Wednesday 29 October 2014

The lost VAT

Last month I mentioned a report on the agenda for the council's Audit Committee which recorded a mysterious ongoing problem with officer travel claims.

A 'fundamental weakness' had been identified by the internal audit in 2012/13 because departmental managers were "failing to ensure claims were compliant with current policies and failing to follow agreed procedures". Despite numerous 'reminders' from central office a further review found that the problem was continuing. The report is here, it's the second item.

The committee was clearly unimpressed and made a rare decision to 'hold to account' those departmental managers who continued to fail but the significance of this failure remained a mystery, even after the minutes were published.

I have now heard that what was omitted from the minutes was, that through this lack of control and compliance with the Financial Procedural Rules, the council had apparently lost £90,000 in unreclaimable VAT. If this is the case, and I'm no expert, the upshot of this must be either insufficiently detailed receipts for over £400,000 being submitted, or no receipts at all...


Anonymous said...

Oh how I wish HMRC would wake up and smell the coffee!

Redhead said...

The lawyers' view: