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Auditor-General agrees to review Airways documents


Auditor-General agrees to review Airways documents

The Minister of State Owned Enterprises Mark Burton has today asked the Auditor-General to review material supplied to the Minister's office by the Airways Corporation and its former employee, Ezequiel Trumper.

"The issue of the involvement of Airways Corporation with a consortium preparing a bid for a portion of the UK-based National Air Traffic Services (NATS) has received considerable attention.

"Serious allegations have been made. Because of the expertise of the Audit Office, advice from the Auditor-General has been sought," Mark Burton said.

"David Mcdonald has this afternoon agreed to review the documents, under the following Terms of Reference:

(i) Did ACNZ’s Board correctly identify the extent of, and obtain advice from, appropriate sources on any conflict of interest for senior management in terms of potential personal gains in relation to the proposed NATS transaction and the Consortium arrangements?

(ii) Did the Board deal with any conflict of interest in an appropriate and robust way?

(iii) Did the Board or relevant Senior Executives act in breach of their legal or ethical obligations to the Company in relation to ACNZ's involvement in the proposed NATS transaction, as identified in the signed Consortium Agreement?

(iv) Was the £10 million in management incentives proposed for senior management, which has been referred to publicly, included in the agreement between ACNZ and the Consortium partners and, if it was, on what basis was it offered and was it accepted by ACNZ’s Board?

(v) Based on the documentation, were the severance arrangements with Mr Trumper:

(a) Lawful and made in accordance with the Board’s powers?

(b) Made solely, or substantially with, a view to keeping Mr Trumper from disclosing his concerns about proposed management incentives?

"Mr Mcdonald has indicated that he should be able to complete his review and report back to me by the 28th June at the latest.

"To ensure the credibility of the process, and to avoid any suggestion of unhelpful influence, the Government does not intend to make any further comment until the Auditor-General has completed his review," Mr Burton said.

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