Too soon for police to join fleet probe

CHIEF: Dunedin City Council chief executive Sue Bidrose.
CHIEF: Dunedin City Council chief executive Sue Bidrose.

It is too early to tell if the police will be involved after discrepancies in Dunedin City Council vehicle fleet numbers were discovered, the council says.

Dunedin City Council chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose told Stuff last month the council had commissioned Deloitte to investigate Citifleet, which is responsible for the management of council-owned vehicles, but declined to say what sparked the probe.

A Dunedin City Council spokesperson and Dunedin police confirmed former Citifleet manager Brent Bachop died suddenly on May 21.

His death had been referred to the coroner, police said.

Today Bidrose revealed the "far-reaching" Deloitte investigation was looking into irregularities in the numbers of council-owned vehicles, sparked by "discrepancies".

But Bidrose is keeping a lid on the scale of suspected discrepancies and whether police would become involved.

She dismissed as speculation reports that concerns involved up to 100 Citifleet vehicles and a six-figure sum of money being unaccounted for.

"Until the report has been received, it is not possible to say what further action will be taken, including whether any issues will be referred to the police," Bidrose said.

Stuff understands the council probe is part of a massive council clean-up of any undesirable practices and processes found within the organisation over the past few years.

Bidrose said there was a wider review across all departments.

"This review has included improving the transparency of stadium finances and changes to company governance arrangements, and now internal practices and processes are receiving attention.

"The point of reviewing practices is to find any problems or issues so they can be fixed."

Key accounting practices within the council, disposal of assets, changes to tender processes that provided more transparency, the council's risk management framework, and the development of a contracts register, were all part of the wider review.

"DCC staff expect to receive the Deloitte report by mid August and the findings will be made public," Bidrose said.