An investigation into irregularities within the Dunedin
City Council's Citifleet and Citipark departments is examining
the disappearance of dozens of council vehicles, it has been
The Otago Daily Times has learnt the probe was looking
into claims a significant number of vehicles - possibly
approaching 100 - had been sold, and some of the proceeds
pocketed, over the past decade.
The council was said to have 205 vehicles, together worth
about $1.9 million, in 2011, but there is confusion about how
many were sold, and how many replaced, since as far back as
2001, the ODT understands.
The council was understood to have found a sizeable
discrepancy between the number of vehicles bought and sold,
and the number still owned by the organisation, after
examining its records earlier this year.
Proceeds from the vehicle sales - believed to amount to a
six-figure sum - also remained unaccounted for, it was
The investigation by independent financial consultant
Deloitte was launched after the council's Citipark and
Citifleet team leader, Brent Bachop, died suddenly on May 21.
Mr Bachop's death has since been referred to the coroner, and
most of those contacted yesterday would not comment publicly
while the investigation continued.
However, council chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose confirmed the
investigation was examining numerous allegations, including
''what appeared to be a discrepancy'' in the council's
vehicle fleet numbers.
''An independent external investigation was started because a
review of processes in the council turned up what appeared to
be a discrepancy in the number of vehicles that we own.
''That's the subject of an investigation.''
She would not say exactly how many vehicles appeared to be
unaccounted for, or what had happened to them.
And, asked specifically if the possible misappropriation of
funds from vehicle sales was also being examined, she would
only say the investigation would be ''full and
''The investigation will look into whatever gets raised as
needing to be looked into.
''It's a full and wide-ranging investigation into the
operations of Citifleet.''
She would not be drawn on other aspects of the investigation,
but the ODT has been told of other claims, including
that more than one person may be involved.
A report outlining Deloitte's findings was expected to be
presented to council staff by mid-August, and would be made
public, Dr Bidrose said.
However, the complexity of the investigation meant it was too
soon to say whether its findings would be referred to police.
''The investigation is complex because we have said to
Deloitte that they should talk to as many staff as they need
to, investigate anything, and investigate all areas of that
part of the business,'' Dr Bidrose said.
''We want it to be thorough and complete.''
The discrepancy was identified after the council launched a
wider review of key accounting practices within the
organisation last year.
Dr Bidrose said, whatever the outcome of Deloitte's
investigation, it was important to ensure council processes
were in order.
''When organisations start fixing holes in their policies and
procedures, unfortunately, on occasion, things like this turn
''This case is a particularly tragic one and our focus is
really on supporting staff in what is a difficult time, and
in getting these processes right.
''This is ratepayers' money.''