A former Auckland Council employee who accepted a bribe in return for awarding a contract to a friend has been sentenced to five and a half months of home detention.
Sundeep Dilip Rasila, 42, was sentenced today at Auckland High Court while co-defendant Sunil Chand, 56, had his sentencing delayed to resolve a factual issue, the Serious Fraud Office said.
Mr Rasila admitted to accepting a kickback as a council employee, while Mr Chand admitted paying him $7500 in return for being awarded a contract worth $140,150.
In August of 2018, Mr Rasila arranged for Mr Chand's business, On Time Print, to supply 22,000 USB devices to the council, with the contract leading to profits of about $58,000.
The SFO said this was the only time Mr Rasila had accepted a bribe during his time at Auckland Council.
SFO Director Julie Read said "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.
"Mr Rasila's actions were deceitful, corrupt and criminal, and run counter to the fair way of doing business that New Zealand has a reputation for."
Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town welcomed the sentence.
"As I have said previously, the council has zero tolerance for bribery, corruption or any kind of illegal behaviour and as soon as Mr Rasila's offending was brought to our attention we acted swiftly and engaged the appropriate authorities to ensure he was held to account for his actions.
"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.
"I take confidence that we have processes in place to detect wrongdoing, including giving staff the channels and power to speak up when they suspect 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.
"Mr Rasila was no longer employed by Auckland Council when his offending was uncovered."