East Ayrshire Council came under fire this week from the Accounts Commission for Scotland, as part of an auditor’s report into the authority’s #2.5m deficit for its last financial year.
In its report, the commission stated ‘budgetary control was totally inadequate’ and blamed East Ayrshire’s commercial operations department. Commissioned in June, when it became clear that an over-spend in the department had risen above what had been expected, the report stated ‘the range of management shortcomings within commercial operations was exceptional’.
Among the factors held accountable for the deficit were the cost of refurbishing the department’s new offices, the costs of its building and works bonus scheme, and a failure to monitor sub-contractor expenditure.
The final report, which will be presented to the council later this month, confirms that a failure of management and financial control delayed the reporting of the anticipated deficit.
David Montgomery, the council’s chief executive, said delay had not allowed sufficient time to implement a recovery plan which was a ‘bitter disappointment’ to East Ayrshire.
The council now has 14 days to comment on the report.
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