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CAL board should go

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

CAL board should go

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Finance Minister Winston Dookeran has recommended that the entire board of the state-owned Caribbean Airlines (CAL) be dismissed and replaced with one headed by former British West Indian Airways (BWIA) chief executive officer, Conrad Aleong.
The Trinidad Guardian newspaper reported today that Dookeran, who is acting prime minister in the absence of Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar., who is out of the country, had submitted his recommendations two weeks ago.
The paper said the recommendations had been submitted to Prime Minister Persad Bissessar in a letter and follows the ongoing controversy within the George Nicholas-led board of directors.
In his letter, Dookeran said the present board “does not have knowledge or competence in the issues pertaining to airline business” and that it “does not have any appreciation for the issues of good corporate governance.
“The commercial stakes are high and the cost of political inaction will be high as well,” Dookeran wrote.
Two weeks after assuming office, the board fired former chief executive Captain Ian Brunton, indulged in a public rift and reconciliation with line Minister Jack Warner and then began infighting with each other. Warner already has presented a note to Cabinet, advising that the board be dissolved. But Cabinet referred the matter to the Finance and General Purposes Committee and before her departure on Sunday for Brazil, the Prime Minister said she was awaiting a report before making a decision on the controversial board.
“It was referred to the Finance and General Purposes Committee and I have not had a report from that Finance Committee,” she told reporters.
The Trinidad Guardian newspaper said that Dookeran has also suggested that Ian Bertrand and Michael Dolsingh, executives with experience in airline management be appointed to the board of CAL, which recently took over the cash strapped Air Jamaica. (CMC)