In their report, ‘Revisionen af statens forvaltning 2020’, the National Auditors concluded that a one-off fee of DKK 692,000 given to the former President of CBS contravened the rules and regulations for government subsidies. The Ministry of Higher Education and Science was therefore advised to claim a full refund.
Now, the Agency for Higher Education and Science, on behalf of the ministry, is taking that advice and demanding a full refund, according to a press release from the ministry.
“There are no two ways about it. Government grants must be spent in compliance with the rules,” says Jesper Petersen, the Minister for Higher Education and Science in a press release from the ministry and continues:
“A one-off fee to a former president at CBS was against the rules, and the request from the National Auditors concerning a refund is self-evident. I’m satisfied that the Agency for Higher Education and Science will react.”
Not only was the one-off payment against the rules, the former Chairman of the CBS Board of Directors, Karsten Dybvad, was aware of the non-compliance, the report states.
In an email to CBS WIRE, Karsten Dybvad explained why he signed the agreement involving the one-off fee back in 2016.
“The responsibility for entering the contract is mine, and I, of course, note the Public Accounts Committee and the National Auditors’ criticism and await CBS’ clarification of the case’s conclusion,” he wrote.
Every year, the state pays CBS a taximeter grant. In 2020, it amounted to DKK 660 million and is CBS’ largest source of income. The money is provided on condition that it is used in compliance with state rules and regulations.
CBS WIRE has asked Kirsten Winther Jørgensen, the University Director at CBS, whether similar agreements have been made in the current president’s contract.
“In connection with the National Auditors’ work, we have looked over whether there are similar agreements about fees at CBS. There are not,” she writes in an email to CBS WIRE.
According to the press release, the Agency for Higher Education and Science will offset against CBS the equivalent value of the one-off fee. Moreover, the agency has asked CBS to keep it informed of any claims CBS might consider directing at the former CBS Board of Directors.
Kirsten Winther Jørgensen explains in the email to CBS WIRE that CBS has asked the Legal Advisor to the Danish Government (Kammeradvokaten) to investigate whether there is a basis for making a claim against the former CBS Board of Directors.
“We expect the investigation to be finished later this year.”