SOLOMONS CIVIL AVIATION OFFICIAL UNDER FIRE

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Wickham accused of mismanagement

By Eddie Osifelo

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Nov. 5, 2009) – A BIG row has erupted between senior officials of the Civil Aviation Division and their Permanent Secretary Jeffrey Wickham.

This was after the officials accused Mr Wickham of "gross mismanagement" of aviation funds and failing to seek technical advices from them.

Civil Aviation adviser Bill MacGregor had written the Prime Minister’s Office asking for Mr Wickham to be stood down while an investigation is conducted into the operations of the division.

He claimed the Ministry of Communication and Aviation of which Mr Wickham was the Permanent Secretary, is essentially insolvent.

But Mr Wickham, who was moved to the ministry in May this year when the Government reshuffled its permanent secretaries, called the officials "lazy".

He said the civil aviation officials have not been doing anything during their time to improve the infrastructures at Honiara International Airport.

"It is my job to spend money and make things happen," Mr Wickham told the officials in a memo.

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