Kwantlen Student Association Post-Audit Memorandum Released

The Kwantlen Student Association has published its Post-Audit Memorandum [PDF] for 2005, following the recent victory of the “Concerned Students of Kwantlen” slate, displacing the “Reduce All Fees” (RAF Party) slate that had previously been in power for a year and a half. And what revealing things one can find in this document! Allow the following gems to pique your interests:

1. Disbursements should be authorized by appropriate personnel. There is no approval system in place for disbursements….
2. Cheques issued no longer require 2 signatures….
5. … As at December 31, 2005, $285,000 in outstanding deposits had to be recorded in the current health and dental plan accounts.
6. … The bank accounts were not reconciled correctly for most of the fiscal year….
9. At the time of the audit, we discovered that certain expenditures (some were large) that were unsupported (i.e., no cheque requisition, no supplier invoice)….
23. For the year ending December 31, 2005, the Association incurred a loss of approximately $352,000 after recognizing a gain of $49,000 on the sale of long term investments which had previously been written down. In addition, the Association’s overall equity has been reduced by that amount to approximately $326,000 (down from $677,000)….
24. As at December 31, 2005, the Association has a working capital deficiency of $209,815….
28. Substantial severance payments (over $180,000) were made to employees in 2005….

In total, 53 complaints were recorded in the Post-Audit Memorandum. The KSA is currently conducting a Forensic Audit through PriceWaterhouseCoopers to determine exactly when happened to their money during the RAF Party era (now referred to within the organization as the “Dark Times”).

Now, the KSA actually received a clean audit [PDF] for 2005, back in June 2006 when its financial statements were presented at the Annual General Meeting. This is most peculiar: the society received a MASSIVE number of complaints in its Post-Audit Memorandum, which was (until now!) a confidential documents, known only to the KSA management and executives, whereas their actual Auditor’s Report – the only document presented to the membership – suggested that everything was rosy.
Even more interestingly, the auditors of the KSA are Tompkins Wozny Miller, the same firm that audits our good friends the Douglas Students’ Union (DSU) and the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS)! And, as it turns out, there are actually quite a number of interesting connections between the KSA and the DSU/SFSS, besides a common auditor….

In an earlier post, I noted that a lawsuit between the KSA and a group of students (who have since won the recently-held KSA elections and are now in power) had been settled. The Petitioners in this lawsuit alleged that the KSA, under the rule of the RAF Party, had held a Special General Meeting that was corrupt and anti-democratic, specifically alleging that notice was not given for the general meeting, no opportunity was allowed to debate the motions under consideration, and the motions themselves were voted on in a manner designed to prevent the assembly from knowing what exactly they were voting for…. (Check out Steve Lee‘s website for the details!) In any event, here is a screenshot of a video clip of this Special General Meeting:

ksa_sgm_2005_extract

Wait a minute, who is that gentleman in the red shirt? Is that not our good friend Joey Hansen, Finance and Services Coordinator of the Douglas Students’ Union?

And here is another interesting connection between the DSU and the KSA: they both have granted loans from the Health and Dental Plan funds to people! In the case of the DSU (at least as reported by Global TV), a loan of $20,000 was allegedly granted to Christa Peters, Mr. Hansen’s partner (and staffer of the Students’ Union of Vancouver Community College). In the KSA, however, it appears that loan of $200,000 was approved, out of Health and Dental Plan funds, to someone named Inderjit Johal. Here is the proof:
ksa_promissory_note

ksa_cheque_johal

Now how about that connection to SFU? Well, the RAF Party has contended that the election that saw the Concerned Students of Kwantlen take power was conducted improperly, and they sought to have the election annulled (with the result that they would continue to stay in power until another election could be held). So they appealed to the KSA Ombudsperson, Paul Browning, who has apparently agreed with the RAF Party on appeal.

Now, Paul Browning is also an SFU student. Indeed, during the October 25, 2006 Special General Meeting at SFU, Mr. Browning was first on his feet during the debate on the motion to impeach President Shawn Hunsdale, declaring that Mr. Hunsdale was a “fine, upstanding individual.”

