DCC aftermath of full council meeting 14.12.15 (emails released)

Extraordinary times at Dunedin City Council in which no-one looks good. With what political mileage generated at mayoral level; and what questions of the chief executive, and ODT’s role and or complicity, in this sudden council release of information to the public realm.

Read the email threads attached to Sandy Graham’s email to Cr Vandervis.

More than ever, these exchanges show strong need for an independent Procurement manager position at Dunedin City Council with oversight of all managers of departments and divisions, as Cr Vandervis has been recommending for some time.

Unsurprisingly, belatedly, an investigation into alleged fraud at City Property should commence, along the lines of what happened for Citifleet —this time, with full accountability to the ratepayers and residents of Dunedin.

Received from Lee Vandervis
Sat, 19 Dec 2015 at 11:12 a.m.

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Sat, 19 Dec 2015 10:02:42 +1300
To: Sandy Graham, Andrew Noone, Andrew Whiley, Chris Staynes, Doug Hall, Hilary Calvert, John Bezett, Jinty MacTavish, Kate Wilson, Lee Vandervis, Mayor Cull, Mike Lord, Neville Peat, Richard Thomson, David Benson-Pope, Aaron Hawkins
Cc: Sue Bidrose
Conversation: LGOIMA request – Various matters related to allegations from Monday’s meeting
Subject: LGOIMA request – Various matters related to allegations from Monday’s meeting

Dear Sandy,

Given the Deloitte comment “We do not have any objection to you sharing this letter with the Councillors.”
and my repeated LGOIMA and requests for other Deloitte information, why was this information not supplied to me well before now?!
Please state complete reasons and who was responsible for the decisions to withhold this information from me.

Cr. Vandervis

On 18/12/15 12:03 pm, “Sandy Graham” wrote:

Dear Councillors

FYI. This is a response to a LGOIMA request that we provided to the ODT. It is likely to feature in the paper over the next day or two.



From: Sandy Graham
Sent: Thursday, 17 December 2015 4:33 p.m.
To: Chris Morris [ODT]
Subject: LGOIMA resposne – Various matters related to allegations from Monday’s meeting

Dear Chris

Further to your LGOIMA request, please find below and attached responses to your questions.

You stated:
At Monday’s council meeting, Cr Vandervis claimed he had paid a backhander to council staff to secure a contract prior to his time as a councillor. I’m told by the Mayor that this is believed to relate to a former staff member who no longer works for council.

Q Are staff investigating or considering the legal or other implications of Vandervis’ backhander claim?

Yes – all aspects of the transaction will be investigated.

Q If so, can you say what the implications of his statement are, and the possible options or actions that might follow? Does it, for example, trigger an investigation under the council’s anti-fraud policies, and would that look at the actions of the former staff member, Cr Vandervis, or both?

The internal auditors have been advised and they are following the process as per the Fraud Prevention Policy and Procedures.

Q What action might be taken as a result?
It’s too early to say what if any action will be taken.

Previous questions
1. What claims has Lee Vandervis made in relation to alleged fraud involving council?

See attached emails which provides documented details of recent fraud allegations. As discussed, these emails are the what we have been able to quickly identify over the past couple of years. We have not gone back further at this stage.

2. What evidence, if any, has he provided to back up those claims?
Please see emails as above

3. I’m told the DCC received a separate piece of information from Deloitte assessing the claims made by Lee Vandervis in relation to the Citifleet fraud. If possible, can I have a copy of that today?

A copy is attached with redactions to protect the privacy of certain individuals pursuant to section 7(2)(a) of LGOIMA.

As we have withheld certain information, you are entitled to a review by the Office of the Ombudsman.


Sandy Graham
Group Manager Corporate Services
Dunedin City Council

—— End of Forwarded Message

(4) Attachments:

SC454E0591715121715540 [546869]
Email thread Bidrose 16.12.15 – Community Housing Maintenance Contract LGOIMA

Email – 2015_02_25_Redacted]
Lee Vandervis to Grant McKenzie 25.2.15 In Confidence- Alleged Fraud

Email – 2015_02_25_Redacted [546867]
Email thread Grant McKenzie to Lee Vandervis 25.2.15 In Confidence- Alleged Fraud

SC454E0591715121715470_Redacted [546868]
Deloitte to Bidrose 4.8.14 – City Fleet Investigation – Matters raised by Councillors

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Citifleet, DCC, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, SFO

14 responses to “DCC aftermath of full council meeting 14.12.15 (emails released)

  1. No Comeback on receivers of stolen property. Go after the widow, why don’t you? Defend her, Anne.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      What’s the story about stolen property? Can you just say “I didn’t know”? Where, for instance, lifestyle is disproportionate to status of comparable individuals/couples, is it deemed that one should have at least asked questions?

