Vandervis: Deloitte and Police Citifleet investigations

Received from Lee Vandervis
Fri, 19 Dec 2014 at 11:54 a.m.

Deloitte and Police Citifleet Investigations – information I believe should be public in the public interest.

Message: I have had verbal and email responses from both CEO Bidrose and the Police denying that the scope of the Police investigation had been limited to missing or inappropriately sold DCC vehicles. These responses remain confidential currently because of other content they contain.
The fact remains that the investigating officer Detective Matthew Preece was adamant when he interviewed me on what I understood to be the last week of his investigation that he was not able to pursue my concerns of wider fraud other than missing vehicles, such as allegations regarding DCC contracts, and credit card and other financial spending fraud, because the complaint laid related just to missing vehicles.
Even more concerning was Detective Preece’s assertion to me that ‘all those that had acquired DCC vehicles needed to do, was to say that they understood Mr Bachop had the authority to dispose of them’ for them not to be liable for receiving or criminal prosecution. Detective Preece said that all those he had interviewed who had acquired DCC vehicles had said just that.

My worst fears that the tragic death of Mr Bachop would not be used to fully investigate the wider implications of a DCC staff self-serving culture were confirmed by the very limited scope of the belated Police investigation as relayed to me by Detective Preece. I wrote the following email to CEO Bidrose, Sandy Graham head of Governance, and Detective Mathew Preece that night. No demurring or other response to the email below has been received from Detective Preece.

Cr. Vandervis

From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2014 22:57:31 +1300
To: Sue Bidrose [DCC], Sandy Graham [DCC], Matthew Preece [NZ Police]
Conversation: Police Citifleet Investigation
Subject: Police Citifleet Investigation

Dear Sue,

An hour and a half spent with Detective Matthew Preece and another Policeman called Regan has left me with deep concerns regarding the Police Citifleet investigation.
Mr Preece has informed me that the scope of his investigation has been limited by the complaint the DCC has made to the Police, and that this complaint only concerns missing or inappropriately sold DCC vehicles.

Mr Preece says that because Police have not had a complaint from you or the DCC regarding;
– fraudulent Citifleet tender processes,
– fraudulent Citifleet tyre supply contracts,
– fraudulent Citifleet maintenance contracts
– fraudulent use of DCC Citifleet vehicle fuel
– fraudulent DCC accounting of Citifleet credit cards and other payment methods used and Citifleet managerial oversight
– and fraudulent use and conversion of DCC Citifleet vehicles [eg the conversion of a DCC-owned vehicle by Mrs Bachop]

and that consequently none of these fraud areas is being investigated!

Mr Preece did say that if you as CEO were to request that he broaden his investigation to include these other areas and not just the missing cars, that he would broaden his enquiry to include them. He insisted that he would have to have a broadened complaint from you as CEO for this to happen, and implied that a complaint from me as a City Councillor would not be enough to act on.

I have highlighted to Preece and Regan the urgent need to use the Citifleet manager’s tragic death to investigate and prosecute all Citifleet fraud areas, as a failure to do so will result in the loss of an unprecedented opportunity to clean out the culture of entitlement at Citifleet and in other DCC departments.

Can you please with urgency broaden the DCC complaint to include the 6 areas of potential Citifleet fraud listed above, so that Mr Reece can broaden his enquiry to include them.

Can you please also now with urgency, forward to me all instructions to Deloitte regarding the Citifleet investigation as previously requested in my email of 26/10/14 as below.

Is it possible to meet with you at any time tomorrow at your convenience to learn whether you have broadened the DCC Police complaint or not?

Kind regards,
Cr. Lee Vandervis

From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2014 18:23:41 +1300
To: Sue Bidrose [DCC], Sandy Graham [DCC]
Conversation: LGOIMA requests
Subject: LGOIMA requests

Hi Sue,
Further to my verbal requests of a week or two ago please forward copies of all original correspondence and or other direction given to Deloittes in regard to their investigation of Citifleet.
I wish to have the original brief stating the terms of reference, the subsequent brief where the investigation needed to be extended, and any other direction written or otherwise given to Deloittes regarding the Citifleet investigation.
I am deeply disturbed by what I have seen in parts of the investigation conclusions appearing without covering page or any details identifying them as parts of the Deloitte findings in non-public parts of the Audit and Risk subcommittee meetings.
I note a severe slowing on responses to my recent LGOIMA requests, and hope this has been a temporary frustration.
Kind regards,
Cr. Lee Vandervis

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


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

12 responses to “Vandervis: Deloitte and Police Citifleet investigations

  1. John Evans

    Elizabeth, I have sent various responses to this whitewash, the only sane councillor is Vandervis!

    Can you please explain why my comments appear censored??


    John Evans

    • Elizabeth

      John, will check if they’ve automatically gone to SPAM ……………. [yep they did, now restored – caught by one of the word filters]

  2. Cars

    I don’t even like SPAM.

  3. Elizabeth

    What if? Dunedin has experienced high view numbers since release of the Deloitte report by DCC and continues to leave Comments OPEN.

    Mr Harland is still not taking calls….

    Cr Vandervis was also damning of the culture at council at the time of the fraud. The two previous chief executives, Paul Orders and, in particular, Jim Harland, needed to “wear considerable responsibility” for what went on.

