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Monday, March 26, 2007

University of the South Pacific workers call for investigation in the financial management of the regional institution

Employees of the University of the South Pacific have called for an investigation into the financial management of the regional institution.

One of the main issues under the spotlight is the salary level of senior staff which some have claimed were exorbitantly high. The matter was top on the agenda of the Annual General Meeting of the USP Staff Association at the Holiday Inn in Suva on Saturday. The university employees also discussed leadership at the university, university finances and governance.

Early this week USP staff received an email alleging certain financial mismanagement by senior management. The email also contained copied payslips of eight management staff, labelled by some to be exorbitant.

The USP had officially denied the allegations, however staff association president Dr Mahendra Reddy believes the managers’ wages are genuine.

“Salary slips don’t lie. These are original salary slips,” he said.

“In respect of financial management, the accusations made are just tip of the iceberg. I think there are more to it.”

Dr Reddy said there need to be a detailed audit of financial management at USP that would also take into account the salaries of senior management. Fiji Interim Finance Minister Mahendra Chaudhry had also called for an audit to investigate if Fiji’s contribution of $38 million to the USP was being properly used.

Deputy military commander Captain Esala Teleni has confirmed receiving documents backing allegations of mismanagement and abuse of office by the USP management. Captain Teleni said the anti-corruption unit is looking into the matter.

Source: Fiji Daily Post

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