– This is not true – VG


LOSS OF SUPPORT: Parts of the public funds that Shabana Rehman’s organization may have used for private purposes, according to the report by Ernst and Young. Photo: Endre Alsaker-Nøstdahl

Shabana Rehman believes that the report that her foundation has used public funds for private purposes is full of errors.

On Monday night, the government announced that it would cut support for “Born Free”. The foundation is said to have used part of the state support they received for purposes other than those for which they received support, and lacks good financial management, shows a report from Ernst and Young, according to a press release from the Government.

Report: This is how the Rehman Foundation used the money

A trip to London, where Rehman and an artist she collaborated with went to a concert with a-ha and bought tickets to the show “Thriller”, and a “writing seminar” at a spa hotel is some of the money that Ernst and Young criticize Shabana Rehman’s foundation «Born Free» for.

Rehman believes the report is marked by erroneous representations:

– I have read the whole report now, EY (Ernst and Young, journ. Note) tries to protect themselves by saying that they are not responsible for the fact that incorrect information is revealed to them via people or other documentation, and that Born Free has did not respond to any of the allegations when we were given a response deadline. This is not true. Our lawyer has demonstrably answered them, writes Shabana Rehman in a text message to VG.

She also specifically mentions the seminar, which according to the report also included a “day package” at the spa, which she believes is an inaccurate rendering:

– This had nothing to do with the spa, we rented meeting rooms, to work with the script for Stovnerrevyen, the manuscripts are dated, and statements submitted. The angle on this is deliberately turned towards making professionally serious work appear like extravagant luxury. The rest of EY’s report is constructed in the same way, she writes.

Late Monday night, she also posted a ten minute long video on her Facebook page entitled “Statskaka, the princess and the trolls”. There she ends with the following quote:

“This is the moral of this adventure: be generous, be kind, be fair, but do not let the trolls make you sick,” Rehman said in the video, which she said was recorded the day before.

– We were never told when the report would come out. We never saw the final report and our interrogations and statements. The lawyer’s letter was never answered by IMDi, says Rehman.

Advocate for “Born Free”, Harald F. Strandenæs, tells VG that they are surprised by the outcome of the investigation. He has forwarded the VG letter which he has sent to Ernst and Young as a contradiction.

– It is a very unexpected conclusion that IMDi draws on the basis of what appears in the report itself. We experience that the entire process of the investigation has been highly unsatisfactory, partly due to the haste that the work is characterized by, the lawyer tells VG.

Chairman of the Board of Born Free, Jan Sverre Asker, says the following to VG:

– It is shocking that IMDi has issued this report before we have had access to it. It seems that they have not taken our response into account. I will discuss each individual point with IMDi and the government before I discuss it in the media, Asker says to VG.

– We have today – via VG – been informed that an investigation report on our business has now been completed. We find the investigation highly unsatisfactory. The report contains a number of errors and inaccuracies, the chairman of the board writes in a press release.

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