A former Auckland Council employee has been sentenced to home detention over bribery and corruption charges.
Sundeep Dilip Rasila, 42 and his co-defendant businessman Sunil Chand, 56, corrupted a council procurement process for financial gain.
Rasila was sentenced to five-and-a-half months’ home detention in the High Court at Auckland this morning while Chand had his hearing delayed to resolve a factual issue.
Rasila had previously pleaded guilty to corruptly accepting a bribe as a council employee; paid by Chand in return for his company being awarded a $140,150 Auckland Council contract.
Both men were investigated and charged by the Serious Fraud Office, which found only one instance of bribery during Rasila’s employment at Auckland Council.
Rasila accepted a $7500 kickback in August 2018 for arranging for Chand’s business, On Time Print, to secure a contract for supply of 22,000 Universal Serial Bus (USB) devices to the council.
On Time Print turned a profit of approximately $58,000 as a result of being awarded the contract.
Auckland Council chief executive Stephen Town said the council had zero tolerance for bribery and corruption.
“Auckland Council has thousands of staff who take their responsibilities as public servants very seriously and I’ve no doubt they will be as disappointed as I was to learn that one of our staff could use such bad judgement and behave so poorly.”
He said he had confidence the council had process in place to detect offending, including channels for staff to speak out about any suspected misconduct.
“I’m very proud that a staff member did have the courage to speak up. It was absolutely the right thing to do and demonstrates to all our staff that when they do raise concerns, they will be taken seriously.”
Serious Fraud Office director Julie Read said Rasila’s actions were deceitful, corrupt and criminal, and ran counter to the fair way of doing business that New Zealand has a reputation for.
“Corruption in the public sector diverts public funds from those who most need the support of public services. For this reason, public sector corruption is a high priority for the SFO.
“As a council employee, Mr Rasila was required to disclose the nature of his relationship with Mr Chand and his business, but he never did this.”