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SFUO’s board promises to release forensic audit results, implement PwC recommendations

On Sunday Nov. 4, the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO)’s Board of Administration (BOA) met to discuss the results of the forensic audit conducted by PwC in response to fraud allegations faced by former SFUO president, Rizki Rachiq, former vice-president of operations Axel Gaga, and recused executive coordinator Vanessa Dorimain.  

Rachiq’s resignation was announced at the start of the meeting, along with the resignation of Gaga, and Emily Seguin, the board’s Indigenous representative.

Other items on the agenda included executive updates, an emergency motion calling for the promotion of the fall General Assembly, amendments to the ethics committee motion from the governance motion package seen at last month’s meeting, and the results of the most recent by-election.

Forensic audit

Representatives from PwC, the auditing firm chosen to investigate the alleged misuse of funds by SFUO executives, presented the results of their audit to BOA members in an in-camera session that lasted over two hours.

Vice-president social, Faduma Wais, clarified after the in-camera session that the redacted results of the audit, as well as a summary, will be made publically available to students pending approval from PwC. The date is yet to be determined, but the SFUO later tweeted that the report will be shared on their website, with links that will be posted on all social media platforms.

In her executive updates, acting-president Paige Booth mentioned that the university administration has a copy of the report, and that the SFUO will be meeting with them shortly to propose a new agreement.

The board also voted to implement the recommendations of PwC, including, but not limited to, a conflict of interest bylaw, a policy in regards to regular fraud risk assessments, and a procurement policy.

Emergency Motion

An emergency motion was proposed to call for the fall General Assembly (GA) on Tuesday Nov. 7, to be held on Dec. 4 2018, as section 3.13.7 of the SFUO’s constitution states that GA dates “must be made available to members a minimum of four (4) weeks in advance.”

The motion was passed.

Motion for the Presidents’ Roundtable

Booth proposed a motion pertaining to the Federated Student Bodies’ Presidents’ Roundtable, that reads as follows:

“Be it resolved that the SFUO and all its official representatives consult with the Presidents’ Roundtable and gain 2/3 majority agreement before any signature of contract with the University of Ottawa or any external body.”

Some BOA members argued that the resolution was too vague, and asked whether the motion will stand indefinitely.

Booth clarified that while they haven’t started the negotiation process with the university yet, this motion is meant to refer to a potential proposal of a new agreement with the administration.

An amendment was proposed to change the word “contract” to “agreement” to clarify that. The amendment went to a vote, and was carried.

Booth further amended the resolution to read as follows: “Be it resolved that the SFUO consult with the Presidents’ Roundtable before any signature of agreement with the University of Ottawa.”

The motion passed.

By-election results

The SFUO held a by-election on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 organized by online voting company, Simply Voting. Stations were set up at Montpetit, Morisset, Roger Guindon, SITE, and the University Centre.

On the BOA, Elizabeth Lecours won the seat for Faculty of Health Sciences with 245 students who voted yes, and 71 who voted no. Voter turnout was 8.4 per cent.

The Senate seat was claimed by Ryan Furlong, for the Faculty of Education.

No one ran for the SFUO executive positions for vice-president equity or vice-president internal.

A livestream of the November BOA meeting can be found on Facebook.