An inspector has been appointed by the government to examine concerns regarding Northamptonshire CC’s financial management and governance.
Housing and communities secretary Sajid Javid will use powers granted under the Local Government Act 1999 to commission an independent inspector to examine whether a council is complying with its Best Value requirement to ensure good governance and resource management.
Mr Javid said: “My decision to appoint an inspector is not taken lightly. I hope it sends a strong signal that robust processes are in place to investigate allegations of failures in financial management and governance in local government.”
Max Caller, the former Hackney LBC chief executive and commissioner at Tower Hamlets LBC, is to serve as inspector at the Conservative-controlled council. He will have a right to inspect and remove documents and access council properties.
The announcement was made in a written parliamentary answer in which Mr Javid also stated: “For some time there have been concerns about financial management and governance at Northamptonshire CC, and in recent months a number of reports have been published, which have led me to question whether the authority is failing to comply with its best value duty.
“Particular reports include the external auditor’s (KPMG) “adverse” value for money opinion in relation to the 2015-16 and 2016-17 accounts, publicly available budget documents, and the September 2017 Local Government Association peer review into the council’s financial planning and management.
“Having carefully considered the evidence available to me, I have today decided to exercise the powers granted to me by Parliament under the Local Government Act 1999 to appoint an inspector to carry out an inspection to better understand the authority’s compliance with its best value duty.”