Wednesday , January 27 2021

Fuji Xerox was again returned as a government provider despite an ongoing fraud investigation

Fuji Xerox has been reinstated as a state contractor despite being investigated by the Office of Serious Fraud in connection with an accounting scandal of nearly $ 500m.

The company was suspended as a provider of all services (AoG) for technology printing services in late 2017, following allegations of accounting irregularities primarily in New Zealand.

Spokesman for Economic Development Minister David Parker refused to comment, referring to the newspaper of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

A spokesman for the SFD, confirmed by Herald Fuji Xerox, was returned, but said the decision had no effect on the fraud investigation.

Executive Director of Fuji Xerox, New Zealand, Peter Thomas, said: "The returns reflect the company's work to overcome past issues and create new processes to ensure that they do not recur.

"We have made significant changes in business, including implementing a new governance structure, a new leadership team and stronger management practices.

"We have learned some difficult classes and are grateful for the opportunity to return as a government supplier.

"Fuji Xerox is looking forward to offering all the customers quality services and products we are familiar with."

Fuji Xerox's "inadequate accounting" during the six-year period from March 2011 to March 2016 culminated in the parent company Fujifilm with a loss of $ 473 million, including about $ 355 million from a New Zealand company.

The root cause, according to an independent report released last year, was "the first sale at any price culture" to meet sales targets, and commissions that saw photocopier sales staff making more money from cabinet ministers.

Various bonuses were handed over during holidays to senior executives and their wives were later charged up to $ 25,000 per head.

Following the media attention by the National Business Audit, the majority shareholder Fujifilm commissioned an independent report and in June 2017 the findings were translated into English and published publicly.

The report states that the Fuji Xerox NZ has consistently exaggerated sales revenue, including through dual recording of sales, recording fictitious sales and fictitious recording of costs.

SFO began looking at Fuji Xerox New Zealand (FXNZ) in October 2016, after the story of the NBR was announced. Two months later, the office closed the investigation, saying it would not take any action.

However, the investigation was re-opened a year later after Fujifilm published its report.

Fuji Xerox NZ, Fuji Xerox Finance and Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific have since filed a civil suit at the High Court in Auckland against three former senior officials – Neil Witlerker, former FXNZ CEO, Gavin Pollard and former chief financial officer Mark Allyrajt.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, who was an open critic of Fuji Xerox when he was in opposition, was not immediately available for comment. His office has been accessed for comment.

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