LETTER: Council audit concerns

Re news item ‘County council under fire after internal audit’ in July 9 edition.

Midhurst and District branch Labour Party has some serious concerns about the County Council’s ability to rectify the mistakes identified by this internal audit.

Can there be any confidence in this council when it is failing to monitor contracts with companies like Balfour Beatty Living Spaces?

Why wasn’t it clear to this council how ‘value for money’ was to be achieved. This has been a major failing by West Sussex County Council, which brings into question its outsourcing policy. There are further key questions arising from this audit.

Why were these companies being allowed to win these contracts when Conservative county councillors knew they can over promise and under deliver?

From the audit it is apparent that ‘the county council has a governance and risk and control framework that provides a limited level of assurance regarding the economic and effective use of resources in achievement of its objectives’.

A question now arises about whether there are enough staff any more at County Hall to monitor the contracts arising through outsourcing.

As it continues along its present path the real effect of commissioning out is being seen by us all.

It was not to save money and reduce costs, it was because this county council is obsessed by outsourcing all of its services despite the impact on those living in West Sussex.

It continues to make changes without considering the implications properly and the need to consult on them when proposed.

We will carefully consider the county council’s response to this audit report and whether ‘value for money’ can be achieved through commissioning out services at the level they are planning.

John Smith

Secretary/co-chair,

Midhurst & District Branch Labour Party,

West Close,

Fernhurst