Sunday 19 November 2017

Councils must improve systems to get value

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

MORE than 21,000 orders for goods and services received by one local authority were only approved after being delivered.

The auditor says that many councils must improve their financial systems to ensure best value for money is being achieved.

Some 63pc of all services purchased by Donegal County Council were not in line with procurement rules, resulting in a "significant breach" of the rules and which require "urgent" attention, the auditor said.

The council admitted its current approach did "not reflect good practice", but said it was being changed.

It noted that it was "important to reflect publicly" that there was no suggestion the goods and services were "procured or purchased inappropriately" or without sanction.

Donegal isn't the only council where concerns have been raised.

In Cavan, four water contracts worth €776,000 were not advertised. In Galway City, legal costs totalling €300,000 a year have been incurred without going to tender, nor has a €2.9m contract to operate Mutton Island waste water treatment plant.

Wexford has also been warned to "improve" its compliance with procurement rules, while there were "some exceptions" to good practice in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown.

The purchase of two tipper trucks in Monaghan at a cost of €78,000 was defended as offering "exceptional value for money", but quotes were not sought from other supplies despite "well-documented" procedures being in place.

In Galway County Council, some 47pc of all purchase orders were processed "on the same date or at a later date" to that noted on the suppliers' invoices seeking payment.

There was poor compliance in relation to the purchase of cleaning products and personal safety equipment.

In Cork City Council, there was a "significant level of non-compliance" with best practice, while in Waterford City weaknesses were identified in "high spend" areas including plant hire, car parking and cash collection.

All the councils said the matters raised were being addressed, and in some cases contracts were not tendered as they involved emergency works.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News