      • You can say ‘I didnt know, already’. To which the only charitable response is: “Given the big disparity between sale price and actual value, I’m very sorry, but your cognitive faculties are in bad Nick, or you are 6 plugs short of a spark. Keep this not knowing very quiet, you look a bit diminished in responsibility. Toodle’.

  2. Gurglars

    Deloitte won’t get a chocolate fish from Hype for that investigation!

    It used to be called a whitewash, now its been shortened to a Deloitte (a bit like a Claytons with stuffing).

  3. Rob Hamlin

    If one’s partner is party to a scam that removes $1.5 million from the victim, and they keep it all, and share it with you (many don’t) then I guess that $1.5m over say 15 years would make a difference that you might notice – and ask questions about.

    However, the scam has many players, then your partner will only see part of that $1.5m and maybe only a small part at that if they are merely the hole in the bucket, and the real muscle is one convenient step back from the incriminating action. Maybe all you see is the odd cheap domestic input every now and again – Probably you wouldn’t ask questions.

    I suppose that if said victim’s insurer then demands $1.25m off you, you might respond that you haven’t ever seen anything like that amount come into the house. If no casinos/hookers emerge and if your existing/historical assets and financial records back you up, then I suppose that might cause people, like the insurer, to ask – Well then, who had the rest?

    That’s an awkward question that only an insurance company, that’s not been well briefed on how things work in that immediate vicinity, might ask – or create a situation where it has to be asked.

  4. Gurglars

    Just a couple of questions for Deloitte.

    The evidence you sought was verbal? So a man guilty of theft of tyres is going to admit it?

    Did you ask the one person involved whether you could
    A. Look at the receipt
    B. Look at the credit card receipt

    Given two apparent explanations for the same theft did that not ring an alarm bell? (It is clear that the questioned’s initials are JH and the redacted first word is CEO).

    • Elizabeth

      I was told by high ranking managers that the tyres have been accounted for, and there are/were receipts. May be the question needs revisiting. Or the full Deloitte report (all three) released.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        I wonder if there was a time gap between the request for documentation re the purchase of the tyres, and the production of such documentation.
        Did anyone check that the receipts had unique numbers i.e. were not numbered the same as other receipts for something else?

      • Cars

        The high ranking managers?? Wasn’t it the CEO who had the Alfa and/or the Aston?

        Wasn’t Brent Bachop, a high ranking manager. What about Athol Stephens, how low was he ranked? And a certain manager involved in property holidaying at St Martins Bay with the head of the biggest contracting company involved in Dunedin’s debt spiral and the cat that sold most of the overpriced land to the DCC for


        High ranking managers- paid crooks

        And some high ranking managers saw the receipts?

        What about the police- did they see them?
        Did Deloitte ask to view them.

        High Ranking managers! Put a few more on and throw a couple of end of year parties.

  5. Diane Yeldon

    But this lack of transparency is all absolutely deliberate. Compare with my recent post about the work of the Audit and Risk Management Subcommittee. Was meeting for over a year with virtually no-one but the insiders: Mayor Cull, Richard Thomsom and Cr Calvert AND two non-elected members knowing anything at all about what was going on. Yet the stated purpose of the new procurement policy is to ‘improve accountability and transparency’. Well, clearly not right away. Later – when all the mess from the past has been cleared up.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      One is reminded of St Augustine, isn’t one?
      ‘Lord, grant me accountability and transparency; but not yet.’

    • Hype O'Thermia

      It’s clicked at last! I’d completely misunderstood till now.
      “Audit and Risk Management Subcommittee” is about managing the risk of being audited.

  6. Gurglars

    Like St Augustine had to wait for St Marchstine?

  7. jeff dickie

    Maybe it was Bidrose’s letter [Dec 16] to Sandy Graham above, or perhaps the Deloitte Report on Citifleet, which should have been written on soft tissue with tear off strips, made me think of yet another nutty and wasteful DCC venture. As reported in the ODT [18 Dec] the DCC estimate for opening the Municipal Chambers toilet 24/7 as a manned facility is a meagre $54,000. Wouldn’t this require at least 3 full time attendants, and weekends extra? At 8,760 hours per annum that would be $6.16 per hour! Maybe they are talking about a difference figure just for the new 10pm to 6.00am gap? But you are still talking 7 days a week or an extra 56 hours a week. But that’s a mere $18.50 an hour for a highly trained security guard. Plus all the extra costs associated with security, proposed video, lighting and heating etc etc. Oddly, something in these figures just doesn’t seem to add up! Maybe the official loo keepers could be sent off to Oxford to upskill in Scatology? They may need it to get to grips with their employers’ culture.

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