Thomas Bridge 12 January 2015

Auditors praise progress at Caerphilly but request ‘buy out’ decision

Auditors praise progress at Caerphilly but request ‘buy out’ decision image

Auditors have found Caerphilly Council has still not made a lawful decision on the controversial ‘buy out’ of chief officers’ holiday and car allowances.

Despite applauding the local authority for making ‘good progress’ in addressing a number of recommendations, the Welsh Audit Office (WAO) has now pushed for a decision on the ‘key areas’ of annual leave and car allowances.

The auditor general for Welsh also called on Caerphilly to improve the effectiveness of scrutiny committees, awareness of whistle-blowing policies, internal audit and the development of a workforce plan.

The WAO in late 2013 concluded a Caerphilly County Borough Council decision to pay chief officers for allowances had been unlawful as it had been made without proper authority or recording.

At the time, the town hall warned Caerphilly could suffer a financial loss if it took action to recover the £500,000 paid unlawfully to senior officers.

‘I am pleased to see Caerphilly Council implementing the recommendations outlined in our previous reports. The work undertaken will go a long way to ensuring the organisation is operating correctly and legally,’ auditor general for Wales, Huw Vaughan Thomas said.

‘With this in mind, the council now needs to take lawful decisions in regard to the buy out of annual leave and essential car users allowance and I hope to see some progress made on these matters in the near future.’

Cllr Keith Reynolds, leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council said: ‘We welcome the positive feedback from the WAO and their acknowledgement that clear improvements continue to be made.

‘Much work has been done over the past 12 months to deliver these improvements, but we also recognise that there are still a few issues that still need to be resolved. We will now focus our attention on addressing these outstanding recommendations as a matter of urgency.

‘Residents will be reassured to hear that Caerphilly Council is on a steady path of improvement and we remain committed to delivering high quality services to all sections of our community.’

Photo: © Jaggery and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior Practitioner - Children in Care

Essex County Council
Negotiable
In Essex County Council we are "Serious about Social Work". Having recently won the Best Social Work Employer of the Year Award 2018 and been awarded England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Youth Offending Service Practitioner

Essex County Council
£30001.0 - £41000.0 per month
Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local authorities in the UK, serving a population of 2 million residents, and has a England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

NCS Youth Work Team Leader|226446|ECC

Essex County Council
£19389.0 - £22558.0 per hour
Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local authorities in the UK, serving a population of 2 million residents, and has a England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

NCS Youth Work Assistant Team Leader|226445|ECC

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local authorities in the UK, serving a population of 2 million residents, and has a England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Youth and Community Manager

Dunstable Town Council
£32,878 rising to £34,788 (pay award pending)
As Youth and Community Manager you will lead in the development and delivery of a range of services targeting young people Dunstable, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Dunstable Town Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how public sector organisations can unlock the hidden value in their land, and why a new approach to construction could help boost the outcomes of the Government’s One Public Estate programme.

The December issue also considers why learnings from ancient cities could provide the key to promoting wellbeing in the modern built environment. It also contains a case study on how the London Borough of Westminster has provided high quality care for the elderly alongside a block of luxury apartments.

Register for your free digital issue