Haringey Council orders independent inquiry into its accounts

Now you might think this tweet from Labour’s Cabinet member for finance at Haringey Council, Joe Goldberg, makes clear that there hasn’t been a problem with the auditor over the council’s annual accounts:

@richardjswilson There is no mess with the auditor Richard. Please I beg of you. Stop telling lies.

You might think that, and you’d be wrong. Because here’s what Haringey Council’s Chief Executive has just announced, as reported by the Haringey Independent:

An independent review will be carried out into accounting errors made by Haringey Borough Council which cost the authority more than £30,000.

At a meeting of the Corporate Committee the council’s new chief executive Nick Walkley announced there would be an enquiry into the errors were made by the council in its accounts for the 2011/2012 year.

As previously reported by the Haringey Independent in October last year, the council’s auditor firm said it had done so much extra work it would have to charge the authority.

As a result of the errors, the auditor had initially refused to sign off the accounts until the last day before the deadline and it was estimated the extra costs could be as high as £45,000.

Those problems with Haringey Council’s accounts included:

Management identified a number of errors to the financial statements…

The Whole of Government Accounts pack was not submitted to the DCLG in line with the deadline of 31 July…

The Council provided working papers on the first day of the audit, however these were incomplete…

Some actions agreed by us with the Council after the 2010/11 accounts to improve the accounts process had not been implemented.

Oh, and don’t forget that:

A senior member of the council’s finance unit, has been suspended following allegations of “misuse of resources”.

So perhaps Joe Goldberg meant “there is no mess” as in “there is no mess; it’s worse than that”?

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