Detailed answers on the questions raised by the Fiji National University Law Students Association have not been provided by the FNU and the FNU Students Association President, Ketan Lal.
FNU has only confirmed that the financial statement of the FNU Students Association is audited by an external auditor and presented to students at the FNU Students Association AGM.
While responding to claims made by a group of FNU students led by the Vice President of the FNU Law Students Association, FNU’s Vice Chancellor, Nigel Healey has also stated that the financial statement for two years is not available because the FNU Students Association was formed in 2016 and the first statement was audited in 2017 and presented to the students in the first quarter of 2018.
His comments come after the Vice President of the FNU Law Students Association, Ilisapeci Tunamena approached Attorney General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum outside his office and told him that for the past two years, they have not received any financial report from President of the FNU Students Association, Ketan Lal.
Tunamena says they have been in the dark on how the funds are being utilised. She also alleges that purchases are being made without consultations.
Tunamena had also told Sayed-Khaiyum that they are paying $73 for their registration fee every trimester and has questioned where their money is going.
She told Sayed-Khaiyum that if he walks into Ketan Lal’s office he will be shocked to see the things inside adding they do not have a problem with it if Lal provides them with a financial report.
Tunamena says they want FICAC to carry out an investigation.
She also highlighted that they have raised this matter with the Registrar and the Vice Chancellor of FNU and they have not received any feedback to date.
In his response, Healey says the registration fee is $53 per trimester and covers administration cost for enrolment and is a standard fee that is charged by most Universities.
FNU’s Vice Chancellor has also stated that a letter was sent to FNU’s Registrar addressing these issues on 12th March this year and the Registrar immediately called for an investigative meeting the following day and addressed all the points raised in the letter.
Healey says the only outstanding issue was the audited financial statement which was not available at the point and was presented at the subsequent FNU Students Association AGM.
We are trying to speak to Ketan Lal, Tunamena and Vice Chancellor Healey to get further clarification on these issues.
Meanwhile, Sayed-Khaiyum had asked the FNU students to submit the petition signed by the 700 FNU students formally and also told Tunamena that some of the issues raised falls outside the perimeters of what government can do as the students have an independent University Council and independent constitution and they can seek normal legal redress within their constitution provisions.
However, Sayed-Khaiyum stated that if they make submissions to government, then they can raise it with the Vice Chancellor and the FNU Council as government is the financier of FNU.