BY CRONAN SCANLON
THE Local Government Auditor has this week expressed concern about certain aspects of management as well as the current financial standing of Donegal County Council.
The auditor, Mr Raymond Lavin, was commenting in a report on the council’s Annual Financial Statement for 2011, which was presented to councillors at Monday’s July meeting of the council.
Mr Lavin, also expressed concern in areas of management and control of capital projects, record keeping and the council’s tendering and purchasing process.
In his financial statement, the auditor said that he was concerned about a debt of €12.3 million, an increase of long-term loans to €156m, an increase of €23m from 2010, and the €1.31m of costs on loans to fund unfunded capital projects.
Mr Lavin estimates that the loan charges will increase to €3.2m next year. He also expressed concern that there was an “insufficient audit trail” in relation to a significant number of old capital projects.
“The council needs to implement strict management controls in order to appropriately monitor its capital projects,” Mr Lavin stated.
Mr Lavin also alluded to “deviations” from procurement and tendering procedures at the council during the course of the audit.
“Retrospective approval was received for approximately 21,000 purchase requests, after the good and services had already been received.
“This represents 53 per cent of all purchase orders raised in the council, and represents a significant breach of purchasing procedures,” Mr Lavin stated.