Derby Council Criticised by Auditors - Again

December 22, 2017 8:34 AM

Derby City Council finally managed to get its 2016/17 accounts signed off in mid-December - against a legal deadline for getting this done of 30th September. And the 2015/16 accounts weren't signed off until 30th September 2017 - a year late.

The Audit Opinion for 2016/17 is not good. The Internal Auditors say that based on the work they have done during the year, in their opinion, "Derby City Council's framework of governance, risk management and management control is INADEQUATE." They go on to say that actions to correct these issues are not happening fast enough in some cases.

The Council's External Auditors issued a negative report for 2016/17 too. Their Adverse Conclusion states "we are not satisfied that, in all significant respects, Derby City Council put in place proper arrangements to secure economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources for the year ended 31st March 2017." They also stated "the continued absence of a corporate risk strategy and risk register lead us to conclude that the Council does not have proper arrangements in place to ensure informed decision making."

For a few years now Labour-run Derby City Council has been severely criticised by its External Auditors. In June 2016 the previous External Auditors issued a Public Interest Report, which highlighted serious issues that needed dealing with. Auditors very rarely issue a PIR. Usually a council will make the changes needed, so the auditor is satisfied. However, in July 2017 the current External Auditors issued written recommendations to the Council under the law. Back in September 2016 they had asked for a number of serious issues to be dealt with. By the following summer they were not happy that enough progress had been made, so issued these recommendations.

"The council's problems are just not being taken seriously enough by Labour," said Lib Dem Group Leader Cllr Ruth Skelton. "The fact that it is taking so long to sort them out speaks volumes."