In any event, the latest electoral conflict will be sorted out in court, as the former Council (dominated by the RAF Party) has filed a lawsuit naming the Concerned Students of Kwantlen as Respondents, asking the Courts to annul the election. And guess who is the lawyer for the RAF Party folks?

You guessed it! Donald G. Crane, of Rush Crane Guenther, is prosecuting this case, just as he is sueing me over the SFSS Special General Meeting…. Oh, what a small world we live in!

  • Anonymous

    Nonny – Post Audit Memorandums could actually be a very good marketing tool. It shows areas where an organization is weak and it would give a chance for an organization to use those as goals to achieve. As each point is addressed, it should be common public knowledge how that point was adressed to ensure that the issue or problem was resolved – thereby making a much stronger and fiscally responsible organization in the end. These documents are not something to be ashamed of. They are a part of a process designed to make an organization stronger and more accountable and more fiscally sound.

  • Nonny

    Anonymous said:
    Nonny – societies have a duty to their membership to be open and transparent about what they do.

    I am certainly not suggesting otherwise… I was responding to titus’s comment “Now, the KSA actually received a clean audit [PDF] for 2005, back in June 2006 when its financial statements were presented at the Annual General Meeting. This is most peculiar: the society received a MASSIVE number of complaints in its Post-Audit Memorandum, which was (until now!) a confidential documents, known only to the KSA management and executives, whereas their actual Auditor’s Report – the only document presented to the membership – suggested that everything was rosy.
    Even more interestingly, the auditors of the KSA are Tompkins Wozny Miller, the same firm that audits our good friends the Douglas Students’ Union (DSU) and the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS)!”
    which implies there was something wrong with the audit.

    In fact the audit was not “rosy” it just states that the auditors used standard procedures and this is what the books look like. In fact, from the audit you can see the following:

    It noted that there was a promissary note issued to an individual for $40,000!

    It shows that the society is in serious trouble. Its fund balance dropped $300,000 in one year, due primarily to a 200,000 deficit in their operating fund!

    It shows wages and benefits for staff went from $444,000 to $612,000. That is a HUGE increase!

    It shows $6,000 was collected from members to run initiatives to improve health and not a penny was spent to do anything for students!

    It shows the cafe lounge lost $50,000.

    What I suggest is that members of student unions take advantage of their right (under the Society’s Act) to call the auditor to the AGM with five days notice if they have concerns. If I had read that audit when it was distributed before the meeting I would have been concerned. I would have shown up and asked questions.

    If I had concern about the members of the union, I would prefer to ask the auditor those questions.

    But I don’t think blanket advice to share the post-audit memorandum is a good idea. I don’t blame anyone for leaking this one to be sure, or the DSU one. I just dont buy the idea that it is a complete shock after reading that audit.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Two responses to the above discussions…

    1. On Paul Browning…

    Paul has been an oddity. In many cases he has come down against RAF, but his reports were ignored by RAF:

    September 29 SGM –

    http://www.steveleenow.net/kwantlen/meetings/generalmeetings/2005/september292005/ombudspersonsreport.pdf

    http://www.steveleenow.net/kwantlen/meetings/generalmeetings/2005/september292005/ombudspersonsreport1b.pdf

    http://www.steveleenow.net/kwantlen/meetings/generalmeetings/2005/september292005/ombudspersonsreport1c.pdf

    November 29 SGM –

    http://www.steveleenow.net/kwantlen/meetings/generalmeetings/2005/november292005/ombudspersonsreport9.pdf

    Spring 2006 Election –

    http://www.steveleenow.net/kwantlen/elections/spring2006general/complaints/ombudspersonsfinalreport.pdf

    The above complaints largely slam RAF, but they do so in a fairly balanced manner.

