A former Auckland Council worker has admitted taking a bribe from a businessman to secure a nearly $150,000 Chinese goods contract.
The businessman has also pleaded guilty to bribing the former procurement relationship specialist at the council.
The Serious Fraud Office charged 56-year-old businessman Sunil Chand with offering a $7500 cheque to bribe Sundeep Dilip Rasila, a 42-year-old council worker.
Both men, who are on bail, appeared in the High Court at Auckland this morning and pleaded guilty.
However, Justice Paul Davison did not enter convictions for the men after they indicated they would be seeking a discharge without conviction at their sentencing in May.
• Ex-Auckland Council worker denies Chinese tech deal bribery charges
• Auckland Council bribery case: Former employee named over allegations of cheque for tech contract
• Serious Fraud Office accuses ex-Auckland Council worker of taking bribe for goods contract
Chand's bribe related to a technology goods contract for the council, court documents read, and the SFO later confirmed the goods were 22,000 USB flash drives from China.
The Auckland businessman is the director of On Time Print Finishers Limited, which is currently in liquidation, according to Companies Office records.
In a statement after the guilty pleas, the SFO said Chand gave Rasila "the kickback in return for his company being awarded an Auckland Council contract valued at $140,150".
Along with accepting or obtaining a bribe, Rasila was 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 he was tasked with obtaining quotes for the supply of the goods from prospective suppliers, court documents read.
It was alleged Rasila 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 claims. The supply contract was valued at $152,520 and was varied to $140,150, allegedly as a result of the spreadsheet.
Crown Solicitor Brian Dickey said today that charge against Rasila would no longer be pursued.
Auckland Council chief executive Stephen Town said in a statement earlier that there was "zero tolerance for bribery or any kind of illegal behaviour".
He said the council took any such allegations "very seriously, including a commitment to investigate all instances where any such activity is believed to have taken place".
All council staff, he added, were 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 the accused former staffer left the council three years ago after the alleged offending occurred.
"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."