Livingstone: ‘Accountants can’t judge art’

Deloitte ‘aren’t the best people to make a value judgment about what is good
art,’ London mayor Ken Livingstone has said, fighting allegations about the
accounting problems at the London Development Agency.

A review by the Big Four firm has raised doubts about the controls in place
over £18.5m of grants handed out to arts projects,
Evening Standard reported.

But the LDA has dismissed the problems, saying: ‘The majority of the concerns
that were originally raised have now been answered. The projects have been
successful and have had a positive impact.’

Discussing the matter at a City Hall press conference yesterday, Livingstone
battled off the allegations, saying: ‘Accountants aren’t the best people to make
a value judgment about what is good art.’

Deloitte had found the LDA’s processes were ‘seriously flawed’. There were no
audits carried out on the spending of the money, and the LDA relied on
assurances from the projects that money had been well spent.

Lib-Dem Dee Doocey, chairman of the Assembly’s economic development
committee, said: ‘Deloitte’s second – and completely independent – report
vindicates the committee’s serious concerns about the processes used by the LDA
to manage and monitor cultural projects it funds It is very clear that the LDA
has mismanaged public funds.’

Further Reading:

probe raises doubts over £18.5m of City grants

Related reading