    Sadly, the Omubdsperson was very slow at responding to complaints. For example, on Steve’s site there is complaint number 16 –

    http://www.steveleenow.net/kwantlen/meetings/generalmeetings/2006/june152006/investigationrequest16.pdf

    – as filed in June by Steven Lee, but no report has ever been seen. And I’ve heard that other complaints were lodged by Steve and others but no reports were ever completed. Some were filed more than a year ago – the guy was too slow!

    Also, apparently the RAF Board of Directors failed to re-appoint Mr. Browning as per the requirements of the old Bylaws and regulations; and even under their own corrupt bylaws of September 2005 and their corrupt regulations of January 2006. Technically if the previous RAF Board had wanted to keep Paul as ombudsperson, they should have reappointed him in April and it appears that this did not happen. No process to select either a new ombudsperson or review the Paul and reappoint him occurred at any time in 2006.

    2. On Transparency…

    Nonny – societies have a duty to their membership to be open and transparent about what they do. This lack of transparency at the KSA is what lead to the situation this year with the Supreme Court and the subsequent general election. The previous RAF Board kept the finances very close to their chest in violation of the society act, and failed to reveal very basic information. And when they claimed they were, they would wiggle around it – making people sign confidentiality agreements that even stated that there were no guarantees that the information provided was correct.

    In short, whenever members came to ask for more information – they were denied that information by the RAF Board. Even voting members of the RAF Board were denied that information, or told not to ask about it, or simply fired / impeached when they began asking too many questions.

    In light of scandals with private sector firms such as Enron, Worldcom (and the list goes on), much tighter standards of accountability have been brought into place. But these are sorely lacking in the non-profit world.

    In the end, no organization should be afraid to disseminate information and no one should be afraid of going beyond what the law requires in terms of being open and honest about how business is conducted. I would encourage you to check out the following site for more information on transparency and accountability:

    http://www.nakedcorporation.com/

    And read the book!

  • Nonny

    I think it is unfair to suggest the audit is not accurate by saying it is “clean” where the letter gives more detail.
    In fact the funds are accurate–showing the loans etc in the Accounts receivables and the notes in the audit even give some details about the loans show that it is an exception wihtout giving names.
    The auditor’s job is just to accurately present the financials. How the spending is justified is up to the board, and the members should come and **ask questions**.
    Sadly many members find financial statements befuddling.

    Also, I do want auditors to be able to give information privately to the board. How does it help anyone if the auditor’s letter recommends firing a person, or accuses a person of wrong doing, and then that letter is made public. If the board acts on the advice then it should be done in private. Just because of a few bad examples (and yes, they are pretty extreme I admit) does not mean that every personnel discussion between a board and an auditor should be made public.
    I know it is frustrating, but going public with this stuff by releasing the audit letters opens the society to lawsuits where instead they could remove a problematic person and **move on** which would really be better for the students who give their money to the society.

    Now in some recent cases, we have sen that releasing the info has come when no action is taken after serious offences are revealed, and that is a different matter, however, I think it is unfair to say this is a “clean audit” and imply that this auditing firm has not done their job by keeping certain info in a confidential letter to the board.

  • Anonymous

    You mean Paul Brownnosing?

  • I never did like that Paul Browning. Regards to Titus.

  • Eric Blair

    And speaking of CFS: anyone have any word about what actually happened at their meeting last week?

    I presume that any questions regarding financial impropriety were met with cries of “what’s your problem” – but did anything actually happen or are 50-odd student unions now effectively Phil Link’s co-conspirators?

  • Dan

    I’m glad the RCMP is looking into DSU. Someone should call them up to be certain they’re aware of what’s happened at Kwantlen as well.

  • Anonymous

    The motivations behind such ‘coincidences’ is really quite simple. The group of students in power previous to the RAF was ‘strongly’ disliked by the CFS power brokers. Why? Because they brought questionable issues and dealings to light and generally did not ‘tow the line’ enough.
    Ergo…they needed to go. (Of course this is all alledged, don’t want to get sued here 😉 ) This is pretty standard operating procedure for the org and happened to various degrees at several schools that year with various techniques being used. For example a friend of mine was offered the money to take a course at Kwantlen the previous year of she would run.

