The Governance portfolio in 2014/15 at Shepway District Council was made up by Amandeep Khroud Solicitor to the Council, Joanna Miller Head of Finance, Cllr David “Drury” Monk, Leader of SDC and Cllr Susan Carey.
They were responsible for the control that the Council may be susceptible to fraud/ corruption.
One of their responsibilities among others was to watch over poor ethical judgement by elected officials, “Councillors,” and senior managers e.g. expenses fraud.
The risk controls put in place were as follows in 14/15 the year that Cllr Peter Simmons is under investigation for inappropriate expenses claims.
Promotion of anti-fraud and corruption policies e.g. the Whistleblowing Policy.
Members and Employees must adhere to the respective Codes of Conduct.
A new anti fraud and corruption e-learning module has been rolled out, and it is mandatory for all staff.
Assurance statements completed by CMT and Heads of Service.
Who is responsible for monitoring the ethical judgement of elected officials? The Monitoring Officer Peter Wignall ? He started back at SDC in Jan 15 after a well earned pay off in 2013.
From Jan 15 to April 15 Mr Wignall as Monitoring officer was responsible, but not he alone, we add. From 2013 – Dec 14 Estelle Culligan, stepped into Mr Wignall’s shoes as monitoring officer. Mr Culligan was in part responsible for monitoring poor ethical judgements by Councillors, including Cllr Simmons.
Mr Stewart notes in his report to the personnel committee on 5/03/15
“On the departure of Estelle Culligan the Council asked Peter Wignall to step in to the role of Monitoring Officer following my decision to appoint him as Head of Democratic Services for an interim period up until the end of May 2015, which has provided us with the necessary stability during the months surrounding the election period. Looking forward the Council needs to appoint a competent Monitoring Officer on a permanent basis. –
What does that mean? That SDC did not have a competent Monitoring officer?
Anyway, Cllr David “Drury” Monk, Cllr Susan Carey, Amandeep Khroud, Estelle Culligan, Peter Wignall and four policies, all possibly bypassed by Cllr Peter Simmons, who is an accountant. We await the report.