COMPANY’S BILL FOR TELLING LAMBETH “WE GOT IT RIGHT – NOT PEOPLE’S AUDIT”: £30,000….. as it’s revealed council are paying Capita for advice on their “borrowing strategy”!!!
KPMG are set to send Lambeth a bill for an estimated £30,000 – telling them they did not make any mistakes when they audited the council’s accounts.
The figure is in a report to last night’s (Thursday) meeting of the council’s corporate committee, which also heard that Lambeth council are paying Capita to advise them on their “borrowing strategy.”
The report says: “The council have refuted all allegations of mismanagement, the auditors have not upheld a single objection and the two years accounts have been signed off without any qualifications.”
But when councillors quizzed a KPMG partner at last night’s meeting he said:”We have started the process of looking in detail at them. “The opinion I am giving on the financial statement is that they are a true and fair reflection.
“Having analysed each of the objections and questions I have received I don’t believe they could impede the ‘true and fair’ way.” And he later added: “I don’t believe there’s a risk they could materially affect the financial statement.” (Which is about as clear as mud – Ed.).
But asked by Cllr Mary Atkins (Lab. Tulse Hill) if they could have some kind of statement, he said he would be happy to give a summary.
As News From Crystal Palace reported earlier this year the People’s Audit Lambeth “unearthed evidence of extensive financial mismanagement and failings in its financial governance that suggest millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money is being wasted.”
Lambeth dismissed the report as a “pack of lies”.
It took a month before Lambeth issued a follow-up statement saying: “While the report does raise issues which the council will examine (and in some cases has already done so*) we have not seen any evidence to support the allegation of “extensive financial mismanagement”.
The same council statement quoted Cllr Imogen Walker, deputy council leader responsible for finance, who said: “The council’s accounts have been fully signed off by the independent auditors, who have also responded in detail to the complaints submitted by the ‘People’s Audit’.
“There is clearly no basis for the finding of “extensive financial mismanagement” in this report, and many of its complaints were addressed by the auditors and Lambeth officers several months ago.
“However, we know that the content of the report has caused concern, and so it must be looked at carefully, regardless of the questions that have been raised about the motivation behind its publication.”
The report to last night’s meeting said: “The council have refuted all allegations of mismanagement, the auditors have not upheld a single objection and the two years accounts have been signed off without any qualifications.
“At the time of writing this report the auditor is shortly to issue a final response to two electors related to the 2015/16 accounts and has a couple more points to complete work on relating to a third elector.
“The correspondence is confidential between the auditor and the elector and the council does not have sight of this until a final response is issued.
“The extra cost for the auditors in dealing with the objections is recharged to the council and it is estimated this will be circa £30,000 for 2015/16.”
The report adds it will update corporate committee quarterly on the objections raised with the external auditors and to have this as a regular item on their agenda.
CAPITA ADVISING LAMBETH ON THEIR BORROWING STRATEGY
During questions on another report, Nisar Visram, assistant director, corporate finance, said Capita are advising Lambeth on their borrowing strategy.
Yesterday (Sunday) News From Crystal Palace emailed questions to both Cllr Imogen Walker, Lambeth’s deputy leader responsible for finance; and to KPMG.
We have asked Cllr Walker:
At Thursday’s meeting of Lambeth council’s corporate committee it was stated that Lambeth council are receiving advice from Capita on their ‘borrowing strategy’.
Please could you say:
When was this agreed and by which council committee?
How much is this costing Lambeth? Where has the money come from to do this?
Why aren’t Lambeth using their own staff – such as its director of finance – for such advice?
Will Lambeth council be challenging the bill for the estimated £30,000 from KPMG for rechecking the figures queried by Lambeth Peoples Audit?
If not, why not?
And News From Crystal Palace has asked KPMG:
How can KPMG justify charging an estimated £30,000 which, on the face of it, is just to recheck some figures?
Please could you state how many employee hours this entailed?
Some people would just consider this to be naked corporate greed given that many people in this country don’t even earn £30,000 a year. What would be your reaction to that please?
Further reading – all stories on this website:
People’s Audit report on Lambeth council has “unearthed evidence of extensive financial mismanagement and failings in its financial governance that suggest millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money is being wasted. “Lack of governance within Lambeth council appears to be systemic.” – July 07, 2017
LAMBETH SLAMMED OVER PEOPLE’S AUDIT REPORT – July 12, 2017
LAMBETH PEOPLES AUDIT -101 QUESTIONS FOR LAMBETH COUNCIL’S CABINET – Part One – July 13, 2017
LAMBETH PEOPLES AUDIT -101 QUESTIONS FOR LAMBETH COUNCIL’S CABINET – Part Two – July 13, 2017
LAMBETH PEOPLES AUDIT -101 QUESTIONS FOR LAMBETH COUNCIL’S CABINET – Part Three – July 13, 2017
LAMBETH PEOPLES AUDIT -101 QUESTIONS FOR LAMBETH COUNCIL’S CABINET- Part Four – July 13, 2017
PEOPLES AUDIT LAMBETH ON SUNDAY POLITICS SHOW – July 14, 2017
LAMBETH COUNCIL FINALLY RESPOND TO PEOPLE’S AUDIT: Report “does raise issues which the council will examine” say Lambeth – after branding it a ‘pack of lies’! – August 10, 2017
*our italics – Ed.