DCC Fraud: Further official information in reply to Cr Vandervis

Following on from the previous post.
DCC has established an Investigation Steering Group (membership unknown).

Received from Cr Lee Vandervis
Mon, 1 Sep 2014 at 9:51 p.m.


—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Sent: Wednesday, 27 August 2014 11:09 a.m.
To: Sandy Graham [DCC]
Subject: Re: 8 x LGOIMA requests

Hi Sandy,

Thank you for responding so rapidly on the 8 questions.

To clarify, have the DCC asked for the SFO to investigate the Citifleet frauds and when, or has the SFO only been briefed indirectly by Deloittes as in answer 7?

Also, are your responses public or confidential?



From: Sandy Graham [DCC]
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2014 11:08:40 +1200
To: Lee Vandervis
Subject: RE: 8 x LGOIMA requests

Dear Lee

I have followed up your question of clarification about the SFO and can provide the following response:
Under the circumstances of a suspected fraud (as per the Citifleet situation at the beginning of the investigation), the normal course of events is that the SFO is informed of issues when they arise. Deloitte did this via a phone-call to the SFO on 12 June 2014, after a discussion with DCC staff at a meeting of the Investigation Steering Group. The steering group were fully aware of the fact that Deloitte was speaking with the SFO and were informed of the outcome of the call. The call to the SFO was us asking the SFO to consider an investigation.

The discussion on 12 June 2014 (which was with a case officer and with Nick Paterson, the GM Fraud and Corruption) summarised the facts and circumstances of the Citifleet issues and sought the view of the SFO.
It is then the SFO’s decision as to whether they commence their own investigation. This is based on the criteria set out on their website (copied below)

There are multiple victims (usually investors) of the suspected fraud

● The sum of money lost exceeds $2,000,000

● The alleged criminal transactions have significant legal or financial complexity beyond the resources of most other law enforcement agencies.

In the case of bribery or corruption matters, we focus on crimes involving public officials, which could undermine public confidence in the administration of laws

Based primarily on the fact that the main suspect was deceased and that the actions appeared to be those of one corrupt individual rather than fitting within the definition of bribery and corruption, the GM Fraud and Corruption decided that the best course of action was for Deloitte to complete its investigation and provide a copy of the report at the conclusion of its work. During the investigation and with permission from DCC, Deloitte provided an update on the investigation to SFO on 07 July 2014 via letter. A copy of the full report was provided on 21 August 2014. We have heard nothing back from the SFO to date.

As to confidentiality, these OIA replies are all able to be made public and as such they will be published on the website and I will be providing a copy of the information to all Councillors.

Sandy [Group Manager Corporate Services, DCC]
—— 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

Related Posts and Comments:
30.8.14 DCC Fraud: Cr Vandervis states urgent need for facts…
28.8.14 DCC: Tony Avery resigns
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
3.7.14 Stuff: Alleged vehicle fraud at DCC
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


Filed under Business, Citifleet, DCC, DCHL, Democracy, Economics, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property

24 responses to “DCC Fraud: Further official information in reply to Cr Vandervis

  1. At the moment the only councillor we have working for his constituents is Cr Lee Vandervis. And he gets pilloried by our Mayor for doing so. Power to him as he keeps prizing the lid open to let some oxygen in.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      When Cull and Vandervis stood for the mayoralty the first time Cull reckoned that as Mayor, with Vandervis on Council, he’d be able to manage him, and work with him. His attitude was that Vandervis was a thorn in the side of Council.
      As it turns out, he was partly right. But the more Cull attempts to “manage” Vandervis to keep ugly truths at bay, the more he demonstrates that he can’t or won’t work with him, not even for the sake of the city.
      Instead of being a useless prick viewing Dunedin’s issues with rose-coloured glasses, Vandervis goes straight to the point.

      Isn’t there a bigger issue that a mayor should be manning up to, than a chronic hissy towards a smarter, more focused councillor?

  2. Elizabeth

    The other councillors need to grow balls.
    [that’s a gender neutral statement!]

