Aviation bodies fight over payment of claims

National, Normal

The National- Thursday, February 10, 2011


THE Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and PNG Air Traffic Controllers Association (PNGATCA) are in a stalemate over alleged falsified reports on payment of a claim to PNGATCA by CAA.

The matter was brought to the National Court in Waigani in which the plaintiff (PNGATCA) mentioned that it did not accept a report by the Department of Personnel Management (DPM) that CAA had already paid the claim in full though in actual fact, only a part, was paid.

Meanwhile, CAA through its lawyer sought the approval of the court to close the matter, claiming that it had already paid PNGATCA in full and that the allegation was false.

Justice Ambeng Kandakasi, who presided over the matter, then asked both parties to reveal the amount claimed and the amount outstanding to the court, in which lawyers for both parties indicated that they were not in the position to do so as yet.

Their response prompted Kandakasi to label the issue as “funny and ridiculous” whilst further denying CAA’s application to scrap the matter.

A further request by CAA to have an independent body to assess the payments was also denied by the court on the ground that the simple thing for both parties to do was to produce facts and figures before court as the report by DPM proved that assessment had already been made.

Kandakasi ordered both parties to produce facts and figures, along with relevant documents indicating the approval of the amount claimed and how much was paid when they appeared for hearing again.

He added that the author(s) of the DPM report along with cheque butts and other factors that would give meaning to the complaint should be made available before the court.

Some members of PNGATCA stated that they would produce facts and figures, all bank documents indicating transactions, along with the national executive council’s approval letter for the payment outlining the total amount to be paid.

They also indicated that what happened to the remainder of the unpaid amount would possibly prompt another separate legal case.