Derby City Council guilty of mismanagement, auditors say

Grant Thornton has criticised Derby City Council for issues of mismanagement and wastage, in a report which examined governance at the local authority during the 2014/15 financial year.

The public interest report outlined a decision by the council regarding pay arrangements which had ‘resulted in additional costs of £3 million in the short term’. Another example included council officers funding a local firm to safeguard jobs but failing to establish whether the move complied with EU rules.

Phil Jones, a director in Grant Thornton’s Public Sector Assurance team in the Midlands, reported: “We found that the mismanagement of a major project to respond to equal pay legislation has cost the council an additional £1.2 million, resulting in £5 million being spent on the project to date.

He added: “We recognise that with a new elected leader in place from June 2014 and a new management team from February 2015, Derby City Council understands that a more robust approach to governance is essential and is determined to sort out these issues.”

Responding to the report, Ranjit Banwait, leader of the council, said: “I am confident that many of the issues reported by our External Auditors today are in the past; those issues that are more recent in nature are being reviewed and addressed - robust measures are already in place following an extensive overhaul of our governance framework.

“Grant Thornton recognises improvements by the current leadership and senior management teams and I would like to re-assure the people of Derby that we will discharge the Council’s duties with the utmost integrity.”