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The National Auditors: CBS gave a former president DKK 692,000 well knowing it contravened the rules

View from top floor over a park

(Photo: Mette Koors)

The former Chairman of CBS’ Board knew that signing an agreement with the former President of CBS for a one-off fee worth DKK 692,000 was against the rules, the National Auditors concludes in a new report. The Ministry of Higher Education and Science is entitled to demand a full refund of the amount, the report states. CBS will investigate whether there is a basis for making a claim against the former board, according to the University Director.

News |   Updated: August 27th, 2021

Anne Thora Lykkegaard

Journalist

When the former President of CBS resigned, he received a one-off fee of DKK 692,000 and a redundancy payment totaling DKK 800,000 in 2019. Per Holten-Andersen was the President of CBS from 2012 to 2019.

Now, the National Auditors (Rigsrevisionen) concludes in a new report ‘Revisionen af statens forvaltning 2020’ that the one-off fee contravened the rules and regulations for government subsidies. Moreover, the former Chairman of the CBS Board of Directors was aware that the fee was against the rules, the report states.

The fee was agreed in 2016. Karsten Dybvad was Chairman of the CBS Board of Directors from 2015 to 2019.

“Of course, it makes an impression when you receive criticism from the Public Accounts Committee [Statsrevisorerne ed.],” writes Kirsten Winther Jørgensen, the University Director of CBS in an email to CBS WIRE and continues:

“We regret that back in 2016, CBS had the notion that the agreement could be made with those concrete terms. With the Public Accounts Committee’s report, we have to conclude that was not the case.”

According to the fixed-term circular, both the redundancy payment and a one-off payment cannot be agreed if resignation is requested

The National Auditors

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 given on condition that it is used in accordance with state rules and regulations.

“The agreement regarding the one-off fee was signed even though the Ministry of Higher Education and Science repeatedly pointed out to CBS that the agreement did not comply with the rules in the area” the report states and continues:

“It appears from internal communication between CBS and the Chairman of the CBS Board of Directors that the former chairman had been notified that it would be against the rules if the agreement was signed.”

According to the report, the one-off payment of DKK 692,000 was agreed in connection with extending a fixed-term agreement in 2016, in which it was agreed that a contractual condition was to be continued regarding a one-off fee accompanied by a redundancy payment.

“According to the fixed-term circular, both the redundancy payment and a one-off payment cannot be agreed if resignation is requested,” states the report.

Furthermore, the National Auditors find “that the Ministry of Higher Education and Science should claim that the part of the taximeter grant that has been used against the rules be repaid, and that CBS should consider making a claim against the former CBS Board of Directors for the loss of the grant.”

“CBS has been asked to consider making a claim against the former CBS Board of Directors. We are investigating whether there is a basis for that,” writes Kirsten Winther Jørgensen.

Lastly, The National Auditors conclude that the ministry has not followed up on the terms of the agreement in the final fixed-term contract.

CBS WIRE has requested comments from the current Chairman, Torben Møger Pedersen.

The current Chairman has, however, declined to answer questions posed by CBS WIRE regarding  whether he would recommend that CBS make a claim against the former board and how the CBS Board of Directors will ensure the rules and regulations on state subsidies are complied with in the future.

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