21 Feb 2005

Transparency International sceptical over Air Vanuatu internal inquiry

2:01 pm on 21 February 2005

Transparency International Vanuatu is questioning the independence of an internal inquiry into the national carrier.

A government-ordered inquiry into the running of Air Vanuatu will commence after an internal investigation is completed but both come after the controversial appointment of an inexperienced board of directors.

The board was appointed after the sacking of the CEO and marketing manager who are now both suing the company for dismissing them without following the proper procedure.

TI's Marie Noelle Ferrieux Patterson says a board of 28 new members is too many when most international airlines have 10 experienced members.

And, Ms Patterson says the company's inquiry appears dubious...

"The chairman was in fact part of the former board. He was a deputy chairman under the former board so it's very difficult to think that an investigation led by this new board would find anything wrong with the former board. So I think yes, there would be a problem of independency just by that information alone. It probably would have been better to have the ombudsman investigating it or an independent commission of inquiry had been created."

Marie Noelle Ferrieux Patterson