Service vehicles used off-hours, failure to record the mileage, employees exploited into doing chores for their bosses, are some of the findings of a damning internal report at the Sewerage Board of Nicosia (SBN).
The dossier, revealed by daily Politis on Monday, was delivered to the SBN leadership in early August. Initiated after information given by a former employee, the 90-page report is currently being sought by the auditor-general as the SBN decide how to act on it.
The paper said the organisation’s leadership have meantime handed the report to their legal advisor, attorney Achilleas Emilianides, so that he can determine any civil or even criminal liabilities and explore avenues to seek compensation over the waste of public moneys.
According to Politis, someone inside the SBN leaked to them the confidential dossier, out of concern that otherwise the affair might be covered up.
The case of a part-time employee at the SBN stands out among the most blatant findings of the internal probe. For years, the person’s superior effectively used this employee as a lackey performing menial jobs for both the superior and his wife. He was turned into the superior’s chauffeur, regularly driving the boss’ children to school or ordered to go to the workplace of the superior’s wife to bring her items she had forgotten at home.
At other times, he stood in line to buy football season tickets for his boss, or buy treats on behalf of the superior’s wife at her workplace.
Another finding related to the misuse of service vehicles, including outside office hours, as well as during holidays and over weekends. These irregular routes often included trips outside the boundaries of Nicosia district. The mileage – not recorded – is estimated to be double that of normal vehicle use. In one case identified, some €18,000 was spent on fuel within the space of five years by one vehicle used in this way.
The dossier includes receipts and other documentation about these irregularities and excesses.
According to the copy of the report seen by Politis, the investigating officer proposes that the SBN explore legal action to recoup monies arising from the years-long embezzlement/waste.
The officer notes the importance of taking action, not only as a deterrent for any future abuse of public monies, but also to draw lessons. He also recommends the report be forwarded to the auditor-general for further scrutiny.
Politis said some inside the SBN want the report sent directly to the attorney-general instead, fearing that otherwise the case might end up being shelved.