Dunedin City councillor Lee Vandervis said he alerted council chief executive of the time Paul Orders that the Dunedin branch of Turners was consistently shut out of contracts it sought, mainly for the disposal of used cars in 2011.
### stuff.co.nz Last updated 09:57 24/10/2014
Citifleet ‘stonewalled’ auctioneer firm
By Wilma McKay
A Dunedin city councillor says the council should have investigated its fraught Citifleet unit three years ago, when he expressed concerns that it shut out firms like car auctioneer Turners. Lee Vandervis said that in 2011 he alerted council chief executive of the time Paul Orders that the Dunedin branch of Turners was consistently shut out of contracts it sought, mainly for the disposal of used cars. The city council said in June this year it was investigating practices within its vehicle fleet unit Citifleet.
Unit team leader Brent Bachop had died suddenly in late May. His death has been referred to the coroner.
A subsequent Deloitte investigation, commissioned by the council, unravelled a vast network of alleged fraudulent activity, some with selected car dealers and other individuals, over 11 years, equating to more than a million dollars in lost council revenue. Some of the activity involved profits from the disposal of second hand Citifleet vehicles allegedly being pocketed instead of being paid into council coffers.
Vandervis said he was concerned about Bachop’s business dealings when he was told by Turners and other Dunedin businesses they were having difficulty even engaging with Citifleet. He began pressing Orders on the issue and made a raft of requests for information around Citifleet. Vandervis suggested Orders meet the manager “to attempt to normalise a Turners/DCC business relationship”. Vandervis said Turners’ staff had expressed “long and on-going frustration at trying to deal with Citifleet vehicle disposals”.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr