Mon 19 Feb 2018
- The award-winning student news website of Imperial College

Know something you shouldn't? Tell us, using our quick, 100% anonymous tip-off form!

Live! - News

How Safe is the Safe?

Feb 13 2008 15:14
The Dark Knight
An investigation is underway after £1,800 of Chinese society's money went missing from a Union safe over the summer, thanks to shoddy book-keeping.
The safest place for your money ...

An investigation - possibly involving the police - has been opened after £1,800 of money deposited into the Union safe went missing over the summer. Following the friction at the start of the 06/07 academic year, Chinese society were encouraged to put money from their events into the Union's accounts, rather than operating another account for overseas events. As a result, cash from Hong Kong was converted into sterling before apparently being placed into the Union safe. When the time came to pay the money into the bank, it had apparently disappeared.

The investigation has been launched as no-one has a clue what happened - due to sloppy record keeping in the Union there is no paper record of the money being paid in or taken out. Indeed, it appears to be possible to remove money from the safe just by asking for it, with little in the way of record keeping or ID checks. Although it might be expected that signing money in and out would be standard, particularly for a safe which holds values into 5 figures on a regular basis, this procedure is apparently not in place for the finance department's safe despite requests for it to be implemented. Other safes on the premises have more rigorous record-keeping procedures.

Chinese society are not out of pocket, as the money has since either re-appeared, or been entered into the finance system regardless of the presence of actual cash.

The current Deputy President (Finance & Services) and ICU President refused to comment due to the ongoing investigation, however have previously indicated it was "not on [their] watch".

Email this Article | Share on Facebook | Print this Article

Discussion about “How Safe is the Safe?”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Feb 13 2008 16:27


Feb 13 2008 18:00

Why can't the Sabbatical officers say "Let's cut the c**p, we're getting the police in you're going to jail for theft."

On other issues aside from this one also

Feb 13 2008 18:39

And people wonder why college want to take control of our finances......

Feb 13 2008 20:03

That boy (you know the one) is dodgier than a Mitchell from Eastenders!

Feb 13 2008 20:18

Is that remark a cunning way of getting around ssp, I believe that's why you read about this article in felix?

Feb 13 2008 20:18


7. um   
Feb 13 2008 21:10

who? what? where? What's ssp?

8. Shhhh   
Feb 13 2008 21:48

In this context:

SSP - Staff Student Protocol prevents students commenting on the performance or conduct of staff in a public forum.

Feb 13 2008 22:41
10. Eugene   
Feb 14 2008 01:24

I have questioned these financial procedures before in the last 3 years - I did think it was weird that I could just walk in to the Union finance office and just say 'I'm xxx club who has money in there, please hand over the money bag'. No signature, no requests for ID/proof of membership of club.

All you need to know, it seems, is which club is depositing money in the safe, and when. I hope these rules get tightened up soon!

Feb 14 2008 01:41

As Eugene says this has been going on for years, officers have been trying to change this for years. Multiple people have access to the safe.

I can't believe that anybody close to the union would have taken the money, becuase ?1800 is just to obvious and would be missed (although aparently not queried by the club for over 1/2 a year, which is fairly suspicious in itself).

There is more going on here than Live! has let on.

Feb 14 2008 13:28

Get society debit/credit cards

13. Hmmm   
Feb 14 2008 14:56

How will this help us with paying money into the safe after say a bar night or event?

Or is that an unrealated point?

Feb 14 2008 15:01

Isn't it more important that the Finance Office tried to cover up the missing money by crediting it to the Chinese Soc account's.

Isn't this called... ahem... FRAUD?

Feb 14 2008 15:19

Rosie, you are spot on!

Feb 14 2008 15:22

Depends what you mean by "important". As a club, you'd surely be more concerned about your money disappearing from the safe - the fact that the money "reappeared" is also excellent news. I'm not sure I'd be that fussed where it "reappeared" from.

From an auditors point of view, "materialising" money is bad... Depends where it came from I guess, and who authorised it. Exec could have easily authorised ?2k compensation for the loss (they didn't). Does (did?) finance have a contingency account which they can use to compensate clubs for mistakes?

Feb 14 2008 15:35

True, but the missing money should have been investigated, but it never was. The police should have been called months ago.

The money never reappeared, and as far as my sources are aware, the money that was credited to their account was not from any contingency funds.

Yes from Chinese Soc's point of view, its great, but from a union point of view, surely covering up missing money (and large amounts of it) is unacceptable?

Feb 14 2008 15:59

"so the money was taken out of the safe by Mr X... and then it was all sorted by Daniel Parquith"

" so the money got taken out of the union safe by Mrs y and Mr X... was sorted out by Mr Charles Lardy and deposited in the Chinese soc account"

"so the money got taken out of the union safe, was left on the reception desk for a while, was stolen by a falcon and was dropped into the Sac with an apology note written in french"

"so the money fell through a hole in the bottom on the safe, into Mr x's back pocket behind the bar and he went on a sailing trip to Mongolia, where he met Tony Blair and they had lemontails and lap dances with the 1800 squids and then they wired the money to a bank account in honky conky where it was lost and never seen again, except by the parents of a reincarnated ladybird called Norris, who incidentally had never been to Imperial College in the first place."

Feb 14 2008 17:37

apparently, an investigation was requested, but seemed to have been conveniently forgotten after handover.

Feb 26 2008 09:26

I smell another Enron. It maybe time to introduce some compliance standard similar to SARBOX into the ICU, holding top-level management (i.e. President/Deputy President) liable for accounting errors. Missing money is no joke!

Feb 26 2008 09:31

The good news - there is now a log book for the safe.

Aug 23 2008 12:14

i think that missing money is no joke because i found 2

safes in a cow fild and i got the keys.

i looked in the safes but they were .................................. empty!!!!!!!!!!!

Aug 23 2008 12:18

what is to happen next?

Add your comment:

If you can see this, something is broken (either with your browser, or with our system). Please leave the box below empty, or your comment will be considered to be spam.

See Also

Live! Poll

How frequently would you like to see a CGCU magazine being published