Published On: Thu, Feb 9th, 2012 at 4:23pm

Glasgow City Council Finance and Audit Scrutiny Committee meet

Members of Glasgow City Council’s Finance and Audit Scrutiny Committee met on Tuesday afternoon at the City Chambers.

The first item on the agenda related to costs from the Common Good Fund (CGF). Focusing on information which was requested at last month’s committee meeting, members discussed travel costs incurred by officers and members of the council.   At today’s meeting it was estimated that £15,000 is spent annually on travel.  The CGF also covers costs of civic ceremonies and hospitality costs for distinguished guests visiting the city.

The meeting then discussed the 2012/2013 draft budget for ‘training (Council Buffet)’.  The proposed budget means a cut in funds available for this training provided by catering service provider, Cordia from £182,000 to £122,000.  Bailie James McNally expressed concern.  He said:-“It is a worry to take £60,000 out of the buffet budget; we’re talking about people’s jobs here.”

A few members however were dissatisfied with the answers received from Cordia about the number of apprentices trained.  Councillor Allison Hunter said:-“We  should push Cordia for more detailed explanation.”

A significant financial issue was raised in the report on Budget Monitoring of the Investment Programme 2011/12 Quarter 3.  The Scottish Government will not lend the council the £8.3m they have requested for voluntary severance costs.  The Scottish Government’s response to the request was that the Council had “sufficient reserve of funds.”

In addition to reports on the CGF and Investment Programme, budget monitoring reports for Quarter 3 of 2011/12 were presented for   Commonwealth Games related projects and the Capital Programmes for Development and Regeneration Services, Education Services, Land and Environment Services, Social Work Services and the Chief Executive’s Office and Corporate Services.

The National Indoor Sports Arena and Velodrome,  a Commonwealth Games related project, is nearing completion and is forecast to be completed within budget.  Work on the site was started early last year by the main contractor, Sir Robert McAlpine, and the project is scheduled to open in autumn this year.

Reports were also presented for the budget monitoring for period 10 (1 April to 21 December 2011) for Education Services, Social Work Services, Financial Services, Land and Environmental Services, Development and Regeneration Services and the Common Good Fund.

Reports on two internal audits were presented at the meeting.  Corporate Services and the Data Integrity of the SAP system were audited.  No major issues were found and the report recommended three improvements.

Social Work Services and their use of PECOS were also audited.  PECOS is a system the Council uses for the purchase of goods and supplies.  There was only one recommendation for improvement in this audit.  Updates on the implementation of the recommendations for both  of these audits will be reported back to the council in due course.

The next meeting for the Finance and Audit Scrutiny Committee is scheduled for the 7 March 2012.

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