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Haringey Council faces extra £45,000 bill for accounting errors
Haringey Council may have to pay £45,000 in extra fees following accounting errors made by the authority.
At a meeting of the Corporate Committee, on Thursday September 28, it was revealed a large number of errors were made by the council in their accounts for the 2011/2012 year.
The District Auditor firm, Grant Thornton, said they had been doing so much extra work to correct the accounts they would have to charge Haringey Council.
As a result of the errors the auditor refused to sign off the accounts on Thursday, one working day before the legal deadline of Sunday September 30.
Leader of the Lib Dem Group, Councillor Richard Wilson, said: “The errors have already cost Haringey Council dearly, all the extra audit work needed is costing taxpayers up to £45,000 more in audit fees.
“Haringey’s hard pressed council taxpayers will be left wondering yet again who is looking after their money.
“This is the latest in a string of calamities to hit Haringey, which has lurched from crisis to crisis in recent years.
“Earlier this year the deputy leader quit, followed by the sudden and unexplained departure of the Chief Executive who had only been in place two years."
A council spokeswoman said: “The errors were spotted and corrections made before the 2011/12 accounts went to corporate committee and critically there is no change to the bottom line and no impact on the council’s financial standing."
The accounts were eventually signed off by the auditor on Friday evening and the council says it will be looking into how the errors were made and it will take appropriate action if necessary.
Councillor Wilson added that concerns have been raised that Councillor Joe Goldberg, cabinet member for finance, was not present at the Thursday meeting to explain the situation.
He said: “Councillor Goldberg should be accountable to residents and his fellow councillors, he was not there to answer questions and explain why the council had got itself into such a mess and I think that is unacceptable.”
Councillor Goldberg said: “Yet again, this shows an astonishing lack of understanding from the Lib Dems about the core principles of checks and balances and financial propriety."
He added: “Of course, if the Lib Dems had wanted me to attend certain parts of the meeting, they could have simply invited me.
“The fact they didn’t, shows how little concern they really have for working together to get things done.”