Council leader's expense claims: no regulations broken, report says
Updated 9:11am Saturday 19th April 2014 in News
A REPORT into four years of expense claims paid to Pembrokeshire County Council leader Jamie Adams has concluded that no regulations have been broken.
Cllr Adams was controversially paid £4,649 in expenses in 2012/13 for claims dating back to 2008, despite Pembrokeshire County Council imposing a three month time limit for members’ claims.
In an interview with the Western Telegraph, Cllr Adams described the situation as poor book-keeping’ and added: “I got out of the habit of claiming and it’s my fault entirely.”
The council maintained that while the three month rule was in place ‘nothing prevented the authority from making a payment’ outside of that time frame.
However, the leader’s expenses claims were referred to the council’s Audit Committee for further examination.
The committee then asked the Wales Audit Office (WAO) to report on the matter.
The WAO report, which will go before Audit Committee members on Thursday at County Hall, acknowledges that the claims were paid outside the time limit but says that settlement of late claims is not against regulations.
The report concludes that legislation clearly states that claims can be paid despite being submitted outside of the set time limits and acknowledges that all of Cllr Adams’ claims were “authorised by the Director of Finance and seem reasonable.”
The report adds: “There is evidence of checking claims, and mileage, location and meeting description seem reasonable.
“In overall terms, the values are not significant, and there is no evidence to show that staff or other members have had claims declined because of late submission.”
At the time that the claims were uncovered, opposition councillor Mike Stoddart, said: “He’s the leader of the council – if he can’t keep all his expenses claims up to date what hope is there of him running the council?”
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