Spending by the former President of Memorial University came under scrutiny by the Auditor General in a report publicly released today. Vianne Timmons stepped down as MUN President in April.
The AG report outlines expenses considered to be excessive, including $1,792 paid for custom-made chocolates purchased in December of 2020 as Christmas gifts, $2,700 for a desk and chair for the former President’s home, and $598 for a limousine service used during a trip in August of 2021 because there were no car rentals available.
The former President also incurred close to $10,000 in expenses for a 24-day, province-wide tour visiting various University facilities. Among the costs reimbursed during that trip was $652 for an oil change and tire replacement, even though the former President received a monthly car allowance of $1,000 that included car maintenance. Memorial’s travel policy does not allow for the reimbursement of maintenance costs.
The AG found that there was a gap in policies and processes that led to a lack of oversight on administrative costs and while bonuses paid to executives at C-CORE and the Genesis Centre are outlined in the report, the amounts have been redacted. The full report and its recommendations can be found online.
Meanwhile, Memorial University says it accepts all eight recommendations made by the Auditor General.
Neil Bose and Glenn Barnes issued a statement late this afternoon, indicating that they must be transparent about how the university operates and be accountable to governing bodies, the Senate and the Board of Regents.