing either Mr. Whorms or Mr. Rankin answering question before the PAC. If I am correct this is one of the very few times if not the only time the PAC ever looked at CAL accounts.
    I also recall that Mr. Miller opened the PAC hearing on CAL offering praise to the CEO/CFO that the finances of CAL were moving in the right direction.
    I do not recall Mr. Miller making any remarks about Mr. Rankin during the time Mr. Whorms was in the meeting of the PAC or at any time what I recall Mr. Miller telling the Committee that he had no confirmation that Mr. Rankin was going to attend the afternoon session and the committee decided to cancel the afternoon session and summon Mr. Rankin to attend at the re-scheduled meeting on Thursday September 8, 2016

    • Anonymous says:

      Ah, so speaks the great Authority…all hail he whom we should explain ourselves to! Who the f**k are you to demand explanations? If you were anyone important you would not be hiding behind anonymous. However, I do encourage you to ask your MLA questions which he or she may pose if they so choose. If they fail, then of course you and others are free to vote them out.

  4. Veritas says:

    I note that Mr Rankin “was a volunteer on the CAL board”, do they need any more voulunteers?, I’d love to get unlimited free flights anywhere CAL flies for myself and my dependents.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yes folks. It is baffling how there is nit a revolution in Cayman. We are constantly stitched up by our own folk, incompetence is the order of the day, and the peter Principal is all too apparent. Sigh!

  6. Anonymous says:

    FFS, Fabian needs to go back to fixing planes. At least as maintenance manger, he was accountable to someone.
    Why is it that these people get these very high posts in the civil service and then wear incompetence as a badge of honour?


    We get the same shit year in year out.
    If the truth be told, it is the money that comes from the industry of those people that live here, Caymanians and expats alike, that fund this debacle.

    Where is the accountability?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Sounds to me like the CAL gravy train is finally heading for the buffers.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ah, the old wrong email address trick. Like “cheque is in the post”. Amazing that we even have technology here. Shame no-one knows how to use it at CIG. Or even cares.

  9. Spiyda says:

    Did he ever manage to finish that CIFA audit?

    • Anonymous says:

      Apparently he only found one year of dodgy dealings at CIFA then started singing to the cops for some cya when the fifa scandal broke

      • Anonymous says:

        I recall a well known accountant found fraud going back almost ten years undetected by three different audit firms. Why not employ him to recover monies for CIFA. Maybe he can chair Cayman Airways as well.

  10. Anonymous says:

    No accountability at any level in the Caymans

  11. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard shuld be thanking Rankin for doing a better job that any other past chairman. At least not CAL i living more or less within it’s government handout. Then again that would not fit Ezzard’s political agenda.

    • Anonymous says:

      Only if “living within their handouts” includes CIG forking out an additional $20mln every few years to CIAA for the airport fees CAL steals from its paying passengers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wake up you fool! What has Rankin done for CAL besides hide and shuffle figures to inflate CAL ‘s profit margin.
      If CAL was making that much of a profit then it should be able to wean itself away from that fat Government subsidy it gets each year that could go towards education and educating folks like you whose head is in the sand.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The right hand covers for the left when both are part of the problems and mismanagement at CAL. Misrepresenting the profitability of CAL after receiving CI$21m in annual subsidies

  13. Anonymous says:

    Amazing how these big-wigs are so sharp as to be appointed to these high positions but seemingly dumb as an ox when it comes to following rules – ” I misunderstood” or I didn’t know”. These are our leaders!!!

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