U of O student union members under investigation for fraud

Members of University of Ottawa's student union are under investigation for financial mismanagement, the university said Friday.

University freezing transfer payments to student union while forensic audit takes place

Ottawa police are investigating members of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa for misappropriation of funds for personal use. (Andrew Foote/CBC)

The University of Ottawa is withholding transfer payments to the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) after allegations that members mismanaged student funds.

A news release issued by the University of Ottawa Friday said representatives from the university met with the SFUO executive committee to request an immediate forensic audit of the federation's accounts.

Earlier this week the university's French-language student paper, La Rotonde, reported that Ottawa police are investigating members of the SFUO for misappropriation of funds for personal use. 

"The University takes these allegations seriously," the release stated. "The SFUO is independent of the University of Ottawa and the University plays no role in its governance and internal management. However, protecting the interests of uOttawa students is of primary concern to the University, which wants to ensure that money collected from students is properly managed."

Student levies still in place

Student fees collected by the university are transferred to the student union so it can provide services and activities, as well as the University of Ottawa student transit pass. 

The university is halting payments to the student union for the time being "to ensure that the SFUO allocates funds responsibly and uses them for legitimate, intended purposes."

The university told Radio-Canada that student levies will still be in place, and said the school will continue to cover some bills for services such as the transit pass on behalf of the union. 

This will continue until the university is "confident that sound financial practices and controls are in place," according to the statement.