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Data Concerns
Sunday, 29 July 2012.

This web page summaries my concerns about the integrity and compilation of Slough Borough Council's monthly Payments to Suppliers files and the noticeable absence of elementary and essential accounting disciplines and procedures.

Currently, with 2 month's data missing:-

Questionable too is the council's slogan Proud to be Slough.

Introduction
Conclusion
Readers' Comments

Comments may be emailed to: slough.party@gmail.com

Introduction

Anyone examining Slough Borough Council's Payments to Suppliers data, which is supposed to include all payments of £500 and above, will be shocked to see the appalling dysfunctional accounting mess.

  1. The Payments to Suppliers data for May 2011 has still not been released to the public by Slough Borough Council. The May 2011 file on the council's web site is a copy of April 2011's data except the date for each entry in the May 2011 file has been changed from Apr-2011 to May-2011. Slough Borough Council is paralysed by indecision whether to ignore the complaint or to supply the data.
  2. The Payments to Suppliers data for July 2011 contains:-
    • 974 entries dated Jul-2011
    • 451 entries dated Jun-2011

    In the June 2011 file there are 946 entries dated Jun-2011.

    Once again Slough Borough Council is petrified and unable to respond.

  3. Payments have been made to fictitious legal entities. Two examples:-
  4. Anonymous payments of large sums of public funds. For example:-
  5. The same spending categories having multiple names. For example:-
    1. FRS 17
    2. FRS17

    and

    1. Salaries & Wages
    2. Salaries and Wages
    3. Salaries and Wages-Employees Expenses
    4. Indirect Employee Expenses
  6. It seems that any person can instantly invent a spending category and then authorise payments in that category. Good accounting practice, which evidently is absent at Slough Borough Council, dictates that spending categories be carefully created and then only those categories are used.
  7. Spending council directorates having multiple different names. For example:-
    1. C&W
    2. Community & Wellbeing
    3. Community and Wellbeing
    4. Culture
    5. Wellbeing

