The ArgusFraud probe after University of Sussex overpays employee £75,000 (From The Argus)

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Fraud probe after University of Sussex overpays employee £75,000

The Argus: Fraud probe after University of Sussex overpays employee £75,000 Fraud probe after University of Sussex overpays employee £75,000

A university has been investigated for fraud after a member of staff was overpaid by £75,000.

The University of Sussex's audit committee was tasked to look into the “long term overpayment” - which was not reported by the recipient.

While they found no “systematic collusion or exploitation” of the finance system, the staff member has been ordered to pay back the five-figure sum.

Meanwhile a student group has demanded answers after raising concerns about the error.

Michael Segalov, Sussex Students Union communications officer for 2014/15 and member of Sussex Against Privatisation, said: “In a climate of further cuts to higher education, and the David Willetts refusing to rule out further fee increases, it is extremely disconcerting to hear that Sussex University cannot keep on top of their finances.”

The university's Fraud Response Plan was acted on after the “irregularity” was reported by finance staff on March 14.

An investigation followed into what was described as a “relatively long term overpayment” amounting to around £75,000.

It was subsequently decided the incident was not to be treated as fraud but instead a financial irregularity.

A university spokeswoman said: “The investigation revealed no systematic collusion or exploitation of the system.

“However processes have been revised since the discovery of the event to reduce or eliminate the likelihood of such an event occurring.”

Rather than launching legal proceedings it was decided to draft a written agreement for repayment from the member of staff.

The university has already received a one-off repayment of £15,000 and has recovered around £12,000 in pension and tax costs.

The remaining balance is to be repaid in a monthly deduction from salary.

The audit committee's report said: “The complete repayment will take some years but our lawyers advised that the agreed plan was more likely better than going to law on this issue.

“The HR file of the individual is marked so that if the employee leaves, an alternative arrangement (e.g. one-off recovery from any ERVS payment and/or pension lump sum if appropriate) can be made”.

Comments (9)

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8:40am Tue 25 Mar 14

Farawaynow says...

'A financial irregularity' - so no one get's fired and loses their pension - same old, same old.
'A financial irregularity' - so no one get's fired and loses their pension - same old, same old. Farawaynow
  • Score: 15

9:03am Tue 25 Mar 14

Can this be says...

Probably some lecturer in a finance subject who did not know how to check his payslip? It would be interesting to know what percentage of the salary the overpayment represented. That might make the article more relevant.
Probably some lecturer in a finance subject who did not know how to check his payslip? It would be interesting to know what percentage of the salary the overpayment represented. That might make the article more relevant. Can this be
  • Score: 11

10:17am Tue 25 Mar 14

inkjet says...

I am sure i would have realised if there was £75000 more in my bank account than there should have been. Shame on the employee for not doing the honest thing and bringing the matter to the attention of the University as soon as it happened.
I am sure i would have realised if there was £75000 more in my bank account than there should have been. Shame on the employee for not doing the honest thing and bringing the matter to the attention of the University as soon as it happened. inkjet
  • Score: 5

10:49am Tue 25 Mar 14

DannyBoy79 says...

Sussex University just seems to be one thing after another hahaha
Sussex University just seems to be one thing after another hahaha DannyBoy79
  • Score: 3

11:44am Tue 25 Mar 14

LAWgull says...

If they have recovered £27000 that leaves £48000 to be paid back on monthly basis at £1 per month that will all be paid back by ?? OH I GIVE UP !!!
If they have recovered £27000 that leaves £48000 to be paid back on monthly basis at £1 per month that will all be paid back by ?? OH I GIVE UP !!! LAWgull
  • Score: 2

2:17pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Andy R says...

inkjet wrote:
I am sure i would have realised if there was £75000 more in my bank account than there should have been. Shame on the employee for not doing the honest thing and bringing the matter to the attention of the University as soon as it happened.
It was over a long period of time. He didn't just suddenly have 75K in his account.

RTFA!
[quote][p][bold]inkjet[/bold] wrote: I am sure i would have realised if there was £75000 more in my bank account than there should have been. Shame on the employee for not doing the honest thing and bringing the matter to the attention of the University as soon as it happened.[/p][/quote]It was over a long period of time. He didn't just suddenly have 75K in his account. RTFA! Andy R
  • Score: 4

3:27pm Tue 25 Mar 14

getThisCoalitionOut says...

So if this was a genuine mistake by the University - who made the mistake? Why haven't they been sacked?

If it wasn't a mistake why hasn't the person been reported to the police?

Something doesn't smell right here - there's a very fishy smell.
So if this was a genuine mistake by the University - who made the mistake? Why haven't they been sacked? If it wasn't a mistake why hasn't the person been reported to the police? Something doesn't smell right here - there's a very fishy smell. getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: 2

4:02pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Bill in Hanover says...

getThisCoalitionOut wrote:
So if this was a genuine mistake by the University - who made the mistake? Why haven't they been sacked?

If it wasn't a mistake why hasn't the person been reported to the police?

Something doesn't smell right here - there's a very fishy smell.
As the situation has been happening over the 'long term' I imagine that tracing the person who made the original error could be difficult.
[quote][p][bold]getThisCoalitionOut[/bold] wrote: So if this was a genuine mistake by the University - who made the mistake? Why haven't they been sacked? If it wasn't a mistake why hasn't the person been reported to the police? Something doesn't smell right here - there's a very fishy smell.[/p][/quote]As the situation has been happening over the 'long term' I imagine that tracing the person who made the original error could be difficult. Bill in Hanover
  • Score: 1

4:44pm Tue 25 Mar 14

inkjet says...

Andy R wrote:
inkjet wrote:
I am sure i would have realised if there was £75000 more in my bank account than there should have been. Shame on the employee for not doing the honest thing and bringing the matter to the attention of the University as soon as it happened.
It was over a long period of time. He didn't just suddenly have 75K in his account.

RTFA!
what a lovely comment !!!!!!!
[quote][p][bold]Andy R[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]inkjet[/bold] wrote: I am sure i would have realised if there was £75000 more in my bank account than there should have been. Shame on the employee for not doing the honest thing and bringing the matter to the attention of the University as soon as it happened.[/p][/quote]It was over a long period of time. He didn't just suddenly have 75K in his account. RTFA![/p][/quote]what a lovely comment !!!!!!! inkjet
  • Score: -1

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