Honi can reveal a simmering dispute in University of Sydney Union Board has emerged in response to an internal inquiry conducted by the USU’s Human Resources Department into the use of Directors’ Cabcharge cards. The dispute is expected to come to a head on Friday, when a censure motion put by Director Tim Matthews against fellow directors Robby Magyar and Liam Carrigan is to be voted on.
In a draft of the motion obtained by Honi, Matthews calls on the Board to censure both directors’ use of the cards as an abuse of corporate property.
On Friday Magyar told Honi that he had requested a review of the investigation conducted by the HR Department as he believes the findings are incorrect.
The investigation found that of the 27 charges incurred on the card by Carrigan in January, 23 were identified as not valid – meaning use of the Card outside of the Terms of Agreement. In the case of Magyar, the report focussed on 8 out of a total of 12 transactions. Where Carrigan billed the Union nearly $500 for the month, Magyar’s total expenditure for the period is unknown.
Honi understands that since the censure motion was proposed, multiple directors have asked for clarification about their fares and deny the claim of any impropriety. Magyar also “encouraged” Honi not report on the allegations against him, warning that “any incorrect commentary [would lead] to legal action”.
Carrigan said that he encouraged all students to attend the board meeting where the censure motion will be discussed. “Board directors should be accountable to the membership they serve and I will speak to the censure motion before our community and the board of directors to ensure I uphold this value. I have no intention of running from this process and hope I will be able to explain the complex circumstances that resulted in this outcome.”
When asked why he was bringing a censure motion, Matthews replied “I am bringing a motion because when the board was informed last week that this happened, it struck me as an obvious abuse of the power and trust that is put in us. I think that we must also take measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”
‘Through conversation last week, I got the impression that the executive weren’t intending on bringing a motion like this, so I informed them last week that I was intending to bring this motion’.
The censure motion will be discussed at the Board meeting on Friday 6 March 9.30am.
Clarification: An original version of this story read that Magyar threatened legal action for any incorrect “reporting”, that should have read “commentary”.