January 31, 2023


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Allegations leveled against USP

Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has today read out a letter by a whistleblower alleging several unfair appointments at the University of the South Pacific.

The Minister says he received the letter on Monday, and it is from someone in the Human Resources department of USP.

Sayed-Khaiyum says the letter was titled “Re-whistle blowing against the Director of HR and Division of HR”.

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The Minister quoted the letter saying that recently few selected staff (Indians) have been promoted on acting roles.

Sayed-Khaiyum says this showed the unhappiness within the staff and also new applications were never considered as people were already selected for the role.

“These roles have very high salaries.” New positions have been created such as HR, business partner and team leaders with very high salaries. Only selective names were chosen for these roles. Why weren’t the other staff considered? “

The anonymous writer stated that if HR is unethical, then how will other staff outside of HR be treated, HR is setting a bad example.

Sayed-Khaiyum also pointed out the change of heart by SODELPA Leader Viliame Gavoka, who now wants the government’s USP grant released.

Gavoka had earlier called for USP to allow investigation into the allegation of corruption.

The SODELPA Leader stands corrected. He stated he only said to leave the running of USP to the Council to pay the grant.

Sayed-Khaiyum says this is a change of tune.

National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad says the reading of a letter from an anonymous writer is an abuse of parliamentary time and those named cannot defend themselves.

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“What you are saying Mr. Speaker is I can come with an anonymous letter and read it here in parliament and name people. I get so many anonymous letters about so many people here.”

Speaker of Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau says it’s a whistleblower and is being read openly and there has been no ruling against this sort of matters in the past.

Sayed-Khaiyum in response, says he merely reads from the letter and no one has been defamed.

We have sent questions to USP.