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DEFUNCT GORDON DC MISHANDLED VISITOR CENTRE PROJECT

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The Accounts Commission for Scotland has passed a final damning judgment on the former Gordon DC's involvement with...
The Accounts Commission for Scotland has passed a final damning judgment on the former Gordon DC's involvement with the controversial Archaeolink visitor project.

Following the submission of a critical public interest report by the controller of audit last year (LGC, 27 September), the commission this week found that Gordon mishandled the project, landing its successor authority, Aberdeenshire, with a£1.1 million share of the capital costs. Gordon originally planned a contribution of£730,000.

The project to construct a visitor centre at Oyne was conceived by Gordon in 1989 and involved setting up a trust to manage the project.

Commission chairman Ian Percy said: 'Gordon DC handled this badly and fell short of the standards the commission expects in a well managed council. On the other hand, the new Aberdeenshire Council has been responsive and has acted quickly.'

The commission reached three key findings:

-- Gordon DC was at fault for failing to apply proper procedures to ensure that council members had full information when taking decisions

-- Aberdeenshire is commended for appointing consultants to review the project

-- Consultants' reports should be made public and future discussions about the project should be in the public domain

A commission spokesman said there was no question of surcharge applying in the case.

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