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Airways report released

The Controller and Auditor-General David Macdonald has concluded his review of documents relating to the involvement of Airways Corporation in a possible bid for a portion of the UK-based National Air Traffic Services.

His report was released this afternoon by the acting Minister of State Owned Enterprises Trevor Mallard.

"The Auditor-General has not found that the Board or management of Airways acted unlawfully or unethically," Trevor Mallard said.

"The Auditor-General found that the board did correctly identify and appropriately manage the potential conflicts of interest that existed for senior management involved in preparing the Consortium's bid.

"However, some internal Airways processes have been identified that should have been managed differently. These include the speed at which the Chairman informed the full Board on some issues, and whether Mr Trumper should have been given more formal instructions on his role in the negotiations.

"We will be discussing these concerns, and the way the Board communicates with Ministers, with the company.

"The £10 million package of management incentives was not instigated by Airways staff for their personal benefit, but was proposed by another party to the consortium and was rejected by the Airways Corporation.

"The allegations that Board members, and in particular the Chairman, stood to gain personally, were without foundation.

"With regard to Mr Trumper's departure from Airways, the Auditor-General has found that the severance arrangements with Mr Trumper were lawful, consistent with employment law principles, and were not made solely, or substantially, to prevent Mr Trumper disclosing his concerns. The confidentiality aspect of the severance arrangements was in fact proposed by Mr Trumper.

"Ministers are pleased that the Auditor-General found no illegal or unethical behaviour, and will be considering this report carefully over the next few days," Trevor Mallard said.

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