Kwantlen Public Interest Research Group

Open Letter From The Kwantlen Public Interest Research Group To The Kwantlen Polytechnic University Community

Dated: March 27th, 2018

In the fall of last year, KPIRG became aware of some accounting issues for the 2017 calendar year. This is a matter we take extremely seriously. We immediately began a full investigation and sought the advice of lawyer. From that investigation, we believe that an amount of money, totaling approximately $111,000, was involved.

On Friday, we filed a civil claim against one of our former employees for the recovery of the funds – the full claim can be viewed here. Since this matter will be before the courts, we cannot comment further at this time.

Upon discovery of this issue, in addition to initiating civil proceedings, KPIRG also notified the RCMP and a police investigation is currently ongoing. Furthermore, we’ve engaged an independent forensic accounting firm to conduct a full forensic audit of our financial records (separate from our regular annual audit which will delivered at our upcoming AGM) to provide a clear and transparent account of KPIRG’s financial history to our membership. This audit is currently ongoing and will be presented at an SGM upon its completion.

The KPIRG directors who were on the board at the time of this occurrence have resigned, either prior to the conclusion of our investigation or when the members of our current board requested their resignation, and none of them are candidates in our upcoming election. As a proactive measure going forward, members of the current board have been thoroughly informed of their fiduciary duties and have received professional board training from an independent organization. This is a practice we will continue with all future boards. Additionally we are undergoing a comprehensive policy review and we have requested our auditors and lawyer to provide suggestions around the safeguarding of funds, authorization of expenditures, and improved financial controls.

KPIRG supports and conducts vital social and environmental justice work in our community. The organization is run by a new Board of Directors and supported by an entirely new team of staff. Already this year we’ve started an ongoing “Open Media” workshop series, which so far has included workshops on Access to Information requests and developing podcasts. For Black History Month, we organized a panel discussion titled “Beyond Tokenism” as well as a film screening and a free concert. Our International Women’s Day programming included workshops on consent and transformative justice. Just recently, a community organization approved us for a partnership, which will allow us to refer hungry students to shop at their low cost food stores.  We have no intention of letting the matters we are involved in prevent us from doing this work and we’re excited for the initiatives we have planned for the future.

We would like to assure you, our student members and Kwantlen Polytechnic University community, of our diligent and focused efforts to resolve this matter. We believe in accountability and transparency and will work to keep you informed of all developments as they arise.

If you have any inquiries, please address them to our board of directors: directors@kpirg.ca

Sincerely,

KPIRG