Fiji withholds USP grant pending investigation

September 24, 2020 12:55 pm

The Fijian government has ceased grant contributions to the University of the South Pacific effective immediately.

FBC News can confirm that Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has written to the USP advising them of the decision.

Sayed-Khaiyum states the Fijian government as the largest grant contributor is concerned with continuous question marks about the lack of adherence to the principles of good governance in the day to day administration of USP.

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He adds that the government is particularly and deeply concerned about the lack of investigations into serious allegations that have been identified by the USP Pro-Chancellor and the Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.

Sayed-Khaiyum also points out that USP Council also ignored the recommendation of the Special Executive Committee that at least 14 of the 33 allegations against Professor Pal Ahluwalia required independent investigation.

The USP has been told that until such time as a thorough and independent investigation is carried out to the satisfaction of the Fijian government, grants to the University will be ceased with immediate effect.

Fiji has allocated $27.6 million as grant to USP for the current financial year.