1492994382232 - Fuji Xerox monitored by Government procurement agenc

Fuji Xerox monitored by Government procurement agenc

The agency responsible for government contracts is monitoring Fuji Xerox New Zealand after it was revealed accounting irregularities will cause losses of $285 million for the company.

But Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges was confident in procurement practices, with Fuji being paid more than $55m for all-of-government contracts since 2012.

On Friday, Japan-based FujiFilm Holdings said it had set up an independent investigation committee to review the appropriateness of accounting practices at Fuji Xerox New Zealand (FXNZ).

These related to certain sales leasing transactions occurring in or prior to 2015 at the New Zealand office products subsidiary.

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FujiFilm president Kenji Sukeno in a statement said: “The cumulative impact of FXNZ’s accounting practices on past several fiscal years’ net income as identified to date in the investigation by the internal investigation committee is estimated as a loss of approximately 22 billion yen (NZ$285m)”.

NZ First leader Winston Peters, who last year pressured the Government and former Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce about the company, on Friday reiterated taxpayers needed to be ensured they were not being ripped off.

The Government had no choice but to call in the Audit Office, Peters said.

“At stake is something very serious because our inquiries reveal such serious concerns with Fuji Xerox that it could involve corruption.

“It now seems that the parent company in Japan suspects the same thing because we all know what ‘accounting irregularities’ is really short code for.”

Fuji Xerox has previously declined to comment on Peters’ corruption claims, but Peters said Fuji Xerox had been favoured by the Government.

Documents provided by NZ First said last year, Fuji Xerox was awarded contracts worth $13.5m, while competitors Ricoh received $12.4m, Konica Minolta $8.7m, and Canon $3.2m.

The company has been paid more than $55m for all-of-government contracts since 2012.

On Monday, Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges said New Zealand Government Procurement, which managed the all-of-government contracts between the Government and Fuji Xerox, had told him they had been in touch with the company.

“They are monitoring the situation, and will seek further assurances from Fuji Xerox if appropriate.

“I am confident with the procurement practices that New Zealand Government Procurement undertakes.”

Further questions about the value of any contracts awarded to Fuji Xerox this year have been referred to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

A Fuji Xerox spokesman said on Friday it welcomed the investigation and was co-operating fully.

The company had the full support of its immediate shareholder, Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific, and was meeting all its contractual commitments.

“This investigation has no impact on the current levels of service we offer our customers in New Zealand.

“There is no further comment at this time.”

The Serious Fraud Office last December said it would not be taking any action against Fuji Xerox.

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