Derby City Council acknowledges the findings and the recommendations of the External Auditor set out in the Public Interest Report (PIR) published today.
Many of the matters reported occurred some time ago and the council has already taken a large number of improvement actions through a Governance Action Plan. Numerous changes have already been put in place, and a number are on-going in order to strengthen and enhance our governance framework. This framework is subject to a number of checks and balances to ensure continuous improvement.
Councillor Ranjit Banwait, Leader of the Council, says of the report:
“Firstly, I would like to thank Grant Thornton for their work in concluding this report. I am confident that many of the issues reported by our External Auditors today are in the past; those issues that are more recent in nature are being reviewed and addressed - robust measures are already in place following an extensive overhaul of our governance framework.
Grant Thornton recognises improvements by the current leadership and senior management teams and I would like to re-assure the people of Derby that we will discharge the Council’s duties with the utmost integrity.”
The report will now be referred to Full Council for debate at a date to be confirmed in the next four weeks.
In accordance with its responsibilities as external auditors to Derby City Council up to the financial year 2014/15, Grant Thornton has issued a report in the public interest* regarding several failings of governance at the Council.
Phil Jones, a director in Grant Thornton’s Public Sector Assurance team in the Midlands, said:
"It is widely recognised that Derby City Council has a track record of achievement. However, we have identified governance failings relating to the management of several major projects and Member conduct.
“We found that the mismanagement of a major project to respond to equal pay legislation has cost the Council an additional £1.2m, resulting in £5m being spent on the project to date. A decision by Members around staff pay arrangements also resulted in additional costs of £3m in the short term.”
Grant Thornton’s report highlights several other areas of concern:
Mr Jones concluded: “We recognise that with a new elected Leader in place from June 2014 and a new management team from February 2015, Derby City Council understands that a more robust approach to governance is essential and is determined to sort out these issues.”
Grant Thornton’s full Public Interest Report including its conclusions and recommendations is available to download.