CBS will not demand return of controversial one-off fee from former President
On his resignation, the former President of CBS, Per Holten-Andersen, received a one-off fee of DKK 692,000. This payment has been criticized by the National Auditors, and the Ministry of Higher Education and Science has demanded a full refund. In the fall, CBS asked the Legal Advisor to the Danish Government to investigate whether CBS could claim against the former board. And now, the conclusion is ready.
In an external investigation for CBS, the law firm Poul Schmith has examined the case history concerning a much-discussed one-off fee of DKK 692,000 given to the former President of CBS on his resignation in 2019.
Now the external investigation has concluded: As matters stand, there is no reason to make any repayment demands against the former chairman of the board or the board itself.
Last Friday, November 12, the current board of CBS discussed the conclusion of the investigation and decided not to claim a refund from the chairman and other members of the former board, according to the present chairman Torben Möger Pedersen:
“The board has discussed the case and decided to follow the recommendation in the independent counsel investigation. It is an unfortunate case about which we are very vexed, but at the same time, we are happy to have reached closure,” he states in a press release on cbs.dk.
The demand from the Ministry of Higher Education and Science that CBS must repay the full amount of the one-off fee still holds and will be deducted from CBS’ institution grant. However, according to the press release, the deduction will have no direct consequences for the university’s activities.
Back in August, the National Auditors criticized CBS in the report, ‘Revisionen af statens forvaltning 2020’, and concluded that the fee contravened the rules and regulations for government subsidies. Along with the criticism came a request to CBS about considering whether a “claim against the former board” should be made.
“It is our evaluation and conclusion that there is no sufficient foundation to determine that Person B as the chairman of the board at CBS in the period from February 1, 2016, has acted inadvertently and thereby wrongfully against CBS with regard to signing the agreement with a condition regarding a one-off payment. Therefore, we cannot recommend that CBS should raise a repayment demand against Person B on the existing basis,” the law firm writes in its conclusion and continues:
“Furthermore, we do not find any basis to determine that the remaining members of the board should have acted inadvertently in relation to signing the agreement for a one-off payment.