A former Auckland Council worker has been accused of accepting a bribe to guarantee a $150,000 business deal.
Appearing in the Auckland District Court for the first time this morning, the man faces a charge by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) of corruptly accepting or obtaining a bribe for himself or another person.
It is alleged a cheque for $7500 by a 55-year-old business owner was used to bribe the then council worker.
The business owner is also facing one charge laid by the SFO under the Secret Commissions Act.
Both men were granted interim name suppression and remanded on bail when they appeared briefly before Judge Brooke Gibson.
Court documents viewed by the Herald allege the 41-year-old worker took the bribe to accept a goods supply contract for the council.
He is also accused of inducing or causing another person to "deliver over, execute, make, accept, endorse or alter" the contract for a pecuniary advantage.
While working at the council the worker was tasked with obtaining quotes for the supply of the goods from prospective suppliers, court documents read.
While doing this he allegedly prepared an anonymised price comparison spreadsheet and excluded material price information.
The council then awarded the goods contract, relying on the details of the spreadsheet, the SFO alleges.
The supply contract was valued at $152,520 and was varied to $140,150, allegedly as a result of the spreadsheet.
The two men will next appear in court on Friday when the secrecy of their names will be argued.
Auckland Council chief executive Stephen Town said in a statement: "Auckland Council has zero tolerance for bribery or any kind of illegal behaviour and takes any such allegations very seriously, including a commitment to investigate all instances where any such activity is believed to have taken place."
He said all council staff are trained on the principles embedded within the council's charter, which sets out the expectations for staff conduct.
"This also includes a responsibility for staff to speak up if they suspect any wrongdoing," Town said.
He added that the 41-year-old worker left the council three years ago but confirmed that the alleged offending occurred while he was a council employee.
"Despite our disappointment that a former employee of ours is now before the court, we are pleased to see that the tools we have in place to detect wrongdoing, including giving staff the channels and power to speak up, are working and enabled this to be brought to our attention," Town said.