Fraud probe over Dunedin council cars

WILMA MCCORKINDALE
Last updated 12:07 01/07/2014
sue bidois
CHIEF: Dunedin City Council chief executive Sue Bidrose.

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A fraud probe is looking into whether dozens of Dunedin City Council vehicles were sold over the past decade, and the proceeds pocketed.

Profits from the purchase and sale of Citifleet vehicles, allegedly amounting to more than $1 million, were being investigated, Stuff has been told.

Council chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose said last month that an investigation into the unit by accountancy firm Deloitte was under way after irregularities in the internal recording of council-owned vehicles was discovered.

In a blog to council staff, Bidrose indicated the council was looking at a major fraud inquiry that could dent ratepayer trust.

The council was bracing itself for the findings of the probe, which was expected to reflect negatively on its financial management, she said.

Bidrose said the Deloitte investigation was examining a range of issues, including what appeared to be a discrepancy in the number of council-owned fleet vehicles.

The report was due by mid-August and the findings would be made public, she said.

"The investigation has come about because of an ongoing review of DCC processes over the past two to three years," she said.

Bidrose said no conclusions should be drawn until the investigation was complete.

The unit's former manager Brent Bachop died on May 21 in a suspected suicide.

Stuff understands Citifleet is not the only council unit under scrutiny.

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