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HCC's £21million of Errors in the General Fund

November 6, 2010 10:37 AM

artwork for £21mResidents in Hertfordshire will be stunned that the Tory Administration at County Hall has accounting errors of over £21million in their general funds. This is the equivalent of the entire capital programme for Adult Care Services and Libraries, Culture and Learning for the next three years.

Less than 15 minutes into the meeting of the Council's Audit Committee, held on Thursday 30th September, the Tory Chair had admitted past and current failings of the administration and stated the need to "Correct historic poor performance and sub-standard practice". The Auditor said he was minded to issue a Section 11 notice. This would require the full Council to meet in public and respond within one month to the Audit Commission's judgements and recommendations.

The next sanction beyond this notice would be a full public interest inquiry. When the Auditor was questioned as to whether the Council has capacity to improve, he reserved the right not to comment.

External auditors identified the £21million error in June. However it took until September to resolve the issue fully. This coupled with other problems has meant he is unable to consider issuing a full opinion on the accounts until the end of October, more than a month late.