Rugby | SPORTS

Sorovaki Steps Up

Fiji Rugby Un­ion chief ex­ecutive officer John O’Connor has volunteered to take his annual leave to allow an inde­pendent audit at Rugby House.
16 Aug 2022 11:07
Sorovaki Steps Up
Fiji Rugby Union chairman Commodore Humphrey Tawake (left) and acting chief executive officer Sale Sorovaki at the Fiji Rugby House on August 16, 2022. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga-Tuisawau

Fiji Rugby Un­ion chief ex­ecutive officer John O’Connor has volunteered to take his annual leave to allow an inde­pendent audit at Rugby House.

National operations manager Sale Sorovaki has been appointed by the board to be acting CEO.

In a press conference at Fiji Rugby House yesterday, board chairman Commodore Humphrey Tawake cleared speculations on social me­dia regarding the matter.

This comes after the termination of three staff. The grounds regard­ing the trio’s termination was not disclosed.

“CEO O’Connor has voluntarily taken his annual leave for the bet­terment of the administration.

“That is his annual leave. He has not been suspended or fired from FRU.”

Tawake said it was timely to have an internal and holistic audit to re­view the procedures and processes at 35 Gordon Street.

The audit which is carried by Binder Dijker Otte (BDO) was ini­tially planned to be held at the end of the year.

The last audit was carried out by Ernst & Young about three years ago as confirmed by Tawake.

“Certain development has oc­curred in Fiji Rugby House the last three to four weeks,” he said.

“The board has taken initial steps to ensure that proper governance and accountability and transpar­ency is evident at all times at Fiji Rugby House.

“In having said that, we had to ter­minate three staff members, I will not divulge their names because of ongoing investigations.

“We had initially planned for an internal audit, governance, finan­cial and human resource audit into our systems and processes within FRU.

“We have appointed BDO as the accounting firm to conduct that governance and finance audit, to explore how we can improve the system and processes that we have within FRU.

“FRU has not had one for quite a while so it is timely now.”

Tawake assured that all FRU pro­grammes will continue with the men’s preparing for Los Angeles 7s and the Rugby World Cup 7s in South Africa in October.

“We will look at the holistic or­ganisation where were are and how we can better improve to move for­ward to be an efficient organisation in the future.

“The BDO inquiry is expected to take a couple of weeks.

“At the end of that we will be able to see the areas we can improve in and improve our systems and pro­cesses, to ensure that everything is transparent in compliance to World Rugby and to the Fijian community at large.”

Asked if Fiji Independent Com­mission Against Corruption (FI­CAC) is involved, Tawake replied: “At this point, no. This is the in­ternal processes that we have, only after the BDO enquiry and investi­gation are completed then we will determine if it is necessary to in­volve FICAC, only time will tell.

“We have the preliminary investi­gation into the board sub-commit­tee so we thought it will be prudent that we look at the holistic organi­sation rather than concentrating on one area.

“That’s why we brought in BDO to conduct the inquiry into our audit, governance, HR and our finance.”

“I think it will be unfair for me because it is still not fully investi­gated to divulge what the allega­tions are.

“When time comes then we will inform the Fiji Rugby public of what’s happening.”

Feedback: sereana.salalo@fijisun.com.fj



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