The boss of Grand Cayman’s airport remains on suspension with full pay as investigations into the authority’s expenses continue.
The findings of a forensic audit, ordered by the Cayman Islands Airports Authority board and conducted by one of its directors, are still being reviewed, board chairman Richard Arch said in a statement on Tuesday, 26 February.
Some allegations of financial misconduct, apparently based on the findings of an interim report, were leaked and posted on the Internet last week.
But Mr. Arch said he would not discuss details of the internal audit’s findings until the process was complete.
He added that a decision over the future of CEO Jeremy Jackson would not be taken until the findings of the audit had been reviewed by an independent firm.
Mr. Jackson was placed on required leave and financial controller Shelly Ware was fired in December last year – around a month after the internal audit began. Tourism Minister Cline Glidden confirmed in a press briefing last Thursday that Mr. Jackson was still on full pay as the investigation continued.
“The board has engaged an independent firm to review the findings of the board’s audit and report,” said Mr. Arch. “When that is completed, the board will make its decision on the issues and share such decision with the public.”
He did not say whether the full report would be made public and did not respond to requests for clarification on that issue by press time.
Mr. Arch said he initiated the audit in October in response to “ongoing concerns of the board”.
“The audit mainly focused on expenses of the Authority to ensure that those expenditures were compliant with the Authority’s policies, public service laws and regulations… As audit issues were identified, they were presented to the board with supporting documentation,” he said.
He added: “Just recently all 10 members of the board were provided with an interim report, which included the supporting documentation to substantiate the findings contained in that report. An extraordinary board meeting of the Authority was held in December 2012. That meeting resulted in the financial controller being dismissed from her employment with the CIAA, and the chief executive officer, Mr. Jeremy Jackson being put on suspension with full pay.
“At Mr. Jackson’s request the board agreed that these pending matters would remain confidential. The inquiry by the board continues.”
The Auditor General’s office said in a statement last week that it was “gathering information” to determine what work needed to be done.
“There have been recent media items concerning allegations of inappropriate activities at the Cayman Islands Airports Authority… The Auditor General has been made aware of these allegations and his Office is currently gathering information to determine the nature and scope of any work that needs to be conducted in light of actions being taken by the current CIAA board and management.
“When the work is completed, it is the intent of the Auditor General to report publicly on his findings,” the statement read.