Herefordshire Council has begun a review of its internal procedures following the findings of the audit

A review by the South West Audit Partnership (SWAP) was requested by Herefordshire Council’s incoming Chief Finance Officer to investigate the Blueschool House project management and overspend. The findings were considered by the council’s audit and governance committee on Wednesday 20 September 2017.

The audit scope included the background to the key decision, the procurement of the contract, changes to the original scope of refurbishment work, an understanding of the escalation of costs and how changes to the contract and refurbishment were authorised.

Herefordshire Council has begun a review of its internal procedures following the findings of the audit.

Andrew Lovegrove, Herefordshire Council’s incoming Chief Finance Officer, said:

“On behalf of Herefordshire Council, I would like to apologise unreservedly. Herefordshire Council prides itself in trying to ensure best value for money for Herefordshire residents in all our projects and in this project we failed to do so. It is disappointing for us all to find that some colleagues, however small in number, did not observe the correct procedures. This is also entirely in contrast to Herefordshire Council’s performance managing its entire capital expenditure of £55.8m within budget, whilst delivering multiple projects successfully.

“The Audit and Governance Committee has approved a series of recommendations to prevent this happening again, which we fully accept and will make the appropriate improvements to the way we work. We will report back to the committee in January to assure them that changes have been made.”

Published: 20th September 2017