PAC to quiz CAL and ministry execs over OAG report

| 04/06/2024 | 26 Comments

(CNS): The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will hold a public hearing this Thursday at 10:00am to examine the Office of the Auditor General’s recent performance report, The Efficiency and Effectiveness of Cayman Airways Limited. President and CEO of CAL Fabian Whorms will attend as a witness alongside CAL Board Chair John-Paul Clarke and Ministry of Tourism Chief Officer Stran Bodden.

In her report, Auditor General Sue Winspear made 14 recommendations, but one of her main concerns was the unrealistic budgets and funding the airline has received over the years.

According to the performance report, CAL’s funding model, financial and non-financial performance, strategic direction, governance, and workforce planning and management all need improvement. In the upcoming hearing, the members of PAC will question the three witnesses on the contents of the report in accordance with Parliament Standing Order 77(4) and Section 87(1) of the Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009, which empower the committee to examine the accounts and financial dealings of all authorities and government-owned companies.

Following the hearing, PAC, chaired by Opposition Leader Roy McTaggart, will prepare its own report to accompany the OAG report. Under the standing orders, the committee has the power to make additional recommendations to the government or CAL.

The public can watch the proceedings at the House of Parliament in George Town or live on the Cayman Islands Government’s YouTube channel, on CIGTV, and listen on Breeze 105.3FM.

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Category: Government oversight, Politics

Comments (26)

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  1. Sir Turtle says:

    Mr Whorms’ comments before the PAC committee tell all you need to know about why CAL will continue to hemorrhage money.

    Is the guy absolutely delusional? The Barbados route was carefully considered and a profitable venture? It didn’t compromise service to other destinations?

    There were 30 people on the flights. The Miami schedule has been awful since COVID. We lost an opportunity to fly to destinations that might have actually brought tourists to the Islands.

    Even if the decision was political and came from the Minister as people have speculated, Mr Whorms’ comments are still staggering. Just admit it was a mistake and the route didn’t meet expectations. But to sit there and say it was a good idea?

  2. Anonymous says:

    How many actually pay for their tickets?
    What is the lisd fzctor on the jet to the Brac.

    sell the damm money pit.
    its not worth it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    STOP allowing PERMITS STAFF as desk agents and ground/bag handlers and security.
    Take months/a year and train some locals. it’s not freaking rocket achievement.
    Big private contracts but CHEAP LABOR = IE. Imported Poverty and “New Caymanians” with demands on infrastructure!!
    Life is a bunch of roses for these company-owners!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    More segment operating data is needed to see where the money is being allocated and to inform future decisions.

    4 segments:

    1. Core
    2. Strategic Domestic
    3. Strategic Tourism
    4. Surplus Airlift

    Operating data needed per segment:

    1. # of passengers
    2. # of passengers vs. total seats available (load factor)

    Output needed:

    1. Average Operating* revenue per passenger (*3rd party revenue only)
    2. Average cost per passenger
    3. Break-even load factor

    • Anonymous says:

      Following on, a closer look at Exhibit 13 of the OAG report (see CNS link above) – specifically, the line item “Government funding” – shows that over the 5 years (2018-22) CI$69m (or 60%) of the total CI$114m of Government funding was for the Strategic Tourism segment.

      Scrutiny and fast response to inadequate load factors on these routes might be a quick means to reduce losses.

      • Anonymous says:

        … and please can we see some 2023 operating figures (to 31 Dec)?

        Fine if unaudited and subject to caveats, e.g. that full set of accounts yet to be presented to the LA.

        But honestly, how do we think we can monitor performance with an 18 month plus time lag on any figures?

        Contrast that with Butterfield and CUC, each of which released their results to 31 March 2024 over a month ago.

  5. anon says:

    God help us when Sue Winspear ends her term of office later this year. I sincerely hope someone in Govt is wise enough to realise the necessity of having this very important position filled by a fully qualified outsider with no “Cayman connections”.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The New Prison coming up soon to be built; they going to the same people to manage the project over and over again yet expecting different results.

    • Anonymous says:

      $200,000,000 new prison..?.more like a comfortable resort.
      Being pushed by a “consultant” who will be the only one to gain from his multi million dollar fees.
      Have we all gone mad..?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Roy is conflicted has he family working there

  8. Anonymous says:

    Oh Christ.. this is goign to be a whole day of Saunders verbally feeling up the Chairman (CAL). They went to Calabar together…

  9. Anonymous says:

    We need Ezzard to sort this out.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please, when we reject someone at the polls it’s like firing them. They already collecting pension, keep them where we put them. Stop recycling old barking angry men. Bye….

      • Anonymous says:

        10 years after Ezzard is dead and gone he will still be a better choice than Jay. And today, Ezzard’s dog or one of his house plants would be a better choice than Jay.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Smart Chairman but think CEO past sell date

    • Anonymous says:

      CEO is a mechanic, and he was clueless doing that. I know as I worked with him. Full of himself and blows hot air. This position is way over his head. Thankfully he has persons under him who make him seem to appear to be knowledgeable. Take those persons away and Bozo the clown would be a better choice.

      • Anonymous says:

        I also once worked with Fabian and found him to be very astute and good at thinking on his feet. FYI I served a four year apprenticeship, attended aeronautical college and passed some very difficult engineering exams. Next time you fly please remember the aircraft you use was certified for flight by a ‘mechanic’.

        • Anonymous says:

          Keyword. A mechanic. He is now CEO, and while I believe the maintenance department lost a huge boat of quality when he left VPME role, the upper leadership quality fell drastically. This is acknowledged throughout CAL. Fabian is a smart guy, but he surrounds himself with ‘yes’ men who have been long past their expiry. Upper leadership has needed a complete reshuffle and clearing out for a long while now.

          • Anonymous says:

            You make it sound as though a ‘mechanic’ should never rise to a position of CEO. There are many people that have come from humble beginnings and made it to the top.

            • Retired Aviator says:

              Tertiary level Qualified Professional Aircraft Engineer actually, not to play down the role of a mechanic but he’s way above that level of education and qualification.

              Also a post graduate business study major. Seasoned executive of over thirty years with some forty years in the airline business.

              When you can find a better and more rounded CEO let us know.

              His negotiating skills are also legendary and CAL has benefited immensely from his unique technical savvy combined with astute business acumen.

              He may seem rough around the edges but given his lengthy career, his substance and intellect is very refined, it’s as good as the best. I’ve been around the block with CAL and many other airlines in my time, and he’s admired and respected by the admired and respected in the industry.

              Be careful what you ask for, you may regret what you get.

              Ignorance can have dire repercussions, so educate yourself so that you can look before you leap over the edge.

            • Anonymous says:

              It was in reference to the fore comment that he was great in that role. This is true, he was great as VPME. My point is that the translation is not linear. Being great in one role does not translate to another, all the time. Particularly I criticized the people surrounding Fabian, not he himself, nor was it in relevance to “humble” beginnings. The fact is that the people and team he is surrounded by are needing to change.

        • Anonymous says:

          Don’t think the post had anything to do with mechanics as a whole. The comments were directed at the CEO himself.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Always good to hold everyone properly accountable. Even absolutely essential services for our island such as CAL. However I can’t help at laugh because Roy being the chair of PAC is *effing hilarious* considering he still can’t tell us how many tens of millions he gave away in concessions during his time in office.

  12. Anonymous says:

    CAL needs to publish detailed reporting to public owners that follows IAS format. Fundamentally, it needs to have breakdown of equipment lease costs, route costs, airport fees, and revenue so that competent decisions can be made with all this subsidy – money that isn’t theirs.


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