District Audit probe

PricewaterhouseCoopers is investigating Stockport council’s internal audit mechanisms in its education service. audit mechanisms following allegations levelled by a councillor of poor financial management in the education service.

Auditor Lee Childs was called in after Labour councillor Philip Harding complained the council was refusing him access to crucial audit reports on the grounds that he was not a member of the council’s education committee.

Childs, who was appointed by the Audit Commission, confirmed he was carrying out a review of the issues that had been raised by Harding.

‘It is a normal part of our business as auditor to Stockport,’ he said.

‘There are no implications of malpractice.’

The problems centre on internal audit reports for schools in the borough which are produced annually. Harding said that the council failed to take action and failed to meet recommendations set out in previous auditors’ reports.

‘Members cannot access these documents at all. That is wrong,’ one councillor told Accountancy Age.

But a council spokeswoman said: ‘The law on entitlement to confidential information is well established. The council follows it carefully and has done so in this case.’


District Audit is to continue investigations into the Vale of Glamorgan council following the release of a public-interest report examining the future of a historic house. Concerns were raised last week regarding the way in which the development of Dyffryn House was managed. In a public interest report, district auditor Paul Griffiths identified a number of concerns including key decisions being made without councillors being told of relevant facts meaning their decisions were unlawful. The council also exposed itself to unnecessary risk and potential loss and contracts were let without proper competition, he said.

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