Airport board in conflicts

| 22/04/2013

Brac airport renaming.jpg(CNS): Although the chairman and other directors of the Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) have always said that they have removed themselves from discussions relating to their own businesses at the airport when the need arises, documents given to CNS, which include minutes of board meetings and a letter written by the current chair in 2010 when he was a director, indicate otherwise. Between January 2010 and May 2011 on at least nine occasions issues which directly relate to ground handling agents were discussed in the presence of directors with direct business interests. In addition, Dick Arch, who was later to become chair, complained about competition for his business in a confidential memo to the board. (Photo: right Dick Arch, left Jeremy Jackson on Cayman Brac)

The question of conflicts of interests at the airport has been an issue throughout the last four years because at least two members of the board during that time have direct business interests at the airport. Director Frank Flowers is the owner of FADS and Arch, a board director who became chair after Norman Bodden resigned, co-owns Air Agencies with his wife.

Questions regarding various issues to ground handling came up at several meetings where the two parties did not always recuse themselves, despite claims that they did.

Arch also appears to have had very direct involvement with some of the issues relating to companies in competition with his business interests, as illustrated by a memo he sent to the board in July 2010 where he says that Cayman Dispatch Services (CDS) was being allowed to operate at the airport without a proper contract and was in direct competition to his and other authorized companies, causing losses to those businesses.

The memo states that former premier McKeeva Bush had set out the policy of having two unrestricted agents at Owen Roberts International – Cayman Airways and Air Agencies – and the third restricted handlers, Island Air, which deals with private planes. However, in the memo Arch complains that the CIAA chief executive officer, Jeremy Jackson, had allowed another local agency to supply unrestricted services as well as American Airlines, in direct competition with his business.

In the letter Arch demands that the CEO remove an item from the agenda of the July board meeting regarding CDS, as he makes it clear he does not support the CEO’s decision.

In addition, the minutes reveal that questions regarding other handling agents had been raised and discussed at the board meetings throughout 2010 and 2011. In the board minutes from January 2010 Universal Ground Handling Service gave a presentation to all board members, including Arch and Flowers, about offering its services to the airport. And in May 2010, while both Arch and Flowers remained in the meeting, Jackson, who has since been dismissed as CEO of the airport, raised the issue that there were no policies and regulations in place regarding handling services.

In July the subject came to the fore and was discussed at two July meetings but Flowers and Arch only removed themselves on one occasion. In a September Jackson also revealed that the only licences in place for any of the agencies at the airport was Island Air, despite the claims Arch made in his July memo.

In March 2011 at another board meeting, despite their declared interests, Arch and Flowers were both present and voted on new policies to regulate ground handling agencies, which directly affected their businesses.

It was recently revealed in a report by the board that Jackson had been accused of mismanagement and was suspended from his job. Shortly after the reportwas leaked to the press the airport boss was fired. The latest revelations show that the board chair had been displeased with the CEO, not just because of allegation over boozy lunches but because he was allowing companies in direct competition with his business to operate at the George Town Airport.

See memo from Arch to board below.

Related article on CNS:

Airport boss report leaked

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  1. Anonymous9 says:

    The level of corruption on this island and those that don't seem to think there is anything wrong with it, is like a bad Disney movie. However in the Cayman version, the underdog does NOT win against fat cat wallets.


  2. Anonymous says:


    Anyone see the irony in the photo used in this article.

    Who’s laughing at whom now.

    Me thinkest that the real reason for the firing of a certain CEO tis quickly becoming apparent.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Is this the same Dick Arch who as Chair of the CIAA, has a private office at the Airport with the wording "Head Office" on the front door? XXXX And one has to ask who paid for Dick Head Office. Bet you it was not the same Dick Arch! When will this stop? Does it have to wait for an election? It should not. They should be suspended from holding the Chair and Directorships pending a full investigation and an interim appointment made in the meantime. Remove them from office whiile a proper investigsation is carried out. If all is in order then reinstate tem. If it is not try then in the Court through the justice system. Enough is enough. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I can tell you that all of the 'Government Officials' are fully aware of the actions of the board and have been provided supporting documentation for proof.  However, they choose to let the board 'dissolve naturally' via elections (if the same government that appointed them is not re-elected) to avoid stepping on any toes.  This is an absolute disgrace to the Cayman Islands and its people.  If the board is dissolved naturally, then obviously these members walk away not being held accountable for their actions.  What happened to the public interest report that the Auditor General's office promised?  Will that ever really be "public"?  and if it is, what actions will be taken?  I can bet none!!

