Council fraud detailed in auditor’s report

June 29, 2010

By Brónagh Murphy

Councils throughout the north have been heavily criticised after the recently published Local Government Auditor’s report uncovered suspected fraud and wasteful spending by almost all of the north’s local authorities.

In the case of Newry and Mourne District Council, the report details a fraud investigation into canteen supplies amounting to around £3,600.

The Council was also criticised for binning 12,000 copies of a guide brochure, which were printed in German and French, at a cost of £23,000.

Speaking following the report’s publication, Mayor Mick Murphy said: “I am aware that there was a serious issue with a member of the Council’s canteen staff over a year ago.  This matter was dealt with at the time.

“An issue with brochures in foreign languages has also been highlighted in the report and again I believe this dates back over a number of years.

“I wish to assure people that Newry and Mourne Council takes these matters very seriously.  We are committed to delivering good value for money services and if there is any issue to be investigated, it will be subject to a full enquiry.”

The report also stated the Council to be in debt to the tune of £21.7million, although this figure relates to March 2008.