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A Really Rotten Borough
latest update 12 February 2010

Friday, 2 October 2009

A drop in the ocean

In June it was revealed that Wirral Council paid £20,000 in barrister's fees, for two days work, and the Council Taxpayers were incensed.

That sum is but a drop in the ocean when viewed alongside the costs surrounding the Whistleblower, DASS Special Charging Policy investigation and PIDA report.

Whistleblower's Compromise Agreement payment - £45,000

Whistleblower legal fees - £10,809.50
Wirral Council has been paying the Whistleblower's legal fees since the commencement of the disciplinary inquiry.

Independent investigation - £14,678.95
Yesterday Wirral Council revealed in response to a Freedom of Information request that the independent investigation into the "Employee A" and "Employee B" farce cost £14,678.95 (including VAT).

PIDA report - £15,250 and rising
The Audit Commission's PIDA (Public Interest Disclosure Act) report cost £15,250 in 2007/8, although the Audit & Governance Report which was presented to the Audit & Risk Management meeting on 23rd September reveals two things - extra costs incurred on the Whistleblower PIDA, and a second PIDA currently under investigation.
Audit Fees
8 My fee proposals were communicated to you in my Audit Plan for 2008/09. I issued a supplementary fee letter to the Director of Finance on 28 July indicating that the original fee was appropriate and no adjustment was required. However, the letter highlights that work on the PIDA concerning DASS has continued this year and we have received another PIDA in respect of a major contract. These issues were not anticipated when the fee was set in June 2008 and we have previously agreed that we will charge an additional fee when we complete the 2008/09 work.

These four items alone total £85,738.45 and there's more - much more - to come.



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