By Jenny Ruth
April 17 (BusinessDesk) - The government has reinstated Fuji Xerox as a supplier despite an ongoing Serious Fraud Office investigation into accounting irregularities that led to losses of more than $300 million.
Late yesterday, Fuji Xerox’s New Zealand managing director Peter Thomas announced that the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is lifting his company’s suspension from its All of Government Print Technology and Associated Services agreement from May 1 on a probationary basis.
Fuji Xerox was suspended from the PTAS agreement on Sept. 29, 2017 “after an inappropriate accounting practice came to light,” Thomas said in a statement.
“The reinstatement reflects the company’s work to remedying past issues, and new processes put in place to ensure they don’t happen again,” Thomas said.
“We have made significant changes to the business including implementing a new governance structure, a new leadership team and stronger management practices,” he said.
“We’ve learnt some difficult lessons and are grateful for the opportunity to return as a supplier to government. Fuji Xerox looks forward to offering all customers the high quality services and products we are known for.”
In April 2017, Fuji Xerox’s Tokyo-based parent company revealed that its internal controls had been thwarted by collusion between related parties, that fabricated audit evidence had been submitted and that false explanations at odds with facts were given to the auditor.
The parent company said it had found significant accounting irregularities which were estimated to give rise to a loss in excess of $300 million in the New Zealand subsidiary in accordance with US generally accepted accounting principles.
Fuji Xerox had been a major government supplier before its accounting irregularities were exposed by an investigation by National Business Review’s Karyn Scherer beginning in September 2016, after which the SFO began its investigation.
Before joining Fuji Xerox in 2016, Thomas had been MBIE’s deputy chief executive of corporate services.