Posts Tagged ‘Committee’

AUDIT COMMITEE- the facts don’t add up!

Last week’s Flintshire Chronicle had “Council in Chaos” emblazoned across the front page that depicted County Hall being rent in half with a bolt of lightning. All very dramatic and rather an exaggeration as the Coalition has set its first budget with a promise of more savings in the pipe line and most of the senior vacancies have been filled with excellent calibre staff. Our Executive members are working hard, clearly at ease with their portfolios & we are led by a professional and deeply committed public servant; Cllr. Arnold Woolley. However, saying all that a few odd things are happening that have raised eyebrows. A sharp eyed colleague pushed under my nose a report of the Executive Decision made on 10th March which related to the last Audit committee meeting- (27th Jan. See earlier blog!) I read with incredulity that members are requested to : ‘Support the extension of the contract with RMS Bentley Jennison and the work to achieve a transfer of the management of the Internal Audit function back in-house no later than 1st April 2010.’ “We didn’t agree that my informant complained, what was the word we agreed?” Review in a year was in fact what …..

Fouls Within

Nothing about the 19th January Audit meeting could be described as a caper. On the contrary, I found it a bruising and quite stressful affair. Reading a thick wodge of committee papers had eaten into much of Sunday afternoon and I noted cynically that what I felt was the most important item had been “strategically buried” at the back of the agenda. “Surely sheer coincidence!”). My cynicism seemed well placed when I read that this final report was strongly recommending members to dispense with the services of our “external” legal auditors, who fulfilled the crucial internal audit function; and instead; go back to using Flintshire’s staff. Having served in the era of Andy Sutton, the internal auditor who fell foul of his masters when he allegedly delved too deeply into financial affairs and thus the files needed to do his job, were withheld. He commenced legal action but left Flintshire’s employment with no clear victory for either side. Having met him, at his request whilst the legal battle still raged, it seemed he was already a broken man, shocked by treatment from officers and it was alleged that his health was in shreds. The Chief Financial Officer, Sutton’s boss: a …..