    and

    1. Central
    2. Central Directorates

    and

    1. Chief Exec
    2. Chief Executive
    3. Corporate
    4. Corporate & Democratic Core

    and

    1. Customer & Community Services
    2. Customer & Transactional
    3. Customer & Transactional Services

    and

    1. Children & Education
    2. Education
    3. Education & Childrens Services
    4. Education and Childrens Services

    and

    1. GBE
    2. Green and Built Environment

    and

    1. Housing
    2. Housing/Central
    3. HRA
    4. Resources
    5. Resources & Regeneration
    6. Resources and Regeneration
    7. Resources, Housing & Regeneration
    8. Resources, Housing and Regeneration
  8. Non-existing directorates. For example:-
    1. Capital
    2. Management
    3. Non Distributable Costs
    4. SPLIT
    5. Support
    6. Trading Account
  9. It is astonishingly evident that Slough Borough Council's payments system is a free-for-all mess:
    • devoid of rigid accounting structures,
    • devoid of strict accounting discipline so essential when doshing-out public funds,
    • devoid of essential due diligence in all aspects of its operation,
    • devoid of fit-for-purpose management reporting procedures
    • yet any old rubbish can be used for council spending directorates or divisions with no controls whatsoever to ensure the correct directorate or division is entered into the accounting system when a payment is made.
  10. No spending category for staff training. Instead training expenditure is allocated to, for example:-
    1. Supplies and Services - Payment 0014299
    2. Indirect Employee Expenses - Payment 0000308
    3. Agency Staff - Payment 0002181
  11. Different spending categories allocated for the identical staff training at the same institution. For example at OPEN UNIVERSITY:-
    1. Supplies and Services - Payment 0009705
    2. Indirect Employee Expenses - Payment 0010882
  12. Different versions of the same payee's name. For example:-
    • Access Automation
    • Access Automation Ltd
    • Ashbourne Homes Ltd
    • Ashbourne Homes Plc Woodbury House (does not exist)
    • Asian Health Agency
    • The Asian Health Agency
    • A W J Warwick
    • A.W.J WARWICK (note the full-stops)
    • BARNADO SERVICES LTD
    • Barnardo Services Ltd
    • BARNARDO'S
    • Barnardo,s
    • Buckinghamshire County Council
    • Bucks County Council
    • Buzz Kidz
    • BUZZ KIDZ HOLIDAY CLUBS
    • CABS DIRECT LTD
    • Cabsdirect Contract Ltd
    • Calcot Services For Children
    • Calcot Services for Children Limited
    • Care & Independance Systems Ltd (note spelling error)
    • Care & Independence Ltd (does not exist)
    • Chartered Institute Of Public Finance & Accountancy
    • CIPFA
    • Citizens Advice
    • Citizens Advice Bureau
    • Cybersupport (Uk) Ltd
    • CYBERSUPPORT LIMITED
    • DOTTED EYES LTD
    • Dotted Eyes Ltd. (note the trailing dot)
    • Dyslexia Action London
    • Dyslexia Action Shop Limited
    • Eden Brown Ltd
    • Eden Brown Recruitment Ltd (does not exist)
    • Environment Agency
    • Environmental Agency
    • ETC Venues
    • ETC.VENUES
    • Family Link
    • Family Links
    • FIRST GREAT WESTERN TRAINS CO LTD
    • FIRST GREATER WESTERN LTD
    • Forster
    • Foster Care Associates Ltd
    • Four Seasons (2000) Ltd Woodbury House
    • Four Seasons Health Care
    • Heatherwood & Wexham Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
    • Heatherwood & Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
    • Heatherwood And Wexham Park Hospital Nhs Foundation Trust
    • HM Revenue & Customs
    • HM REVENUE& CUSTOMS
    • Her Majesty'S Courts Service
    • Hmcs
    • HMCTS
    • JARDINE LLOYD THOMPSON MUNICIPAL RISKS
    • Jardine Lloyd Thompson Uk Ltd
    • KM GISBORNE ASSOCIATES LIMITED
    • KMGISBORNER ASSOCIATES LIMITED
    • Lakeside Energy From Waste
    • Lakeside Energy From Waste Ltd
    • Life Style Care (2011) Plc
    • LIFE STYLE CARE PLC
    • LITTLE BOPPERS DAY NURSERY
    • LITTLE BOPPERS NURSERY LTD
    • Montem Guest House
    • Montem Guesthouse
    • MONTERPOINT LTD
    • Monterpoint Technologies
    • Moor House School
    • More House School
    • New Linc Limited
    • New Linc Limited. (note the full-stop)
    • NOTTINGHAM REHAB LTD
    • Nottingham Rehab Supplies
    • Novacroft
    • NOVATECH LTD
    • Pakistan Welfare Association
    • Pakistani Welfare Association
    • R B Of Windsor & Maidenhead
    • Rbwm
    • Royal Borough Of Windsor & M'Head
    • Royal Borough Of Windsor & Maidenhead
    • RAPID ENGLISH CONSULTANTS
    • RAPID ENGLISH LTD
    • READACTED
    • Readcted
    • Redacted
    • Royal Holloway
    • ROYAL HOLLOWAY & BEDFORD NEW COLLEGEBNC
    • Rsk Stats Environment Health & Safety Ltd
    • RSK STATS ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH & SAFETY LIMITED
    • Sandra Moore
    • Sandra Moore - Independent
    • SANDRA MOORE- INDEPENDENT
    • Slough Crossroads
    • Slough Crossroads Caring For Carers
    • SMART CJS
    • Smart Criminal Justice Services
    • Thames Valley Athletics Centre
    • THAMES VALLEY ATHLETICS CENTRE TRUST
    • Thames Valley University
    • UNIVERSITY OF WEST LONDON
    • The Open University
    • OPEN UNIVERSITY
    • THE UNIVERSITY OF WINCHESTER
    • UNIVERSITY OF WINCHESTER
    • THE WORKS BUSINESS CENTRE (SLOUGH) LIMITED
    • THE WORKS BUSINESS CENTRES (SLOUGH) LTD
    • Turning Point
    • Turning Point Ltd
    • University Of Reading
    • The University of Reading
    • Venn Group Ltd
    • Venn Group Recruitment Solutions
    • Vodafone Limited
    • Vodafone Ltd
    • Voyage
    • Voyage 1 Limited
    • West Berkshire County Council (does NOT exist)
    • West Berkshire District Council (the correct name)
    • West Berkshire Council (does NOT exist)

Conclusion

I believe the evidence shown here is a classic symptom of shoddy financial practice amongst staff at Labour-run Slough Borough Council.

Once again it seems to me that Slough Borough Council, a much despised unitary authority, lacks anything resembling proper accounting practises. One wonders why this mess has remained undetected or ignored by the council staff with overall responsibility.

I believe the Slough Borough Council staff with overall responsibility for this unbelievable mess are its chief executive and its Section 151 Officer.

The Head of Paid Service and chief executive at Slough Borough Council, who occupies one of three statutory posts, is Ruth Bagley who is paid circa £ 190,000 per year including pension payments and for acting as the elections Returning Officer. The chief financial officer, who occupies the second statutory post entitled the Section 151 Officer, is Julie Evans (also known as Julie Kennealy) who is paid circa £ 130,000 per year.

These two top officials:-

Thus the Residents of Slough have:-

Residents are compelled by English law to accept, without plausible alternative, the failing, slip-shod and disorganised but expensive service imposed by an unaccountable, autocratic, arrogant, atrocious and dictatorial public organisation calling itself Slough Borough Council.

The political leader of Slough Borough Council is a chartered accountant called Cllr Robert Anderson who works for international company Fujitsu. The deputy political leader is Cllr James Charles Robert Swindlehurst. Both men want to become Labour Party members of Parliament. However their de facto policy can be described as hands-off because they seem to prefer abdicating to the paid council staff, what the public consider to be their council responsibilities.

Paul Janik,
29 July 2012.

SOLA 011036

Readers' Comments

  1. An exceptional piece of work Paul. Truly outstanding. Thank you for sending it to me. It makes me shudder how xxxxxx people get away with it.
  2. Have just had a wee look at this link and I'd be out of home if I dealt with my finances in a similar manner!
  3. Is this the tip of an iceberg of corruption in our local government, or undeniable proof of incompetence over self-proclaimed excellence? Utterly disgraceful, the only question is which is the truth, or could it even be both? This is a complete fiasco & beyond belief! Who will give proper account of it all, the overpaid CEO, the Leader of the Council, himself an accountant, or his unusually silent sidekick & wannabe MP? The silence is deafening!
  4. Has Rob Anderson seen this?

    Fantastic stuff Paul!