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COMMISSION NAMES AND SHAMES EIGHT OVER DEADLINE

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Eight councils and one passenger transport authority have been named by the Audit Commission for failing to meet th...
Eight councils and one passenger transport authority have been named by the Audit Commission for failing to meet the deadline for member approval of their 1997-98 accounts.

The councils and authorities unable to comply with the statutory timetable introduced as part of the Accounts and Audit Regulation 1996 are: Blaenau Gwent CBC, Caerphilly CBC, Congleton BC, Hertsmere BC, Oswestry BC, Rhondda Cynon Taff CBC, South Yorkshire PTA, Swindon BC and Torfaen CBC.

A further unnamed eight councils obtained member approval for their accounts within two weeks of the 30 September deadline. The commission also declined to name a district council affected by local government reorganisation in 1998-99 which also missed the deadline.

Commission controller Andrew Foster said: 'Although this represents an improvement on the compliance rate for 1996-97, when 39 local government bodies failed to meet the deadline, it is disappointing that these authorities appear to have given insufficient priority to this important aspect of public accountability.'

The commission revealed that two offenders, Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taff, also failed to publish their 1996-97 accounts by the 31 December 1997 deadline.

Caerphilly resources director Stuart Rosser said problems closing the council's 1996-97 accounts were due mainly to reorganisation and had had a knock-on effect the following year. He was confident the council would meet next year's target.

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