NEWS

Two More From USP’s Staff Suspended

Investigations by KPMG, following revelations of nepotism and alleged discrepancies in the university’s internal operations, will be completed by the end of this month.
16 Mar 2021 13:44
Two More From USP’s Staff Suspended
USP Pro Vice Chancellor Winston Thompson.

Two more staff members from the University of the South Pacific (USP) have been suspended without pay, bringing the total of suspended staff members to seven, six administrative members and one academic.

These suspensions follow a series of revelations reported in the Fiji Sun about the actions of former USP Vice Chancellor Pal Ahluwalia and other senior staff.

Out of the two recent suspensions, at least one has been suspended for allegedly leaking information to the media.

The Fiji Sun published serious allegations which related to the alleged failure of the university to follow proper procedures in the appointment of staff to senior positions, contract renewals of ‘supporters’ of the former Vice Chancellor, which were made outside the university’s policies and procedures, and payments to Professor Ahluwalia.

Up to this point the university has refused to respond to these most recent allegations, although reputed audit firm, KPMG, has been called in to independently investigate the allegations raised in the Fiji Sun.

Why have these staff been suspended without pay?

The details of the allegations against them have not been revealed, in some cases even to the people who have been suspended.

 

Investigations To Be Completed By Month End

Investigations by KPMG, following revelations of nepotism and alleged discrepancies in the university’s internal operations, will be completed by the end of this month.

This was confirmed by USP Pro Vice Chancellor Winston Thompson yesterday.

Mr Thompson said investigations were ongoing and the council would be able to ascertain the result of the investigations once it is complete.

 

Fresh Allegations

Meanwhile, the Fiji Sun was also able to obtain a copy of a complaint lodged to council against the Director of the Pacific Technical and Further Education (Pacific TAFE) Susan Sela on alleged discrepancies on the processes taken to appoint her as the Director for Pacific TAFE.

The complaint was addressed to Pro Vice Chancellor Winston Thompson on March 4.

Complainants alleged that Ms Sela did not meet the requirements of the post.

When asked about the allegations, Mr Thompson said he could neither confirm, nor deny receiving a complaint on discrepancies against Ms Sela’s appointment.

However, he said all these allegations were part of the investigations that KPMG was carrying out.

“There has been a lot of publicity on these appointments and it is also part of the KPMG investigations being carried out,” he said.

Queries sent to Ms Sela yesterday remain unanswered when this edition went to press. It is highly speculative that two heads will be appointed in TAFE division this week and positions would go to strong supporters of deported and former VC.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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