Leaders have done 'pretty good work' to turn systems around

The Dunedin City Council has done some ''pretty good work in a pretty short period of time'' to turn its systems around, Deloitte partner Kyle Cameron, the lead investigator of the Citifleet fraud, says.

The council's new operational leaders, chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose and group chief financial officer Grant McKenzie were ''good, competent people''.

Before the fraud was uncovered, they had begun to improve the council's business processes, ''but certainly this gave it a hell of a lot more urgency''.

Mr McKenzie was doing things Mr Cameron would have expected within the organisation irrespective, having moved from a similar role at the University of Otago.

Mr McKenzie said changes, including some made before the Citifleet fraud was discovered, included. -

• Staff banned from buying any council assets, other than through open public tender process (e.g. they can buy an ex-DCC car at Turner's).

• Responses to queries about allegations related to individuals must be sought from the appropriate manager, not the individual.

• Suspicious transaction testing instigated (nothing suspicious has arisen so far).

• Central contract register developed.

• Citifleet assets physically verified and recorded.

• Fuel card system changed. All expenditure checked, no other issues. Can buy only limited other items on some cards.

• Whistleblower policy updated.

• Audit and risk councillor subcommittee formed.

• Tenders awarded via council's tenders board published online.

• Fraud prevention and procedures policy updated - makes it clear what staff should do if suspect/discover fraud; details managers' and employees' responsibilities for preventing and detecting fraud; outlines how staff can report suspected fraud.

• New procurement and tendering processes being developed across the council.

• Ongoing council-wide review of council vehicles and their appropriate use.

• Dedicated risk and internal audit manager to be appointed (position advertised).

• All council credit card spending to be posted online quarterly.

• New fraud risk management plan almost in place.

• Fraud risk assessment programme to be updated.

• Fraud awareness training for all staff will start in the new year.