'Forger' quits after 'error of judgment'

ANNA TURNER
Last updated 05:00 27/03/2013

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A supervisor accused of forging an owner's signature on an earthquake repair sign-off form has resigned from the company that employed her.

Last month, The Press reported Christchurch property manager Robyn Fantham was "disgusted" to find her signature forged on a form for repairs at one of her properties.

The form said the repairs were up to standard, but she had not even inspected them.

"When I got [the forms] I saw someone had signed off my name and attempted to do my signature," she said. "It was a very bad job too. It looked nothing like my signature."

Fantham told The Press she rang the Buildtech supervisor, who told her it was "common" for her to sign off if property managers were not available.

Buildtech initiated an independent audit after the allegations came to light, with director Israel Cooper telling Fantham he took the fraud allegations "very, very seriously".

The supervisor was stood down while the investigation took place.

The audit, undertaken by PricewaterhouseCooper, included a review of all of the project sign-offs by the supervisor involved and a review of sign-offs by all other supervisors.

Yesterday, Cooper said the audit had "verified" the company's project sign-off processes .

"As expected, this incident was an isolated case and appears to be an unfortunate case of error of judgment by the supervisor."

Cooper said the matter was referred to the police and the supervisor resigned.

He said the company had "robust systems and processes" in place for project sign-offs and the results of the audit reflected that.

A new "electronic sign-off process", also provided another "layer of protection" to customers and staff.

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- The Press

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