    ### ODT Online Sat, 20 Dec 2014
    Handling of fraud red flags criticised
    By Vaughan Elder
    Dunedin City Councillor Lee Vandervis has slammed the council over its handling of allegations he made three years ago against the man at the centre of a $1.59 million fraud. Cr Vandervis yesterday released a string of emails he sent to council staff in 2011 detailing concerns about the actions of Citifleet team leader Brent Bachop.
    Read more


    Soap from our elected leaders, but a couple have their priorities straight, in this matter !!

    Cr Doug Hall said he had not yet read the report, but believed […] “The people responsible shouldn’t have a job. It’s as simple as that. The buck stops at the top.”

    Cr Hilary Calvert said the situation could have been stopped years ago if a councillor’s questions were answered, instead of being “fobbed off” […] councillors, especially the mayor and deputy mayor, still had a role to ask questions and look into things.

    ### ODT Online Sat, 20 Dec 2014
    Findings disappoint most councillors
    Dunedin city councillors have responded to the Deloitte report on the $1.59 million Citifleet fraud with disappointment and anger, but also with confidence new systems in place will make sure it does not happen again.
    Read more


    More ODT mop-up:
    Leaders have done ‘pretty good work’ to turn systems around [extreme humour warning]
    Inquiry ‘a big job’
    Other councils have policies in place
    LGNZ views incident as a broader lesson

  4. Hype O'Thermia

    “Leaders have done ‘pretty good work’ to turn systems around” – yeah, and I’m expecting a top spot in the New Years Honours for brushing my own teeth every day, often with a toothbrush.

  5. Alex Brown

    A quote from a Vandervis email dated Friday 19 Dec at 11.54am is concerning:

    “Even more concerning was Detective Preece’s assertion to me that ‘all those that had acquired DCC vehicles needed to do, was to say that they understood Mr Bachop had the authority to dispose of them’ for them not to be liable for receiving or criminal prosecution. Detective Preece said that all those he had interviewed who had acquired DCC vehicles had said just that.”

    That is not all the “others” needed to do to explain away their part, particularly when Brent Bachop has been held solely accountable on the strength of no interview. Little credence is given to what suspects say or don’t say these days and that is why circumstantial and independent evidence carries far more weight.

    Crimes Act section 246 – Receiving
    (1) Everyone is guilty of receiving who receives any property stolen or obtained by any other imprisonable offence, knowing that property to have been stolen or so obtained, or being reckless as to whether or not the property had been stolen or so obtained.

    It was never intended that “knowingly” and “recklessness” be simply explained away by a suspect, as suggested by Detective Preece. Other evidence can be far more compelling and he is not prevented from investigating it – the cheap price paid for the DCC cars, the number and frequency of transactions, outside normal business practices, the transactional documents, communication between the parties – or did Bachop communicate or implicate other persons to his closest friends or loved ones before he died. The fact that Vandervis raised the alarm within the organisation over 2 years and nothing was done tends to suggest the involvement of others.

    The law states the crime of receiving is as serious as the crime of theft, but the criminal courts have long considered it more serious because without willing receivers (the black market) there would be no thieving.

    {Link added. -Eds}

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Psst, wanna buy a cheap smartphone, I’ve got half a dozen you can choose from? Engagement ring, got a few of them too. Chainsaw? Well of course they are mine to sell, just don’t mention this to other people, mate, I’m offering you a special deal, mate.

  6. Elizabeth

    Thanks for enlightenment, Alex. Will forward your comment to Cr Vandervis.

  7. Alex Brown

    This was a large crime involving a public entity (DCC) responsible for public money, and other things concern me in the emails.

    How were the Police to know that the persons within the DCC who had control over which specific complaints were lodged with Police, were not themselves covering for others or involved themselves??

  8. Russell Garbutt

    But we all know don’t we that if we want this all to go away quietly and without the insurance company reviewing their decision to pay out that no systemic problem is seen to exist, nor more importantly for others to be involved. If I was the insurance company I’d be wanting to limit my liabilities and so I’d like to be able to recoup as much as I can from anyone that suspected they were getting a really good deal (ie receiving). That’s the problem for Cull and co. They have got to show that it was only Bachop involved in the fraud when most people seem to know that a lot more than him either knew about the fraud or had participated in it one way or the other. Lee Vandervis can already show that he warned the DCC about the Citifleet issue – would the insurance company want to cough up when it can be shown that the DCC didn’t do anything about fraud happening under their noses?

    The cops won’t want to do anything without a complaint and since it is clear that the DCC want to shut this down asap then a lot more people involved will simply walk away yet again. Just how many people have lined their pockets one way or another when “doing business” with the DCC? ORFU? Highlanders? Citifleet? Delta? Stadium land purchases? The list goes on and on.

    • Russell Garbutt
      December 23, 2014 at 2:45 p.m.

      You ask – ‘would the insurance company want to cough up when it can be shown that the DCC didn’t do anything about fraud happening under their noses?’

      No I would expect not but even it did ‘cough up’ the insurance company would surely review the risk factors around insuring an outfit with the DCC’s track record and adjust its premiums for cover accordingly. What ever happens within those mechanisms you can be certain that the ratepayer will be worse off in the end.

  9. Elizabeth

    Comments at Your NZ blog about Bachop [eg Waldronville family cluster, see references and photos of kneecappers at older What if? posts about Citifleet] and the Deloitte report:

    modelmiss / December 20, 2014
    Initially I thought the guy had a gambling problem, but I read something recently, that indicated there may have been gang involvement in the theft of the vehicles.

    modelmiss / December 20, 2014
    That report must resemble a Top Secret FBI cover-up document with all the black outs and redactions. It sounds like they know a lot more than they are letting on.

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