      • SSM345 says:

        Thats why one or all of the persons affected by decisions like these need to file an action, before the elections….oh wait……someone has already, too bad for this BOD and Cayman, because rampant corruption, conflicts of ineterst, misuse of funds and any other dirty laundry is going to be a huge part of these elections.

        And the damage that follows……well, praying will not do anything this time round folks.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If this report is correct warrants of arrest and charges should follow for offences under the Anti-Corruption Law. If they don't then we will know that the ACC is not operating as it should.

  5. Reality Cheque says:

    So the gist of the letter is "I have always said that I have been impartial and will continue to say that, but there is going to be a decision which negatively affects a business I own, so rather than leaving it to that business to make representations and removing myself from the decision making process, I am going to directly tell you what I think and what I want. 

    PS: Some might think having someone with a direct financial interest in a business involved at the airport might have been a conflict of interest debarring hium from participating on the board at all, but none of the Board thought that and Mac didn't.  How very predictable.

  6. CayMan Gov't work Ethic says:

    We wonder why bad things always happens to good people?There are those people who come to work on time work hard and go beyond the call of duty to get the job done and either get harass or maligned at work almost never appreciated till they leave and die  from stress related illnesses.

    Then there are those who come to work who terrorize the living hell out of the first bunch by any means necessary and on top of that complain constantly about the work which they never do and are there just to collect a salary and be a pestilence and stress to the entire work system they are never wrong or accountable for is always somebody else fault.

    The finally there those who never come to work and when they do it is because the guilt they feel about earning so much for doing so little they do this because they feel the world owes them a favour when they do come to work late they abuse all privellges abuse their position to make it hard for others by not carrying their weight, who spend most of the time on private business jaunts to enrich themselves who sadly believe they are entitle to have these things because they belong to either a certain political favours group or the special group of men who believe they should hold or control the reigns of power and are beyond reproach or question when their actions are in breach of the law or policies or rules of their employment Who along with their members then will use any methods necessary to protect themselves from any form recourse or reprimand or reproach they have brought on themselves by their own hand or actions. Some people are well aware what was and has been is going on at the CIAA,, ERA, and their CEO's etc  in fact on all these statuory Boards and the level of abuse that has been going for a very long time. Very  rarely it gets so bad that the indiffrent or  their accomplices unfortunately have to act to peserve their own well being or economic postion. The only true victims in this folks you see are those that work hard to carry the rest of these no good Bastards! 

    • Rorschach says:

      Podna, you just hit the nail square on the head with the biggest hammer ever…

  7. Anonymous says:

    Clearly, the purpose of the last government was corruption!!!! If you were to look on all the stautory boards there is nothing but conflicts of interests. Great examples are found on the Planning Board and Immigration Board. It is clear why Cayman is in the position it is in now. GREED!!!! Rich and influential getting richer whilemarginalising the poor. The UDP government and those affiliated are nothing but Pirates knowing nothing more than prillage, plunder and rape.

  8. Philo the Philosopher says:

    And to think that these are some of the people who are constantly referred to and looked up to as our "great civic leaders". 

    What are our kids supposed to think?  Please,  NO MORE POLITICAL APPOINTMENTS TO BOARDS, these boards  should be audited on a quarterly basis, and whenever discrepancies are discovered sack whomever is responsible. Then maybe, just maybe, somebody will get the message.

  9. Rorschach says:

    How any of these people can show their face and skin up their teeth in public is beyond me..I would be worse than shamed…

  10. Anonymous says:

    If the Governor could remove Joey from the Electricity Board, why can't he remove the present Chair and other members of the CIAA Board? At the very least the recruitment process for a new CEO of the Authority should be put on hold pending the appointment of a new Board and full investigations into exactly what has gone on at the CIAA. XXXX "Out, damned spot! out, I say!"

  11. Anon says:

    It appears that this same Dick Arch nominated Jonathan Piercy for the 2013 election.

    So we all know who will protect who when the votes are counted. When the UDP party is elected in May this will all just blow over like a passing cloud.


  12. Anonymous says:

    Seems that anyone with integrity and Honesty gets fired, and replaced by YES men.

    Cayman wake up and see what has been going on behind the scenes.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Thank you CNS for continuing to report such things. Having read this story the Viewpoint beside it on Non-Cash corruption, I think that it is long past time that the kinds of solutions referred to in the Viewpoint are implemented. We need to have a zero tolerance to any kind of conflict of interest and corruption.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Any chance of soliciting a response from the Governor or the Chief Conditioner of Police?

    • Rorschach says:

      you can solicit..but you will grow old and feeble before you get a logical response…

  15. SKEPTICAL says:

    More members of the Caymanian cult who, in consequence of their family history, and prominent position in society, consider themselves – ” The Untouchables “. In modern times Nassau had it’s ” Bay Street Boys ” , Bermuda it’s ” Forty Thieves ” . Cayman has always had it’s own local business cartels – perhaps they now have a title.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Isn't this the way most government business is run?  I mean – we all know plenty politicians and board members across the island personally benefit by directing government money into their own personal business interests, or businesses 'purportedly' owned and operated by someone else (even though most of us know its just a front).  What gets me is how brazen they are with such business and how the heck they have gotten, and continue to get away with it for so long? Cayman politics and the manner in which Cayman's public purse is spent, truly is a shambles.  Its very sad, if you understand that the only ones suffering as a result of all these bad decisions and operations is the Cayman people themselves.

  17. Anonymous says:

    And yet the current government refuses to take any action.  When are people going to start being held accountable?

    • Anonymous says:

      How can the current government take action when so many MLAs conduct their government work in the same way – looking out for their own respective business concerns, pushing deals to family and friends without a fair, objective and independent assessment.  If you ask me we could do to sweep out our closet completely and completely re-outfit the place.

    • Anonymous says:

      DICK ARCH? Would this be the same Dick Arch that was so vocal on the UDP stage election 2009? The same one that paraded the stage saying the he came out of retirement because the good ship Cayman was heading in the wrong direction and need a new captain? And named McKeeva Bush to be the new captain? Same one? Well well now we know why, dont we? PPM Government would let him have his way!!!  Shame on you Dick Arch, shame on you!

    • Rorschach says:

      I used to say, "when pigs fly"..but then I saw the travel expenses for the past few years and I realised that pigs were flying and nothing was getting now I say, "when the sun rises in the West"..

  18. Anonymous says:

    Good work CNS. People need to be told this is how it works. Once the votes are tallied the real agendas begin. Conflicts of interest seems to be the name of the game. Very similar to the United States. Only on a smaller scale. This is something to very aware of when governments appoint members to boards – it happens after the fact. After the so-called democratic process whereby voters finally have a chance. And it’s sickening and corrupt. They can talk all day about accountability. But this throws it out the window.

    In other words – we pay them to make decisions about their own interests. While over seeing themselves. How sick is that?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Somebodeeeee feeling the heat????????

  20. Anonymous says:

    And the interim Government (PNA) did absolutely nothing about it. Other than to sit by idly and see another good honest Caymanian hung out to dry XXXX. Vote them OUT!!!

  21. Anonymous says:

    If you are looking for integrity

    You will not vote for any UDP

    • Anonymous says:

      This report alone has got to be enough for the Financial Crims Unit to get in…conflicts of interest, awarding of contracts to self and friends..overpricing of underperforming service…My Goodness, it is a licence to print money!!

  22. Anonymous says:

    And exactly who is surprised by this?!! This is the way it has always been. Board members swore up and down that they never did benifit from the position, yet the tell-tale signs were all around.

    Look at the airport operations XXXX, baggage handlers, security…who owns those companies?!!! Hmmm, Cayman as usual. When a audit was done to find areas where Government could save money, I understand that many of these board members were against a lot of very good proposals that would have saved a lot of money. I wonder why?!

    • Anonymous says:

      Indeed.  Look no further than the Immigration Boards under both UDP and PPM.  The longest serving chairs under both parties also made a living advising people on Immigration matters – a blatant conflict.  

  23. Anonymous says:

    UDP board!!!

    • J Salasi I. -111? says:

      Alie ya a tell. Those two companies have been at the Airport for years, no bids taken. It is not just UDP government board, it’s also PPM board at least someof the members who have been there before present time. Stop chatting rassery.

    • Anonymous says:

      And the current Minister…….. still keeps the Chairman …. allows conflicts….. Fire the Chairman and Board, dont wait for them to resign. SET AN EXAMPLE, are we that lawless?