Call for audit of council leader's expenses claim

A CALL for the council’s audit committee to investigate payments made to the leader in respect of backdated travel claims will be introduced at full council tomorrow (Thursday).

Earlier this year, Cllr Jamie Adams told the Western Telegraph his submission of four years’ worth of expenses claims almost a week after the closing date for nominations for the 2012 elections was “poor book keeping” on his part.

In 2012/13 Cllr Adams was paid £4,649 in expenses - which included claims going as far back as 2008.

Pembrokeshire County Council has a three-month time limit for claims to be submitted.

Cllr Tessa Hodgson will call for the committee to report back to council “with a recommendation which clarifies the proper process to be followed in situations where claims might be submitted outside of the time limit”.

Comments (13)

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1:04pm Wed 11 Dec 13

PembsJane says...

Yey!! I hope this means all of the emails and comments we left on this site were ACTUALLY noticed. I had a standard response from the Welsh Office et al but it appears that many of us, demanding better standards and greater transparency could actually be starting to make a difference!
Yey!! I hope this means all of the emails and comments we left on this site were ACTUALLY noticed. I had a standard response from the Welsh Office et al but it appears that many of us, demanding better standards and greater transparency could actually be starting to make a difference! PembsJane

2:27pm Wed 11 Dec 13

Tttoommy says...

I wonder if there's a GP who is also a mason being lined up to supply an excuse - stress,overwork, blah blah blah..

If we're talking about council officers rather than councillors then I guess they'll be allowed to "retire" with a HUGE payout

I do wonder what the point of being honest and decent is If the peoples representatives (and their servants) are any sort of example :((
I wonder if there's a GP who is also a mason being lined up to supply an excuse - stress,overwork, blah blah blah.. If we're talking about council officers rather than councillors then I guess they'll be allowed to "retire" with a HUGE payout I do wonder what the point of being honest and decent is If the peoples representatives (and their servants) are any sort of example :(( Tttoommy

3:21pm Wed 11 Dec 13

ladybench says...

Oh dear I can't wait to hear what the conclusion will be.Not the one we would all like to see I bet.
Oh dear I can't wait to hear what the conclusion will be.Not the one we would all like to see I bet. ladybench

8:00pm Wed 11 Dec 13

Kiwitaff says...

Every County Council employs internal auditors who are employed to make sure that fraud and corruption is investigated. External Auditors employed by the Welsh Office can also investigate and pass information to the police.

Councillor Stoddard recently made inquiries about the correct use of public funds and was rebuked by Cllr Adams. Clearly Cllr Hodgeson has recognised that it was highly unusual to allow someone to make a backdated claim of four years.

It is a very serious matter if the rules and regulations have not been adhered to and the public have a right to know how their money has been spent.
Every County Council employs internal auditors who are employed to make sure that fraud and corruption is investigated. External Auditors employed by the Welsh Office can also investigate and pass information to the police. Councillor Stoddard recently made inquiries about the correct use of public funds and was rebuked by Cllr Adams. Clearly Cllr Hodgeson has recognised that it was highly unusual to allow someone to make a backdated claim of four years. It is a very serious matter if the rules and regulations have not been adhered to and the public have a right to know how their money has been spent. Kiwitaff

10:45pm Wed 11 Dec 13

Flashbang says...

This'll be a whitewash as there will be receipts. What is and has been swept under the carpet is the illegality of claiming after the three month deadline. Four years worth of expenses should never have been paid if he is too incompetent to put in the claims on time.
This'll be a whitewash as there will be receipts. What is and has been swept under the carpet is the illegality of claiming after the three month deadline. Four years worth of expenses should never have been paid if he is too incompetent to put in the claims on time. Flashbang

9:23am Thu 12 Dec 13

Indeview J Hudson says...

The process followed ( process is much derided in favour of outcomes by both the former and current Leader) was as follows:-
Under the relevant Statutory Instrument Council's have the ability to determining the time limit for T&S expenses to be submitted and paid, and may pay claims outside of the time limit, presumably to allow some discretion in exceptional cases..
Councillors allowances are prescribed by The Independent Remuneration Panel.
Councillors expenses do not fall within the remit of the IRP, although it does restrict mileage to the current Inland revenue limit of 45p per mile.
The Director of Finance increased the limit from 2 to 3 months, and certified payment the late claims submitted by the Leader.
This apparently is all legal, with claims supported by receipts etc..
However, what might be questioned is the position the Leader put the Director of Finance in, by submitting late claims in contravention of the time limit for no other reason than self admitted poor bookkeeping.
The Leader also took part in the vote to block Council from discussing this matter.
While it was clear from proceedings, that the Council vote to suspend standing orders was to permit discussion of this item, the Council legal officers ruled, after the vote, that the reason behind the vote to suspend standing orders had nothing to do with the substantive motion for suspension.
Thus, it would appear that our councillors can, and will, vote on matters without being required to know the reasons why
The process followed ( process is much derided in favour of outcomes by both the former and current Leader) was as follows:- Under the relevant Statutory Instrument Council's have the ability to determining the time limit for T&S expenses to be submitted and paid, and may pay claims outside of the time limit, presumably to allow some discretion in exceptional cases.. Councillors allowances are prescribed by The Independent Remuneration Panel. Councillors expenses do not fall within the remit of the IRP, although it does restrict mileage to the current Inland revenue limit of 45p per mile. The Director of Finance increased the limit from 2 to 3 months, and certified payment the late claims submitted by the Leader. This apparently is all legal, with claims supported by receipts etc.. However, what might be questioned is the position the Leader put the Director of Finance in, by submitting late claims in contravention of the time limit for no other reason than self admitted poor bookkeeping. The Leader also took part in the vote to block Council from discussing this matter. While it was clear from proceedings, that the Council vote to suspend standing orders was to permit discussion of this item, the Council legal officers ruled, after the vote, that the reason behind the vote to suspend standing orders had nothing to do with the substantive motion for suspension. Thus, it would appear that our councillors can, and will, vote on matters without being required to know the reasons why Indeview J Hudson

