The following correspondence is reproduced in the public interest.
Received from Lee Vandervis
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 at 11:30 a.m.
Message: You may be interested in the following email trail, which I believe highlights a serious impediment to the cleansing process which is taking far too long at the DCC.
I am happy for you to publish.
Cr. Lee Vandervis
—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2014 21:36:35 +1200
To: Dave Cull
Cc: Sue Bidrose, Sandy Graham, Andrew Noone, Andrew Whiley, Chris Staynes, Doug Hall, Hilary Calvert, John Bezett, Jinty MacTavish, Kate Wilson, Mayor Cull, Mike Lord, Neville Peat, Richard Thomson, David Benson-Pope, Aaron Hawkins
Conversation: Recent events
Subject: Re: Recent events
Dear Mayor Cull.
Denial is not just a large river in Egypt.
You confirm the urgent need for facts and the record to be made public.
On 29/08/14 2:41 PM, “Dave Cull” wrote:
I do not believe that many of your claims below are borne out by the record or the facts and stand by my comments.
Sent from my iPad
[conversion code deleted from body text, punctuation restored -Eds]
On 29/08/2014, at 11:16 AM, “Lee Vandervis” wrote:
Dear Mayor Cull,
I believe that you have been long aware of my efforts to have Mr Bachop’s and other DCC departments investigated for the kinds of inappropriateness currently evident in Citifleet.
In particular you now know having read the Deloitte report, [and I believe have long known] that I have been calling for and instigated my own investigations into Citifleet vehicle disposals and contracting arrangements since at least 2011. I have been responding politically, then and since, to many business and individual requests and questions from, for example Turner’s Auctions, regarding Citifleet. Answers to many of my questions have been denied or not forthcoming, and the public right to know has been consequently frustrated. Your public claim that CEO Orders began the current investigative and restructuring process [by starting with DCHL?!] does not align with information I have, or with information and requests for investigation that I made to CEO Orders many years ago.
My understanding is that the Police were not moved to investigate Citifleet when contacted by the DCC over 3 months ago, even when the evidence was so tragically overwhelming that Deloittes were contracted by CEO Bidrose [costing us $200,000] to investigate. I am not convinced that Police requests for a further unspecified number of months of ‘no public comment’ is in the public interest, and my discussion with the Crown Solicitor was also unconvincing on this point.
You say below that ‘the investigation is not a process which you as a Councillor (or I) in our governance roles have a right to’, yet you have the right and have read the Deloitte Citifleet Investigation Report and made numerous public comments, and I have been denied seeing it even on a ‘grey papers’ basis and am being muzzled. Your ‘operational only’ claim is generally questionable and in this case fails on all counts.
We will never know all the facts, especially if the withholding of the Deloitte report and more public muzzling continues.
In one of your media statements you say that Council have agreed not to comment until the Police have completed their belated investigation, but this is not true. Councillors have not been given the opportunity to even discuss a further number of months of no comment on Citifleet, leave alone agreed not to comment. I have certainly not agreed and do not agree.
Thank you for acknowledging my long standing demands that DCC ‘heads should roll’. My long political experience is that timely public disclosure will be necessary to ensure that the appropriate heads are dispatched, and that an embedded DCC culture of self-entitlement across many departments is permanently erased.
On 28/08/14 5:30 PM, “Dave Cull” wrote:
The investigation that the CEO has contracted Deloittes to conduct into Citifleet is an operational matter involving, among other things, employment and potentially criminal issues. From the outset the Police, Serious Fraud Office, and Dept of Internal Affairs have been kept informed.
The investigation and subsequent internal reviews were instigated within DCC.
However the investigation is not a process which you as a Councillor (or I) in our governance roles have a right to, or responsibility for, interfering in or giving direction on, except as part of a whole of Council directive.
The investigation included the question of whether the problems uncovered at Citifleet had been the subject of previous allegations or questions, and if so, whether those had been responded to appropriately by management, including CEOs. Deloittes will report back on that.
The request not to release the report and the consequential request not to comment came not from the CEO (or me) but from Police and the Crown Prosecutor. Indeed both the CEO and I feel frustrated and disappointed as you do, that the report, which was completed only a week or so ago, must now sit under wraps for a further period.
However it is important that nothing jeopardises the ability of the CEO and police to hold people to account. You often demand that ‘heads should roll’
Your claims and demands, without knowledge of the investigation findings, could do just that: put the aims of the investigation to hold people accountable at risk.
I am not suggesting Councillors do not have the right to ask questions or make requests. What we do not have a right to do is step outside our governance roles, interfere with legitimate operational matters particularly without knowing all the facts, and unilaterally jeopardize Council and ratepayer interests. If we do we should be fully held to account for that.
Mayor of Dunedin
—— End of Forwarded Message
Note: The auditors that Dunedin City Council has contracted to investigate fraud carry the name Deloitte New Zealand, or simply Deloitte. Link
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27.8.14 DCC whitewash on serious fraud, steals democracy from citizens
26.8.14 DCC: Forensics for kids
23.8.14 DCC public finance forum 12.8.14 (ten slides)
6.8.14 DCC tightens policy + Auditor-General’s facetious comments
1.7.14 DCC: Far-reaching fraud investigation Citifleet
3.6.14 DCC unit under investigation
2.5.14 DCC $tar-ship enterprise
28.4.14 DCC loses City Property manager in restructuring
7.2.12 DCC ‘money go round’ embedded
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr