ARGUS COMMENT: Caerphilly council has to face facts
12:12pm Thursday 19th December 2013 in News
THE REPORT IS printed in full and it is damning.
And it has been published specifically to draw the public's attention to a serious failure in governance arrangements at the heart of Caerphilly County Borough Council.
The auditor, appointed to look into the two issues of council decisions to 'buy out' chief officers entitlements to an essential car user allowance and their annual leave allowance, says he discovered a series of failings.
Highlighting that the areas of concern are significant he says he decided to publicise the report because the 'public needs to be aware of what has happened.'
That is entirely right.
The Wales Audit Office report concludes that actions taken by Caerphilly council in respect of the decisions under investigation were unlawful, which is of course the second time such a verdict has been reached in respect of this authority, in what has turned into a woeful saga.
For the council tax-payers of Caerphilly, the report makes for grim reading, highlighting as it does an informality of meetings and decisions, conflict of interest, lack of record keeping and the failure to follow advice and publish decisions.
Caerphilly council now has one month to respond to the auditor's report and to say what steps it is taking to ensure this never happens again.
However, a much more difficult task for the council may be in rebuilding public confidence among its residents.
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