USP leadership crisis papers leak but special council meeting goes ahead

USP pro vice-chancellor Winston Thompson ... "We depend on good faith and the sense of responsibility." Image: FBC file

By Lena Reece in Suva

The University of the South Pacific special council meeting about the leadership crisis will proceed in Fiji as scheduled tomorrow.

USP pro-chancellor Winston Thompson has confirmed the meeting will still go ahead,  adding that the meeting papers that were leaked this week will still be considered for the meeting agenda.

The confidential papers, including the “secret” BDO New Zealand forensic accounts report on university finances, were circulated to members of the USP Council on Tuesday night.

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Even though it may be difficult to establish who leaked the documents, Thompson said  further investigations had not been ruled out.

“Obviously more than one [person] has leaked the information to the public media and it has been published [and] that is a serious breach of the person’s fiduciary responsibilities,” he told FBC News.

“As you know it is very difficult to establish that and quite often it doesn’t really lead anywhere. We depend on the good faith and the sense of responsibility of people who receive those papers that they treat [them]with an appropriate level of confidentiality.”

In a statement on the leaked meeting papers, the USP Council secretariat says it was highly regrettable and could have only been done to further aggravate a sensitive situation.

The special USP Council meeting will be held tomorrow at USP’s Laucala campus in Suva from 10am-4pm.

Lena Reece is a senior multimedia journalist with FBC News.

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