More Costly Audit Questions ‘Inevitable’

Director of Finance, Peter Lawrence-Roberts

Director of Finance, Peter Lawrence-Roberts

More costly investigation into the Council’s books is, “almost inevitable” according to the authority’s finance chief.

Director of Finance, Peter Lawrence-Roberts, has told councillors that it is “highly likely” that more “armchair auditors” will question the Town Hall’s annual accounts.

Peter says the queries may not be on the same subjects. Recently locals have questioned the sale of Home Hardware’s Porthmellon store to the Council and chief officer’s remuneration.

Last year, the two queries cost the Council £49,000 in fees.

Peter told members that the bill had been queried but the costs were high because of the level of person who got involved in complaints.

The Audit Commission has been axed and accountants Grant Thornton will go through the Council’s books next time. Their fee will be £9,700 cheaper.

Cllr Richard McCarthy suggested that the auditor had felt guilty over last year’s charges, but Policy and Resources chair, Amanda Martin, warned him about getting personal.

Richard was told national rates have fallen.

Once a year, islanders are allowed to request and view any invoice, receipts and documents and if they question any amounts or paperwork, a third-party assessor can be asked to investigate.

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