We can’t just blame MP’s for unaccounted expenses

January 24, 2011 9:46 PM

The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) and their flagship Communities First  project  have been caught napping again.

 It has been previously highlighted by the TPA that WAG had to inject another £450,000 into Communities First teen-pregnancy hotspots, even though over £214m has been spent on areas to run projects including those to combat teenage pregnancy.

 In 2009, the Public Accounts Committee launched an inquiry. Jonathan Morgan AM, the chairman said:

“The Committee heard that while the programme is operated with the best of intentions to help deprived communities, there still isn’t enough support and guidance from those at the top to help those at the coal face.’’

 It has been discovered  there are a number of significant failings within management structures.  A recent FOI request by the TPA found that WAG has only maintained financial records for 35 of the 46 staff that deliver their programme within the Cardiff area.

 WAG have entrusted Cardiff Council to be the  host employer for the 35 staff, which has led to them being the main Communites First grant recipient in the Cardiff area, and since 2005, £75,648 has been spent on the recruitment of this 35 member staff team. But in a twist, it has been highlighted that Cardiff Council has failed to record expensive elements of recruitment, including interview expenses and CRB checks. To those in recruitment, next to advertising, interviews can prove to be the second largest expense and CRB checks can cost approximately £50 each.

In a number of other damaging blows to WAG and Cardiff Council’s record keeping, it has also been discovered that recruitment costs for the Communities First project have only been kept since 2005, meaning that 4yrs of spending has gone unregulated. And one of the core objectives of this project is jobs, business and income generation. In the same FOI request, it was highlighted that WAG do not have any records of successes in job creation.The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) and their flagship Communities First  project  have been caught napping again.

 It has been previously highlighted by the TPA that WAG had to inject another £450,000 into Communities First teen-pregnancy hotspots, even though over £214m has been spent on areas to run projects including those to combat teenage pregnancy.

 In 2009, the Public Accounts Committee launched an inquiry. Jonathan Morgan AM, the chairman said:

“The Committee heard that while the programme is operated with the best of intentions to help deprived communities, there still isn’t enough support and guidance from those at the top to help those at the coal face.’’

 It has been discovered  there are a number of significant failings within management structures.  A recent FOI request by the TPA found that WAG has only maintained financial records for 35 of the 46 staff that deliver their programme within the Cardiff area.

 WAG have entrusted Cardiff Council to be the  host employer for the 35 staff, which has led to them being the main Communites First grant recipient in the Cardiff area, and since 2005, £75,648 has been spent on the recruitment of this 35 member staff team. But in a twist, it has been highlighted that Cardiff Council has failed to record expensive elements of recruitment, including interview expenses and CRB checks. To those in recruitment, next to advertising, interviews can prove to be the second largest expense and CRB checks can cost approximately £50 each.

In a number of other damaging blows to WAG and Cardiff Council’s record keeping, it has also been discovered that recruitment costs for the Communities First project have only been kept since 2005, meaning that 4yrs of spending has gone unregulated. And one of the core objectives of this project is jobs, business and income generation. In the same FOI request, it was highlighted that WAG do not have any records of successes in job creation.

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