Fab FOI watchers we’re back with yet another update from that Titanic of flagship councils- WCC.
You may recall that many moons ago we made a request for two reports into allegations of fraud in the Corporate Property department at city hall:
Well folks, a staggering 31 weeks later we finally received the damning report by forensic accountants at PricewaterhouseCoopers:
The report highlighted the very high risk of fraudulent activity taking place at WCC due to the apparent lack of controls or monitoring of payment systems within Corporate Property.
That’s bad enough you might think but the real mystery is why WCC won’t release the second report produced by Mouchel Parkman.
This focused on six specific building projects which were apparently financially mishandled at a cost to the taxpayer of at least £2 million in overpayments.
It is now an unbelievable 275 days since our original request (which must be some sort of record in itself) but still no sign of the report.
What have they got to hide we wonder?
Whilst digging a little deeper into payments made by CP we’ve also come across some frankly bizarre examples of multiple payouts.
One of the oddest were those made to the council’s housing ALMO, Citywest Homes, on 25 November 2010:
We’re not quite sure why CWH received over 50 similar payments on the same day from CP when they are usually paid by the Housing Fund.
Maybe it was bonus time for those hardworking officers who hadn’t processed tenant repairs:
We may never know but one thing we do know is that it’s high time somebody in authority had a jolly good look at Westminster Council’s accounting practices…
they may well be in for a few surprises!
B.Coleman and the gang