  3. Phil

    The name Motor Trade Finances suddenly popped up in connection today. Didn’t the head of MTF in Dunedin pack up his bags just a few days ago ? This is all just getting a bit too bizarre.

  4. Phil

    Moderated. -Eds

    Curiously enough, the subject of today’s revelation, a Mr Lapham […] Buying 2 cars without any prior knowledge of their previous ownership and both cars, out of all the hundreds of cars for sale in Dunedin, just happen to be ex Citifleet cars. How many coincidences are too many, I wonder ?

  5. Elizabeth

    ODT’s Phil Somerville on Channel 39 says there’s more on the Citifleet scandal in tomorrow’s newspaper.

    More comments on Citifleet today at (post) DCC: Tony Avery resigns

  6. Elizabeth

    Appalling replies.
    Read: No reply at all, a complete lack of accountability and lack of transparency.

    ODT 9.9.14 (page 18)
    ODT 9.9.14 Letter to the editor Vandervis [replies] p18 (1)

    • Rob Hamlin

      Lee is perhaps not asking the right question here. Three observations are pertinent:

      1) A great deal of money was involved in transactions that appear to be questionable.
      2) One individual appears to have been involved in all of these transactions.
      3) This individual died (suddenly and pretty much immediately) when approached about these transactions.

      The answers given to Lee are accurate enough – although they are carefully framed. We do not know the actual circumstances under which this death occurred. But a reasonable set of questions might be:

      1) Has a full and careful autopsy plus immediate scene investigation on the basis of ‘no-assumptions’ been conducted, and has relevant evidence been retained for the Coroner’s use?
      2) If not, why not?
      3) Are the police treating the death itself, as well as the transactions, as ‘suspicious’?
      4) Will an inquest (eventually) be held?

      As a recent North & South article noted in the wake of the Helen Milner case in Christchurch, the authorities in this country are considerably less thorough in their investigations of non-natural deaths that don’t apparently involve the action of a third party than many other equivalent jurisdictions are. Had the victim’s family in the Milner case not been heroically persistent in their determination to get the police to act on the matter, Milner would have got away with it, despite her extraordinary carelessness.

      • Elizabeth

        Rob, you make valid points in respect of the keystone cop approach to law and disorder @NZ.
        Not pretty. And yes, did it happen the way no-one is saying it did. We don’t know.
        By now, maybe, Lee Vandervis knows more than the rest of us on the outside will ever know or be able to know in the public spotlight. I take it his quest is far from over.
        The tendency for bodies to be whisked away and not forensically examined in sufficient detail seems to be a well-established practice.
        Will have a chat.

  7. Elizabeth

    ODT editor Murray Kirkness on Dunedin TV (Channel 39) tonight says there’s more on the Citifleet fraud in Saturday’s newspaper.

  8. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sat, 27 Sep 2014
    Vehicles won’t be recovered
    By Chris Morris
    The Dunedin City Council has accepted it will be unable to recover dozens of Citifleet vehicles sold as part of an alleged $1.5 million fraud. Council staff yesterday confirmed they had received a legal opinion advising against trying to recover former Citifleet vehicles from individual buyers, who in some cases had bought more than one car.
    Read more

  9. Elizabeth

    ”We continue to have open and honest dialogue with the insurance company.” –Sue Bidrose

    ### ODT Online Sat, 4 Oct 2014
    Citifleet: DCC talks to insurer
    By Chris Morris
    The Dunedin City Council is negotiating with its insurer to recoup a chunk of the $1.5 million lost during an alleged decade-long fraud within its Citifleet department. Council chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose, responding to Otago Daily Times questions, yesterday said the council was in talks with QBE to recoup some of the missing money.
    Read more

    Related comment: https://dunedinstadium.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/34557/#comment-54991

  10. I would struggle to see how insurance would cover much if anything of this, unless the DCC originally stipulated staff larceny in its covers. Thinking about that, it might just have done that.

