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Damming Audit Report for Wiltshire Council

June 27, 2010 2:38 PM

KPMG, the government appointed auditors of Wiltshire Council, have issued a damning interim report for 2009/10. In it they clearly state that overall the Council has not been fully effective. They particularly highlight significant weaknesses in the Information Technology (IT) control environment plus concern about PFI schemes.

The report raises fifty recommendations that Wiltshire Council must act upon and of these eighteen are considered high priority. KPMG further state that all these weaknesses have had a major impact on their audit strategy and because of this they will need to do a significant amount of extra audit work which will end up costing Wiltshire Council a substantial extra audit fee.

Jeff Osborn, Lib Dem Shadow Finance Member, said that he found the report very disappointing. He was most concerned about the revealed weaknesses in the organisation and that these must now be rectified for it to fully function in the interest of local tax payers. He added that it was even more disturbing that KPMG will be charging Wiltshire Council an extra audit fee. The current audit fee is £399,750. The extra fee will doubtless be in terms of tens of thousands of pounds. Again this is something the local tax payer will have to cover.

Leader of the Lib Dem group Jon Hubbard added, "This is a damming report about a failing administration. Time after time Liberal Democrats have been assured by the ruling Conservative group that everything is rosey and working well. Now, with this independant report by KPMG we find out the truth. For much of the year they couldn't even reconcile the bank statements!

"It's time that the Conservatives were honest with the people of Wiltshire and came clean about the financial mess they have got this council into.

"It's time for the cabinet member responsible to accept that they can't do the job and to step aside for someone who can."