Independent report confirms “No evidence of corruption”

Independent auditors who investigated anonymous whistleblowing allegations at Merton council, have confirmed they have found no evidence of corruption, malpractice or unlawful expenditure.

The investigation by Ernst and Young, the well-respected audit and accountancy firm, interviewed council staff and looked in detail at financial records. They found no evidence of corruption and have proposed that no further investigation is required. They also confirmed that temporary staff are comparable with the market rate for their jobs.

The final report makes six recommendations to tighten up council processes in relation to the council’s engagement of consultants and interim staff. The report will be discussed at General Purposes committee on 12 March.

Cllr Mark Allison, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for Finance, said: “We are pleased the auditors have confirmed there is no evidence of corruption, malpractice or unlawful expenditure at Merton council. We are confident the allegations have been thoroughly investigated by the auditors. However, we are always looking to improve, and my role now is to ensure the auditor’s recommendations are put into place.

“We’re very fortunate to have excellent staff and we would not have been named the country’s Best Achieving Council without them. We can now concentrate on getting on with the job of delivering excellent services to our residents and continue to be the best council in the country.”

ENDS

Notes to editor

  • A copy of the auditor’s report is available to download.
  • The council policy for engaging consultants was agreed by Full Council in February 2007, after approval from the General Purposes committee in November 2006. It was subsequently amended in March 2012, again after approval from the General Purposes committee.