Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Cost of Powys 'Whistleblower' Hunt

So Powys County Council must have had five grand hanging around waiting to be blown. "What shall we do with it said the boss". Give a bit more to cash strapped schools perhaps - or a bit more to social services, or to road repairs. Maybe reduce the Council Tax increase for next year (after all, this years bills have left so many people in utter despair about how to pay). "No tell you what. We'll 'blow it', we'll 'blow it' on a 'whistle blower hunt'".

You might think this is some sort of joke. But its not. A few Weeks ago, the Council's internal procedures discovered that 44 staff, with access to vulnerable children, had not been subject to properly required criminal record checks. This was bad, but mistakes do happen in big organisations. My only comment was that procedures must be changed to ensure such a thing never happened again.

But the Council decided not to admit what had happened publicly, and somebody in the know spilt the beans - and Mr Yapp at the BBC ran a story on it. Quite right to. But the Council was tamping mad - so mad that they decided to hire a special detective to expose the 'whistle blower', the public spirited person who had made public that which the Council should have made public. And now we find out, after a bit of arm twisting that this utterly stupid exercise cost the Council not much short of £5000 (£4435-16 to be precise - must have needed a 16p special offer kit-kat to keep going) for 5 days sleuthing.

Now follow 'quotes' on this issue that the media might care to use.

"I am appalled that Powys Council have wasted nearly £5,000 of Council Tax payers money on a wild goose chase. Its the 'public's money' that the Council has 'blown'. And thank goodness the Council's sleuth failed to track down the 'whistle blower', who lifted the lid on what was going on. We should all be grateful to the 'whistle blower'."

"There needs to be a new committment to transparency at Powys County Council. The Council is there to represent the people - not pursue personal vendettas at public expense. This matter has greatly reduced public confidence in this Council as a protector of the public interest."

1 comment:

lads said...

I know we have a vital election to fight here and now Glyn but some of us are beginning to think that next year's County Council elections might be just as important. Powys County Council should have a lively and pretty assertive Conservative Group - we need to make sure it gets one!