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Council dept. in £5m overspend

Created on 22/02/2017 @ 12:16
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A report into a projected £5 million overspend in Powys County Council's adult social care budget has been released by a joint audit and scrutiny committee working group.

The six-page report identifies previous reports warning of poor financial control and the need for cultural change that were not acted upon.

It also highlighted spending that appeared to be actioned without adequate or identified funding in place.

Chair of the Audit Committee, Cllr John Morris, who chaired the working group said: “This is probably the most concerning financial report to be presented to the cabinet for a number of years. It highlights serious shortcomings by the directorate and cabinet in the financial control of their substantial budget. The scale of the overspend has the potential to put the whole council at financial risk.”

The report took information from experts brought in to identify the reasons for the overspend prediction and found that Powys was the highest spending authority per head of population in Wales in Adult Social Care with large differences in spending between Powys and the Welsh average.

It was also identified that lack of immediate action by the directorate and cabinet to address the overspend when it was first identified prevented swift and immediate action to control it.

The report welcomes the development of a recovery plan but concludes that the lateness of implementation will have little effect on this year’s substantial budget overspend. It also welcomed the close working relationship with the Health Board.

In conclusion it highlights that unless urgent and immediate steps are taken to address the reasons for the overspend the group has limited assurance that an overspend in next year’s budget will not recur.

The report will be on the agenda for the cabinet meeting on February 28.


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