Duncan: Political favor kept former Winair Board in place

POSTED: 03/29/11 3:00 AM

St. Maarten – Former Shareholder Representative for Winair Roland Duncan has given further content to the reasoning for the airline’s former board to have been sacked. They voluntarily resigned at a shareholder meeting on March 21 that was ready to fire them.

Duncan’s comments are linked to a statement made by Michael Ferrier who is Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee on Winair that was installed by Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams to advise her on the airline’s future. In a March 22 statement Ferrier pointed out that the board had failed to call annual shareholder meetings four years. Duncan, who was Shareholder Representative of behalf of the Netherlands Antilles, confirmed this and said he’d never pressed for a meeting to be called because the company was not producing annual profit and loss statements, balance sheets, audited accounts or the management report.

“That is something you can blame the board for, because it is their responsibility to ensure the management presents those things. The management failed to do what it had to do and the board took no action and there was no way I was going to go to Parliament – who is the Shareholder – without the reports or with balance sheets that were rejected by the external accounting firm that went over the books,” Duncan said.

The Minister said the board was also not good at taking his or the shareholder’s instructions. One example is that the Shareholder gave their permission in 2006 for a second managing director to be appointed.

“The Board then sabotaged that for years,” he charged.

Sacking the board was not something Duncan felt he could do because of what he called political realities, where the party that had appointed him – the National Alliance – looked favorably on the now former board.

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