Not quite the highly publicised 'forensic audit', but the Assembly's own audit panel met this afternoon. On the agenda was a selection of dispassionate audit reports which gave a snapshot of the situation at City Hall in April, May and June this year. They show some of the chaos that greeted the new administration:
A random sample picked up the fact that two out of five budget holding managers could not gain access to vital monitoring information on the accounts database, which didn't seem to be a problem in those plentiful times. In the case of virements from one budget to another, a random sample found that two in ten had not been instigated by the budget holder. The system has now been made more accountable.
Older Peoples' Strategy
This Livingstone creation was managed by an 'advisory group' which had not met since April 2007! Auditors felt there was no clear view as to the role of the group, perhaps not surprisingly as no terms of reference could be found. Their 'action plan' had not been updated since September 2006. Nobody at the audit panel knew who the Chairman of the panel was, or the names of its members. This looks like a candidate for the current mayor's savings drive - after all, we won't miss what we've never had...
Weren't accessible, not clear on the website, or at the front desk. The 'Accessible Communications Working Group' had no terms of reference and had not reviewed the policy, but at least they had met, albeit 'irregularly'.
If you are going to boast that you provide translations into different languages and braille, it is inexcusable to fail to do so. Improvements have been promised and we will be reviewing progress in January.
Mobile Phones and Electronic Devices
Keeping track of these had been difficult, particularly in the days following the election. We were assured that all the ex advisors and members had now returned the GLA's equipment, after prompting in a few cases.