NATION

More USP Claims

Audit firm KPMG has not been able to complete its investigations into allegations of grave governance issues at the University of the South Pacific.
10 Apr 2021 11:17
More USP Claims
The University of the South Pacific Pro Chancellor Winston Thompson.

Audit firm KPMG has not been able to complete its investigations into allegations of grave governance issues at the University of the South Pacific.

This is because of the increasing number of new complaints and evidence they continue to receive from staff.

It has prompted the firm, which is internationally regarded as one of the Big Four accounting firms, to request more time to look into the additional allegations.

There are also concerns that some people from the current USP management are not co-operating with KPMG, tasked to investigate the series of allegations first highlighted by the Fiji Sun.

Pro-Chancellor Winston Thompson said: “We have not received the report yet. The time was extended. It was due by the end of this week. But it is not received yet.”

When asked if the report would be ready in time for the May sitting of the council, Mr Thompson said: “Yes, I would think so: May is a long way away.

“I can’t discuss the details of what is happening because the council has to consider these matters and that is what will happen in the first instance. It will be put to the council.

“Things that are done or investigated has to go first to the council.

“It’s the council that has to make a decision so I’m not in a position to impart any details of what is being done until the council has considered it.

“An investigation is underway and the report is due and that report will go to the council.”

Pal Ahluwalia’s fate:

Professor Pal Ahluwalia who is currently in Nauru and is on USP pay roll, turned 63 this January.

His now terminated contract would have been the only one he could have held with USP given that USP’s retirement age for all senior staff is 65.

This means that any attempts by Samoa and Nauru to circumvent legal opinion provided by Munro Leys and give Professor Ahluwalia another new five-year contract may not succeed.

Samoa and Nauru have been pushing for him to receive the remainder of the contract, but it too may not be in line with the legal opinion provided by USP lawyers.

Further abuse allegations:

USP’s decision to sign an advertising contract with a media organisation without calling for proper tender will also be forwarded to KPMG, it has been revealed.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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