NZ extends Fuji Xerox ban on govt. contract
New Zealand has extended its temporary ban on Fuji Xerox NZ from accepting any new government work in the wake of a $450 million accounting scandal at the company’s Australasian subsidiaries.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) announced in July that FXNZ had agreed to a “voluntary suspension” from all current government contracts for a period of six weeks as investigations continued into “accounting irregularities.”
The suspension has now been extended until at least October, meaning FXNZ remains unable to bid on any new contracts in the public sector but will continue to compete for non-government contracts.
The MBIE said 93 government agencies currently using FXNZ through three All-of-Government contracts have been ‘notified of this outcome.’
The move effectively delays the government’s next move until after New Zealand’s general election to be held on September 23. Latest polling suggests the ruling National Party could lose power to a resurgent Labour Party under new leader Jacinda Ardern.
New Zealand First party leader Winston Peters slammed the delay.
“How many weeks does Minister Simon Bridges need to read the Fuji Xerox fraud report? The truth is that National has made the decision to reinstate Fuji Xerox. No other tenders were planned over the past six weeks MBIE and other departments have had Fuji Xerox delivering and installing machines during this company’s suspension.
“This company’s half billion dollar fraud has seriously tarnished this country’s reputation. No wonder National struggles to get quality trade deals across the line with other countries, especially Japan, when fraud like this went on right under their nose,” Peters said.
In its statement, the Ministry said dialogue with FXNZ was continuing as the government considered its options.
Fuji Xerox New Zealand (FXNZ) has agreed to a continuation of the voluntary suspension from all current All-of-Government contracts.
FXNZ offered to continue the voluntary suspension and MBIE accepted it. We will continue dialogue with FXNZ and continue to consider our options.
The suspension will be reviewed again in October when further discussions will occur with FXNZ.
This suspension continues to prevent FXNZ proactively seeking new business from public sector agencies, which includes sales and marketing activities.
FXNZ participates in Print Technology and Associated Services (PTAS), Print Devices and Print Device Management Services, and Office Supplies All-of-Government contracts and will continue to meet its existing obligations with public sector agencies.
The NZ government spent $55 million with the company between 2012 and 2016.
FXNZ managing director Gavin Pollard left the company in August after an independent investigation ordered by parent Fujifilm found incomes at FX ANZ subsidiaries had been inflated by $450 million.
The investigation revealed that former FXNZ and FXA MD Neil Whittaker was paid more than $1 million to leave the company after the problem was first uncovered.
Fuji Xerox last month appointed former Japanese-based corporate vice-president Hirokazu Komaki to the newly created role of chairman of the board at FX Australia to oversee the local operation.