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SCOTLAND STILL SHORT ON FINANCIAL CONTROL

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Financial procedures and controls are still inadequate in some Scottish councils, the Accounts Commission has warne...
Financial procedures and controls are still inadequate in some Scottish councils, the Accounts Commission has warned in its annual report.

Commission chairman Ian Percy said: 'A significant number of financial weaknesses have been identified in some councils and need to be improved if public confidence is to be maintained. Some councils need to devote more resources to improving their financial management and controls.'

But Professor Percy was satisfied that the backlog of delayed accounts had finally been cleared and 23 of the 32 council audits for the year to March 1999 were already completed.

From now on, councils will be required to complete audits by 30 September each year, which will mean that financial information provided by the council and auditors' reports are available at the same time, he said.

Professor Percy praised the significant improvement in the quality and timeliness of council reporting and painted a 'general picture . . . of councillors, board members and officers discharging their duties in a responsible and conscientious way'.

199919981997

No. of frauds/irregularities149161150

Total value of frauds/irregs£545,000£458,000£979,000

Revenue expenditure£7.9bn£7.7bn£7.5bn

of councils

Defaulters who were 818183

council employees

Source: Accounts Commission for Scotland

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