Council balls up their recently published procurement card data.

You won’t believe it, but perhaps you will, as this is Folkestone & Hythe District Council we’re talking about after all.

The two years worth of procurement data released by the council on their website, we downloaded. We put the data together in single spreadsheet, then set about checking the data.

During the sanity checking we undertake, of any data set we download from somebody else’s website, we check for duplication. We did this with the council released procurement data, and guess what! Yes there was duplication, but not of individual items, but of a whole month, which adds £9074.81 to the total.

The total with duplication is £183,023.04. Without duplication it is £173,948.23. A small difference. But given there have been financial irregularities within the council, this just adds to the inability to calculate and check their data; which could have led to somebody being suspended for no reason at all.

The council duplicated June 2020 in Q1 and Q2 in the spreadsheets

Procurement_cards_Q1_2020 – This data has June 2020 in it.

Procurement_cards_Q2_2020 – This data also has June 2020 in it.

But it doesn’t stop at June, they’ve also duplicated September 2020, in the Q2 and Q3 spreadsheets. The data has not been altered and is at this moment still available for you to check for yourself.

Procurement_cards_Q2_2020 – This data has Sept 2020 in it.

Procurement_cards_Q3_2020 – This data also has Sept 2020 in it.

And to make up the hat trick, one notes March 2022, is missing in the Q4 2021/22 data.

Procurement_cards_Q4_2021

This demonstrates there really was no sanity checking of the data, and those responsible for it do not take data transparency at all seriously. We doubt if the Chief Exec – Dr Susan Priest, the Monitoring Officer – Amandeep Khroud, or Charlotte Spendley, the s151 officer, will give a damn.

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In the Local Government Transparency Code 2015 regarding errors it states at page 10:

Timeliness and errors

23.Data should be as accurate as possible at first publication. While errors may occur, the publication of information should not be unduly delayed to rectify mistakes. This concerns errors in data accuracy. The best way to achieve this is by having robust information management processes in place.

24.Where errors in data are discovered, or files are changed for other reasons (such as omissions), local authorities should publish revised information making it clear where and how there has been an amendment. Metadata on data.gov.uk should be amended accordingly.

Errors in council published data has happened time and again and when they’ve amended it they have not followed what the code says, to save themselves embarrassment. All it goes to show the Peter Principle is alive and well in our council.

Surely, our council should check the data before releasing it but oh no, not a bit of it. If this data is wrong, what other data they produce – like the accounts, purchase orders, payment too suppliers data and the like – is also wrong? We’ll leave you to ponder that.

The Shepway Vox Team

Dissent is NOT a Crime

About shepwayvox (1549 Articles)
Our sole motive is to inform the residents of Shepway - and beyond -as to that which is done in their name. email: shepwayvox@riseup.net

3 Comments on Council balls up their recently published procurement card data.

  1. They are so incompetent they can’t even cover up their fiddling of expenses

  2. Jesus, Mary & Joseph, these people tasked with the job ought to be sacked.

  3. I spotted the duplicate months immediately when I started to collate the data. Wasn’t difficult to spot. Why did no one check this?

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