Concern over payments to Pembrokeshire County Council 'going missing'

Pembrokeshire County Council
Pembrokeshire County Council

Concerns have been raised about payments to Pembrokeshire County Council “going missing” following the introduction of a new financial management system.

A whistle-blower has raised concerns that since the introduction of a new payment system last year there have been issues tracking and correlating money coming into the authority and that “millions of pounds of taxpayer money has been unaccounted for.”

There are fears that residents have not seen their council tax payments logged and that larger business and government payments are being prioritised for tracking.

A Pembrokeshire County Council spokesman told the LDRS: “With any new system, particularly as complex as a finance management system, there will be issues around implementation and a learning curve for staff, but these were minor and were resolved.”

Today (Tuesday, September 27) members of the governance and audit committee will be told that the council’s statement of accounts for 2021-22  that should have been drafted by the end of August have been delayed.

The reasons given for this delay is “primarily due to the implementation of the new Financial Information Management System (FIMS) and related feeder systems during 2021-22,” a report to committee states.

It adds that additional work required on asset valuations required by Audit Wales, long term absence of key finance staff, the “continued impact of processing Covid -19 and year end 2021-22 grant claims,” have also added to the delay.

“It is anticipated that the Draft Statement of Accounts will be produced by 17 October 2022, following which they will be subject to public inspection and external audit by Audit Wales.

The Audited Statement of Accounts will be presented to the Governance and Audit Committee for review on 29 November 2022, prior to being submitted to Council for approval on 15 December 2022,” the report adds.