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Kwantlen Polytechnic University conducts its own review of controversial payments

Alan Davis is president of Kwantlen Polytechnic University - Kwantlen Polytechnic University photo
Alan Davis is president of Kwantlen Polytechnic University
— image credit: Kwantlen Polytechnic University photo

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has announced its own review of executive compensation after a provincial government review declared the university broke the rules by making two pre-employment payments of $50,000 each to president Alan Davis and former vice-president Anne Lavack.

The announcement was made by Davis, who said "the recipients, including myself, were unaware that these contracts might be non-compliant in some way with B.C. public sector regulations."

Davis said it was clear that before he became president "there was an established pattern of issuing pre-employment consulting contracts to people being hired to senior positions" and other such contracts were issued before the two that attracted government attention.

"I am therefore conducting my own review of these issues, using independent external resources as required," Davis said in a written statement released by the university.

Davis said the results and recommendations of his review "will be shared with the KPU Board and, to the extent allowed by legal and privacy regulations, with the broader KPU community and the public later this summer."

A report by assistant deputy minister Rob Mingay found “failures by Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) to disclose as required” and to make a detailed disclosure.

Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk, a former Langley RCMP inspector until he was elected to the legislature last May, was on the university’s board when the payments were made.

The report did not suggest penalties for Virk or the university but called for rewritten compensation reporting guidelines “emphasize that transparency is the overarching intent of the guidelines.”

The opposition New Democrats complained the payments were not included in the reported salaries of the two executives, but were recorded instead as payments to suppliers of goods and services. They have also called for Virk's resignation from cabinet.

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