The Ombudsman has appointed an investigator to review Auckland Transport's refusal to release details of a second case of alleged undeclared conflict of interest.
This follows the conviction on Friday of former Auckland Transport senior manager Murray Noone who was found guilty of corruption in a case exposing what the prosecution called a "culture of corruption" among Auckland council staff administering roading contracts.
Noone was found guilty on six charges of receiving $1.2 million in bribes from Stephen Borlase of roading contractor Projenz. Borlase, in turn, was found guilty on eight charges of offering bribes to Noone and other council staff.
The corrupt, and undeclared, relationship ran from 2006 until 2012, from when Noone worked at Rodney District Council, continuing when he joined Auckland Transport following the Super City merger.
In a separate case within the road maintenance department, an Auckland Transport team leader lost his job last year after allegedly awarding contracts to roading giant Fulton Hogan, which sub-contracted them back to a company owned by his wife.
The issue came to light only after the Weekend Herald brought the allegations to the attention of Auckland Transport.
It was alleged that after Erle Bencich was involved in awarding contracts to Fulton Hogan, the company sub-contracted the work back to drainage and pipeline inspection company IDI Contracting.
Bencich's wife is listed as the sole director of IDI Contracting in the Companies Office under her maiden name Donna Opai. Mr Bencich has been a former director and shareholder of the company.
In a statement in March this year, Auckland Transport said an internal investigation found no evidence of illegal activity.
"However, it was determined that the individual had shown a clear lack of judgment and had not followed policies with regards to declarations of possible conflicts of interest.
"This resulted in the ending of his employment. His last day of employment was November 10, 2015," the statement said.
Auckland Transport declined to release a copy of the investigation, carried out by Kensington Swan. The Herald asked the Ombudsman to review that decision.
It was determined that the individual had shown a clear lack of judgment and had not followed policies with regards to declarations of possible conflicts of interest.
Late last week the Office of the Ombudsman advised it had allocated an investigator to look into the complaint.
Asked if Auckland Transport would now release the investigation, a spokesman said "at this stage reasons still stand and we will await (the) Ombudsman review".
Auckland Transport has previously given the privacy of individuals and legal privilege reasons for not releasing the investigation.
Fulton Hogan has strongly denied any wrongdoing. Chief executive Robert Jones said at the time he was made aware that an Auckland Transport employee was being investigated for alleged misconduct.
"On learning of this we fully assisted Auckland Transport in their investigation and conducted our own review.
"This confirmed that a sub-contractor engaged by Fulton Hogan did have links with an Auckland Transport employee, and that Fulton Hogan employees involved believed this potential conflict of interest was declared within Auckland Transport."
Fulton Hogan confirmed the sub-contractor was IDI Contracting.
Jones defended his organisation: "Fulton Hogan has a hard-earned reputation for fairness and honesty gained over more than 80 years and we have been taking the opportunity to remind all our people of this."
Erle and Donna Bencich have consistently refused to comment, and earlier this year claimed the matter was private and confidential. They did not respond to further request for comment.