All is not well at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA).
Informed sources told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that the Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Joan Gilbert has submitted her resignation and could be replaced by a local attorney-at-law.
A well-placed source said that Gilbert decided to call it a day amidst reports that Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation, Yolande Bain-Horsford was about to change the composition of the board.
He spoke of relations between the head of the board and Bain-Horsford
deteriorating to the point that the female government minister issued instructions to torpedo a board meeting being called by Gilbert to allegedly discuss the work performance of a senior person at the airport.
THE NEW TODAY understands that Gilbert was stunned when reports reached her that the planned meeting was called off on instructions from the minister.
“I heard that Joan asked if the minister gave any reason for calling off the meeting and was told that the minister said that she was in charge and did not have to give her any reason for calling off the meeting”, said the source.
He cited one of the contentious issues at MBIA as being related to an apparent move being contemplated by Gilbert to address alleged flaws within the Accounting Section of the state-controlled body.
According to the source, there were allegedly many errors of a financial nature in reports sent before the board for consideration.
He said that Gilbert was pointing a finger at a newly recruited member of staff who joined MBIA after being embroiled in a controversial matter involving salaries at another state-run body.
Like Gilbert, the individual is perceived to have strong political affiliation with the ruling New National Party (NNP) administration.
Speculation is rife that the constant errors made by the Accounting Department were impacting on the airport’s ability to submit its annual report to Parliament in keeping with the laws of Grenada.
The source challenged this newspaper to find out from Parliament why no annual report for 2013 has been presented to Parliament on the operations of the Airport authority unlike others like Gravel & Concrete and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).
A source familiar with the operations of the airport told this newspaper that a local accounting firm headed by Rupert Agostini has been retained to handle the annual report of this particular state body but cannot properly do its work in the absence of critical relevant information that ought to prepared and handed over by the Accounting Department at MBIA.
THE NEW TODAY understands that the smooth operations of the governing Board at the airport is also being affected to some extent by “petty internal squabbles involving some of the NNP operatives appointed to serve on the corporation.
The source said that some Board members of the MBIA will not make comments on certain issues in the presence of others for fear of their contributions being reported to certain individuals within the upper echelon of the party and government.