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Termination notice of SFUO-U of O agreement to be delivered in absence of “notable and rapid progress”, university says

In a document recently obtained by the Fulcrum, the University of Ottawa administration has said that they expect the resignation of all Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) members involved in the recent fraud allegations until the completion of a forensic audit. 

Adoption of this recommendation would entail the resignation of SFUO president Rizki Rachiq, vice-president of operations Axel Gaga, and executive coordinator Vanessa Dorimain.

The document, which contains three letters from the university to the SFUO, also notes twice that in absence of “notable and rapid progress”, the university reserves the right to deliver a notice of termination for their 2012 agreement with the federation. One letter, dated Aug. 31, confirms that the university has also learned of “additional allegations of improper governance, mismanagement, internal conflict, and workplace misconduct.”

At this time, the SFUO has not responded to requests for comment on these additional allegations.

The most recent letter, dated Sept. 10, outlines the measures the university expects the federation to take in order to “restore the (SFUO’s) bond of trust with the university.” The measures outlined include the resignation of all implicated SFUO staff until the audit is complete, the implementation of all necessary steps to ensure a work environment free of harassment or intimidation, and full collaboration with the university to ensure proper management of student fees.

This letter follows the Aug. 12 Board of Administration (BOA) meeting, where motions brought to suspend Rachiq both with and without pay failed.

In the letter dating Aug. 31, the university stated that they had not yet been consulted on the scope or selection process for the firm to conduct the forensic audit.

However, in the Sept. 10 letter the university reiterated that they expect to be consulted on the scope of the audit, have access to the results and recommendations of the forensic audit, and the name of the auditor selected by the SFUO.

The Sept. 10 letter confirmed that a meeting was held on Sept. 5 with the SFUO and the U of O secretary-general and provost to discuss the choice of the firm and the conduct of the audit.

At the last BOA meeting, it was decided that PwC would be present in the SFUO office to begin the forensic audit as of Monday, Sept. 17. The choice of auditing firm was recommended by the SFUO constitutional committee, on which Gaga sits, and ratified by the BOA.

The Fulcrum has reached out to the university for comment. This article will be updated as necessary.