NEWS

Parliament Hears of New USP Allegations

“Only a few selected staff (Indians) have been promoted on acting roles and these roles have high salaries. New positions have been created like Human Resource Manager Business Partners and team leaders which have high salaries.”
28 Jul 2022 17:19
Parliament Hears of  New USP Allegations
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum outside Parliament on July 27, 2022. Photo: Ronald Kumar

New allegations surrounding the University of the South Pacific were brought to Parliament yesterday when a letter written by a current staff member was read out.

The letter dated July 22, 2022, was delivered to Attorney-General and Minister for Economy while he was in Parliament on Monday.

The letter was addressed to USP’s Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council Dr Hilda Heine. In the letter, the staff member has implored Dr Heine to look into a number of issues at the regional university.

Dr Heine was not immediately available for comments when this edition went to press. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum read out the letter, titled: “Re: whistle blowing against the director of the Human Resource Department and Division of Human Resource.” It was read by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum while giving his right of reply in Parliament yesterday.

 

The letter stated: “I have been with the University of the South Pacific in the past few years and I currently work in the Human Resource Department. This is to bring to your attention of the abuse of office by the University of the South Pacific Director of Human Resources.”

“Only a few selected staff (Indians) have been promoted on acting roles and these roles have high salaries. New positions have been created like Human Resource Manager Business Partners and team leaders which have high salaries.”

“Only selected few were considered for the roles, why other staff weren’t considered for the job? Staff who are on acting roles do not have enough manageable experience and are given double the salaries.”

It went on to state: “If Human Resource is unethical, then how other staff outside of Human Resource department will be treated. The department is setting a bad example.”

 

He said this showed the unhappiness within the new staff members and that new applications were never considered as people were already selected for the role. He pointed out the change in tune by Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) leader Viliame Gavoka who wanted for an independent investigation to be carried out. But now, Mr Gavoka wants the Fijian Government to release the University of the South Pacific grant released.

He said the Samoan Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa had dinner at the National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad’s house along with some other people adding there was nothing wrong with that.

While raising a point of order, Mr Prasad said Mr Sayed-Khaiyum should not use his parliamentary privileges to defame people who are not in Parliament to defend themselves.

“What are you saying, I can come with an anonymous letter and read it out here in Parliament?” Mr Prasad asked.

“I get so many anonymous letters about so many people here.”

Speaker of Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau said the letter was being read openly and there has been no ruling against this. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said he was merely reading from the letter and no one has been defamed.

 

 Feedback: nacanieli@fijisun.com.fj



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