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Sorry to ask something again so soon. In the quarterly accounts it shows a payment of circa 23k paid to a contractor on June 5th for 74% of works. It does not appear for approval in the June meeting or the May meeting or the July agenda. It is for a contract that states it will only be paid after it has been completed in its entirety. The amount in reserves is 15k for this work but the council did vote to allocate 30k but has not reallocated and voted on how and from what pot the money will come from. I am a resident with a rogue council. The clerk is newish but NALC financial regs state the usual requirement for councillors to approve payments by resolution. It is an expenditure that is due but the way it has been done has hidden it from the public. There are other considerations about the contract. What on earth can a resident do when this sort of thing happens. I also worry that aspects of the contract may have been set to avoid the £30 k requirement.
by (340 points)

1 Answer

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The Council should have tendered this contract and, if the value is over £30k including VAT, it must be advertised on the Contracts Finder website and the details of the award of the contract must also be published. Standard financial regs require three fixed-price quotes at this level, which the Council should have considered, usually in a confidential item on an agenda. The minutes of the confidential item must record details of the successful tender and an explanation of the reasons for selecting this contractor. A large contract cannot be divided to avoid the regulations.

What can you do? The internal auditor may wish to pursue this, although the relationship between internal auditors and their client may be too close for this to help you. During the public rights period at around this time next year, ask to see all accounting records. Your Council cannot refuse this request. If you are not happy with the paperwork and the explanations given, voice your concerns to the external auditor during this period in accordance with the guidance your Council should publish.
by (54.1k points)
Thank you so much as there are people with accounting experience that can look at the paperwork at the right time. I have asked these questions but there are a number of people who are concerned about what has happened here.

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