BY: PENI KOMAISAVAI
Three days after deadline, the University of the South Pacific (USP) is still to announce the investigator that will look into allegations of corruption and abuse of office at the regional institution.
The USP Council last week revealed that four Auckland-based accounting firms have been invited to bid for the task of undertaking an independent investigation into the allegations that were raised by USP’s current Vice Chancellor and President Professor Pal Ahluwalia against his predecessor.
The bids to conduct investigation was closed on Monday this week, and the Council promised to make an announcement on Tuesday, but Council deputy chair Aloma Johansson of Tonga has refused to respond to our questions on the matter.
Mahmood Khan, who is one of the Fijian Government’s representatives at the USP Council and chair of the Council’s Audit and Compliance Committee, says he will be releasing a statement “soon”.
As earlier reported, the allegations that were raised in a paper “Issues, Concerns and Breaches of Past Management and Financial Decisions,” questioned the circumstances around a number of appointments and financial decisions during the tenure of the previous VC.
Staff of the University of the South Pacific at the university’s main campus in Suva this week called for USP Pro Chancellor Winston Thompson to step aside to allow for an independent investigation into alleged abuse and mismanagement to proceed. Thompson has indicated he won’t be doing that.
The report of the Independent Investigator is due by August 16.