    In the first attempt to get elected the RAF was DQ’d for various election infractions. The next year was a general mess of an election with numerous complaints from all sides…. In the long and short of it the RAF got in after the locking out of the previous execs from their offices while it was all being sorted.
    This was done with the college admins help (It’s no secret that no love was lost between the admin and the SU at the time because the SU was sueing them over something to do with unpaid health plan fees). Staff was involved in some manner as their was a collective agreement being negotiated at the time with a certain DSU staffer as part of the neg. team. (alledged (rumor): A little birdy told me that the ‘staff’ was promised the agreement would be signed if a certain group was successful–interesting that several of that staff group was subsequently relieved of employment and replaced with ‘friends’ and other various aquaintences).
    A certain DSU staffer was in the office the morning of the lockout and I was informed that many members of the RAF group had also been in the offices of the DSU speaking with a DSU lawyer about the whole thing during and after the election…

    Read what you will into it…

    It just went downhill from there with many students who knew exactly what was going on and with very little recourse to fix it and bring the ‘truth’ to light. In many cases like this that I have heard of they just give up and move on…which is why in my opinion it’s relatively easy to get away with this type of crap over and over.
    What’s different here is that many did not give up and fought it. Kudos on them and to those at SFU as well. It’s nice to see that sometimes justice can be served.
    The findings of this audit are not surprising as I have talked to several frustrated students who have had suspicions about whats been going on with the finances but for various reasons have been unable to do anything about it.

    (Of course I can’t prove any of this and it ‘could’ all just be hersay and awful rumors. Welcome to the world of the CFS 😉 )

  • Anonymous

    To Kwantlen folk: does former KSA exec Joey Atwal have any relationship to Harjit Singh Atwal, who was charged with obstruction of justice in the Air India case (case stayed in 2003) and with planning the assassination of a visiting Punjabi cabinet minister in 1986 (charge dismissed because CSIS lied on the wiretap affidavit)?

    The reason I ask is that Harjit Singh Atwal has a son, Bobby Harminder Atwal, who is awaiting trial for extortion, assault and kidnapping in relation to an attack on one Khark Grewal at the corner of 80th and 132nd in Surrey last year. Among his co-accused is a Mandeap Singh Johal. Ringleader jethinder Singh Narwal received a 17-year sentence for his role in this attack and two others on March 31st of this year – trials for the others start early next year.

    There are 250 Johals in surrey and 130 Atwals, so one borrowing money from another doesn’t prove anything. But if Joey Atwal *were* related to Bobby then the loan would be much more intriguing.

    But then again, any student union giving an unsecured loan at prime to a private individual with no obvious connection to student affairs (Inderjit Johal) is more than passing strange…

  • Great post Titus! And of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg – more about the KSA will come out when the forensic audit is done. It’s sure to be a lively read!!

  • Anonymous

    If you click on the cheque you are taken to the full-size view where the address (and phone number) is plainly visible.

  • Anonymous

    Who is Inderjit (Inerjit?) Johal? Can anyone make out the address on that cheque? I’d like to find out more about this loan, but there are a heck of a lot of Johals in the lower mainland….

    On the much-reference subject of gutless wonders in the student press, do check out the Nov. 16 U of T Varsity. It manages to do a story on JH and the DSU without once mentioning CFS’ involvement. Pretty amazing

  • you know who

    Orgy of corruption??? What’s your problem!

  • Anonymous

    RAF was a dark time in Germany too..coincidence? 😉
    all those connection are really scary..

  • Anonymous

    Jesus, CFS BC is just one giant orgy of corruption.

  • Anonymous

    wow no wonder paul browning did not support the SGM 😛 haha Good luck Titus with the court suite I hope it rules in your favour and that the SGM was legal and this who thing can come to an end.

  • That should be fixed now.

  • Anonymous

    Titus – neither the screenshot nor the proof appear… missing images?