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When would a Monitoring Officer take action?

0 votes
Following the annual internal audit the auditor is writing to the principal authority to inform them of misappropriation of funds.  Monies were paid to a former Clerk but there is nothing written down and no employment contract was issued.  The external auditor is also being written too. At what stage would the Monitoring Officer take action, if any, against a Parish Council? What action could potentially be taken?

The PC in question has no Financial Standing Orders or Risk Assessment Policy. In fact it has no policies and Cllrs have received no training.
asked by (320 points)

3 Answers

+1 vote
The payment of a reasonable salary to a Clerk is a legitimate expense, although if not documented, the Council has been guilty of mismanagement. I wouldn't call it misappropriation. If the sum paid is disproportionate to the workload and in particular if there is any connection between the Clerk and those who made the decision, the Monitoring Officer may refer the matter to the Police initially. The Council clearly needs a lot of help and the Monitoring Officer may decide to focus on the future to ensure that there is immediate change. Neither the internal nor external auditors are likely to sign off the accounts. It sounds like another case where a more pro-active local association could have made a huge difference.

May I ask what your role is in this Council Helen? PM if you'd prefer.
answered by (17.4k points)
0 votes
The Council would fail It's audit regarding lack of risk assessments and no FR's or if they haven't been updated. This has happened in my Council this year.
Payments / decisions should be minuted.
Only positive to take is it may push the Council to improve
answered by (2.4k points)
+1 vote
The MO takes action over code of conduct issues when he or she is called on to do so but is empowered to act on items he or she may amount to maladministration or illegal. This particular issue is really within the remit of the external auditor.
answered by (11.9k points)

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