Fuji Xerox New Zealand (FXNZ) has decided to temporarily suspend new sales and marketing activities to government agencies covered by its three all-of-government (AoG) contracts.
Its decision follows a scathing report from an independent investigation into its operations commissioned by Japanese parent, Fujifilm Holdings, released in June, that revealed serious financial misconduct at FXNZ.
The investigation’s findings precipitated the resignation of Fujifilm’s chairman and other senior figures of the parent company.
The three contracts are the Print Technology and Associated Services (PTAS), Print Devices, and Print Device Management Services, and Office Supplies contracts.
FXNZ said it would continue to proactively offer products and services to all other customers in New Zealand and was confident that it would able to satisfy the government that the practices revealed in the report were historical and that it would be able to resume its usual business with eligible agencies in the near future.
Fuji Xerox said the suspension would give the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) time to understand the implications of the report.
“The voluntary suspension is effective immediately, with a review date six weeks from the date the final translated IIC report is available,” it said. (An English version was provided to the Tokyo Stock Exchange in June, but this did not have the status of an official translation).
MBIE issued a statement acknowledging FXNZ’s announcement and saying: “The Ministry is concerned to ensure companies who supply the government are held to the high standards the public would expect and that New Zealand continues to be recognised as a great country to do business. The Ministry will make no further comment on this matter until new information becomes available.”
This is unlikely to satisfy New Zealand First leader Winston Peters who has been a close watcher of the developing scandal around FXNZ. When the report was released he claimed the Government had been fleeced by Fuji Xerox, and accused ministers Simon Bridges and Steven Joyce and prime minister Bill English of being “happy to deal with crooks.” He had earlier called for the Serious Fraud Squad to investigate the company.
FXNZ said there were no current performance issues or inability to meet service levels under existing arrangements.
“FXNZ has the full resources and capabilities to meet all current needs, and there will be no disruption to eligible agencies who are already receiving products and services from FXNZ under the AoG contracts,” it said.
Hiroshi Kurihara, the president and representative director of FXNZ’s immediate parent, Fuji Xerox Co of Japan, said: “Fuji Xerox and our affiliates take the findings of the report very seriously, and we will reform our corporate structure through strengthening governance. The commitment of the entire Fuji Xerox Group to the New Zealand Government remains strong and Fuji Xerox New Zealand has the full support of the whole Fuji Xerox.”