Thursday, 18 October 2012
Auditor unhappy with government
The Welsh Audit Office in its report on the All Wales Ethnic Minority Association (Awema) said it "found no evidence of inappropriate ministerial influence - on party-political or other lines - in the Welsh government's decisions about Awema's funding". You can just hear that collective sigh of relief in Welsh government ranks.
But they are not off the hook by a long shot. The report says that the "full basis of some of the Welsh government's funding decisions remains unclear and we have concluded that the Welsh government's management and coordination of its grant funding to Awema between July 2000 and December 2011 had often been weak".
Underlining this on the radio Assistant Auditor General Anthony Barrett said “The sort of things we’ve identified are symptomatic of a weakness of Welsh government in its grant schemes.”
He also volunteered that this was the nineteenth time the Welsh Audit Office had reported their concern at the way the government were handing out cash.
In the case of Awema cash was used to pay for gym membership for staff worth £2,120, rugby and cricket tickets totalling £800, and a £110 parking fine.
But the real issue is that no one in government seemed to know how much cash they really got. The auditors reckoned it was over £7m. And that was only Awema. What about the other 19?
Now if this isn’t incompetence, what is?
It seems that the government has been throwing cash around without any real idea how that money was to be used and where it was eventually going.
Surely heads must roll. Not only civil servants, but ministers. The buck stops with them. They’re quick to take credit when things go right, but there’s a real reluctance to fall on the sword when things go wrong.