  11. Elizabeth

    Link received Thu, 5 Feb 2015 at 7:27 p.m.

    Comment: “Dunedin City Council has set the benchmark for systems, audits and accountability and others are keen to follow.”

    My response: ffs – if Susie Johnstone (chair) and current members of the DCC Audit and Risk Subcommittee know anything about audit, fraud or risk that’s stuck right up their snotty noses, I will eat my hat.

    ### stuff.co.nz Last updated 13:42 05/02/2015
    Kapiti council boosts fraud protection
    By Joel Maxwell – Kapiti Observer
    Kapiti’s council will appoint an outside expert to its subcommittee monitoring council coffers, to avoid a repeat of a million-dollar swindle in Dunedin. Councillors voted on Thursday to add the new member to its audit and risk subcommittee to boost financial oversight.
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      I’ll assume it was the DCC Audit and Risk Subcommittee (but check out too those regularly noted as being in attendance), with or without legal advice, that invented or at least held the party line for Council about the Citifleet fraud being down to just one former staff manager, the now deceased Brent Bachop – in order to pick up the insurance money. Do look at the incumbents of the subcommittee and think about the other roles they ‘enjoy’ at DCC in particular that might push things under the blood-red carpet, necessarily.

      Agenda 3.2.15

      Click to access ma_audit_a_2015_02_03.pdf

    • Hype O'Thermia

      ~Comment: “Dunedin City Council has set the benchmark for systems, audits and accountability and others are keen to follow.”~

      Could be.

      Depends who “others” are. Perps? Perps’ buddies? Elected and salaried members of the Sepulchre Whiteners Guild? People charged with (and very well paid for) responsibility for ensuring honest practice whose motto is “Anything for a quiet life”?

  12. Phil

    Just me who noted that the new Citifleet Manager is the son of the Housing Manager in City Property ? Clearly the most qualified candidate.

    • Elizabeth

      Phil, don’t think I knew who replaced Brent Bachop.
      What if? records show that in 2011 the Council housing manager (City Property) was Sharron Tipa. Is it someone else now?

      Aside, I hear Kevin Thompson placed his house on the market at a strategic time and took it off again when he knew he was ‘safe’.

  13. Phil

    Same people as far as I am aware, Elizabeth. Different surnames but the same people. I’m not sure I would ever call Kevin T “safe”. Not as long as he still has an internet connection. 34 official reasons for him not to have one. Chin, Harland and Orders knew the score.

    • Elizabeth

      I don’t know much about him. You know more than I do methinks.

      Safe was to do with not being prosecuted in regards to Citifleet, I suppose.

      During Citifleet… we did read of a staff member with a prior. Perhaps 2+2= a round number.

  14. Rob Hamlin

    The attached link is a long but terryfing portrait of where we appear to be heading.


    I note that the ODT had a go at Vandervis yesterday. Readers’ comments pretty much 100% pro Vandervis. Go number two today has comments disabled for some strange reason.

  15. Elizabeth

    Thanks Rob, for pointing out the ODT shutdown to comments on today’s story re Cr Vandervis’s apology (see new post) – maybe Mayor Cull or DCC Comms got to M. Kirkness. Who knew. Or contributors, emphatically divided between support for Vandervis or DCC, had WWIII brinking, in the manner of climate change, fluoride in the water, and New Year honours to Farry and Edgar (the sure trail to roller doors crashing down, repeatedly, at the esteemed newspaper).

  16. Hype O'Thermia

    Pro-Vandervis comments are FAR too numerous. Giving space to this well-organised group of troublemakers (who probably shout and swear frequently) would give the wrong impression since the majority of Dunedin ratepayers do not agree with them, and this is proven by the fact that the majority of Dunedin people have not posted pro-Vandervis comments.

    Please take note of my ability to learn – this is the same argument as “the Town Hall was filled with anti-stadium protesters, but the majority of Dunedin people did not attend and this proves they were in favour of plunging the city into debt for the F.U.B.A.R.”

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