An inquiry into the disappearance of dozens of Dunedin
City Council vehicles - and allegations of missing hundreds of
thousands of dollars - is now a fraud investigation, council
chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose has confirmed.
Dr Bidrose stopped short of implicating individual council
staff, at least for now, saying yesterday the focus was on
''all aspects'' of the processes and practices within its
She also confirmed other potential risks had been identified
and council staff had been warned they would need to ''earn''
the public's trust again.
''Our reputation as an organisation of people who don't take
home a single ratepayer dollar outside our wages is very
''We're going to have to earn this back, as even [last
week's] news has already dented it,'' she wrote in an update
The investigation by independent financial consultant
Deloitte was launched after the sudden death of the council's
Citipark and Citifleet team leader, Brent Bachop, on May 21.
Dr Bidrose last week confirmed the investigation was
examining an apparent ''discrepancy'' in vehicle fleet
numbers. The ODT was told up to 100 vehicles might have been
sold, and the proceeds pocketed, over the last decade.
Yesterday, Dr Bidrose confirmed the discrepancy was unearthed
when the council's new group chief financial officer, Grant
McKenzie, insisted earlier this year on ''independent
oversight'' of the council's asset list.
The list, used for insurance purposes, had previously been
prepared within the Citifleet department, she said.
''It was that independent oversight that alerted us to the
fact there were several different sets of figures.''
The approach was part of a wider review of council processes
which began last year, she said.
So far, no other ''questionable'' practices had been
identified, but some ''inconsistent'' processes had been, she
That included the way council contracts were handled and, in
some cases, rolled over, which was being addressed by
creating a new centralised contracts register, she said.
The register would inform other council staff when a contract
was up for renewal, ''so it's not up to just an individual
manager to roll them over'', she said.
''There's contracts that expire and then managers make a
decision just to roll them over. Sometimes, they're quite
small, but there's a variability in contracting processes
that we want to be standardised,'' she said.
Asked if the old approach left room for untoward behaviour,
she said: ''There's a risk.''