A review into allegations of improper compensation paid to two executive employees at Kwantlen Polytechnic University has found the university failed to meet government’s disclosure requirements. The report makes recommendations to further strengthen B.C.’s disclosure guidelines and improve transparency.
Finance Minister Michael de Jong released the report and endorsed the recommendations on Tuesday.
The report found:
* There were failures by Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) to disclose as required under government’s employment compensation guidelines.
* KPU did disclose two pre-employment contracts pursuant to the Financial Information Act. However, more detailed disclosure was required to comply with the guidelines.
Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk was a member of the board at KPU. But Virk and the others won’t face any penalty. Virk told the media that he was serving as a volunteer on the board at the time. He said it was “regrettable that as a volunteer that one didn’t do their best.”
THE report recommendations include:
* The Post-secondary Employers’ Association, the Public Sector Employer’s Council Secretariat (PSEC) and the Ministry of Advanced Education conduct an annual mandatory one-day disclosure and reporting session for the appropriate executives in each organization.
* Boards of post-secondary institutions have a formalized process to make board members aware of their responsibilities and obligations for compensation transparency, statutory requirements and guideline reporting.
* When statements of executive compensation are submitted to PSEC, include an attestation that there are no known pre-employment or post-employment contracts to senior administrators by the relevant employer that are not disclosed.
* The terms of moving allowances should be part of an employee’s employment contract and available for PSEC to review and the public to see as part of the mandatory disclosure reporting.
* PSEC compensation reporting guidelines should be rewritten to emphasize that transparency is the overarching intent of the guidelines.
The recommendations have been implemented for the 2013/14 annual executive compensation disclosure, typically released at the same time as government’s year-end financial statements.
THE Minister of Finance, as minister responsible for the Public Sector Employer’s Act, directed PSEC to conduct a review of the compensation provided in order to determine:
* What payments were made and pursuant to what contractual arrangement?
* What was disclosed?
* Did disclosure occur consistent with the applicable guidelines, including PSEC requirements?
* Was the total compensation received by the employees consistent with the compensation guidelines?
SHANE King, Chair, Kwantlen Polytechnic University Board of Governors, in a statement said: “Further to the Compensation Review conducted by Assistant Deputy Minister Rob Mingay, we accept Mr. Mingay’s decision that the filing of two pre-employment contracts was found to be inconsistent with the spirit and intent of Public Sector Employers Council Secretariat guidelines.
“KPU disclosed the pre-employments contracts for former Provost Dr. Anne Lavack and current President Dr. Alan Davis in KPU’s Statement of Financial Information prepared pursuant to the Financial Information Act. However, Mr. Mingay found this did not comply with compensation guidelines.
“It is our intention to rectify our processes and procedures.
“To that end, KPU has engaged MNP LLP to conduct an Executive Management Compensation Process and Control Audit designed to understand and assess KPU’s current processes and controls in relation to its executive management compensation and related expenses, to identify improvement opportunities and to provide practical recommendations for improvement.
“MNP will conduct its work in its role as independent internal auditor, and an initial report to the KPU Board of Governors’ Audit Committee will be delivered within five to seven weeks.
“In addition, KPU will ensure this review specifically addresses Mr. Mingay’s recommendation for a formalized process to make board members aware of their responsibilities and obligations for compensation transparency, statutory requirements and guideline reporting.
“I want to ensure this matter does not reflect negatively on Dr. Davis, who simply accepted the university’s employment offer and pre-employment contract. We are eager to move forward under his leadership.”