8:59am Fri 13 Dec 13

Indeview J Hudson says...

Following external pressure, the powers that be have "improved" the official public record of Council meetings.The Minutes of the !7 October Council meeting now list Officers in attendance, an improvement following a Notice of Motion By Old Grumpy a.k.a. Council R M Stoddart.. It will be recalled that the infamous Pension's meeting had taken place in the CEO's room and officers present, including the CEO were not recorded.

Minute 59 of the Council Meeting 17 October provides details of a Recorded Vote to suspend Standing Orders.. In another "improvement" the purpose of the Vote, i.e. to enable the Pensions matter to be discussed. is recorded
The Minutes of the previous Council meeting 18 July, do not record the purpose of the vote taken to Suspend Standing Orders. Councillors were advised that that the vote to suspend Standing Orders, was just on that, and not the purpose, relating to the Leader's late claim submission. The Leader is recorded as having taking part in this vote.


.
Following external pressure, the powers that be have "improved" the official public record of Council meetings.The Minutes of the !7 October Council meeting now list Officers in attendance, an improvement following a Notice of Motion By Old Grumpy a.k.a. Council R M Stoddart.. It will be recalled that the infamous Pension's meeting had taken place in the CEO's room and officers present, including the CEO were not recorded. Minute 59 of the Council Meeting 17 October provides details of a Recorded Vote to suspend Standing Orders.. In another "improvement" the purpose of the Vote, i.e. to enable the Pensions matter to be discussed. is recorded The Minutes of the previous Council meeting 18 July, do not record the purpose of the vote taken to Suspend Standing Orders. Councillors were advised that that the vote to suspend Standing Orders, was just on that, and not the purpose, relating to the Leader's late claim submission. The Leader is recorded as having taking part in this vote. . Indeview J Hudson

9:03am Fri 13 Dec 13

Flashbang says...

I wish we could have a purge North Korean style.
I wish we could have a purge North Korean style. Flashbang

10:19am Fri 13 Dec 13

AD1985 says...

Flashbang wrote:
I wish we could have a purge North Korean style.
What a disgusting comment
[quote][p][bold]Flashbang[/bold] wrote: I wish we could have a purge North Korean style.[/p][/quote]What a disgusting comment AD1985

10:25am Fri 13 Dec 13

Flashbang says...

AD1985 wrote:
Flashbang wrote:
I wish we could have a purge North Korean style.
What a disgusting comment
Obviously you haven't been keeping up with the goings on at the PCC. The contempt they have for the ratepayers is along the same lines as the the Korean regime.
[quote][p][bold]AD1985[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Flashbang[/bold] wrote: I wish we could have a purge North Korean style.[/p][/quote]What a disgusting comment[/p][/quote]Obviously you haven't been keeping up with the goings on at the PCC. The contempt they have for the ratepayers is along the same lines as the the Korean regime. Flashbang

6:19pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Harrygrayballs says...

@flashbang X 2 AD1985 is quite correct.............
disgusting!!!
@flashbang X 2 AD1985 is quite correct............. disgusting!!! Harrygrayballs

6:27pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Harrygrayballs says...

I wonder how "the leader" managed to "find" four years receipts etc.??
Were they all filed together in a file marked expenses??If so why did it take four years to realise he had not claimed his expenses??
Something does not ring true here................
"poor book keeping"............
.
that stretches the imagination.
I wonder how "the leader" managed to "find" four years receipts etc.?? Were they all filed together in a file marked expenses??If so why did it take four years to realise he had not claimed his expenses?? Something does not ring true here................ "poor book keeping"............ . that stretches the imagination. Harrygrayballs

9:00pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Kiwitaff says...

I agree HGB if an employee of Pembs CC submitted a late claim they would have been investigated by the auditors and asked to explain each journey/subsistence/
claim.
I agree HGB if an employee of Pembs CC submitted a late claim they would have been investigated by the auditors and asked to explain each journey/subsistence/ claim. Kiwitaff

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