A report to Wirral Councillors has revealed how the ‘cash strapped’ Authority has paid out £28.9 million but without an audit trail to show who authorised the spending.
Last night’s meeting of the Audit & Risk Management Committee questioned the Director of Finance on the revelations and demanded changes are made and adhered to.
The report highlighted how invoices are received from suppliers, without any indication as to who agreed to the spending.
Between April and September this year, £28.9 million was spent without a purchase order being agreed by a line manager.
Councillor Jeff Green, Chairman of the Committee, said: “To sign off almost £29 million of Council Taxpayers’ money in just six month without so much as a purchase order being issued shows a complete failure of systems and line management.
“This must stop. I have advised the Director of Finance to invite any manager who does not comply with the need to authorise spending to appear before the committee and explain why.
"We need full transparency in how Council Tax is spent and, importantly, on who’s authority. We also need to be assured that permanent financial controls will be introduced from now on.”
Conservative Councillors also called for all spending of £50 or more to be published each month, instead of the current threshold of £500 or above."