Falkirk council spending on vehicles and petrol is tightened up

Controls on spending on Falkirk Council vehicles have been tightened up, councillors have been assured.

A meeting of Falkirk Council’s audit committee heard a review had been looking at arrangements for buying, hiring and disposing of council vehicles.

It found that a number of vehicles had been hired for more than 18 months at a cost to the council of around £247,000.

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The audit committee also heard that “weaknesses” had been identified in relation to the procedures for replacing vehicles.

The review found that the “audit trail for vehicle hires requires to be significantly improved” and criticised a lack of documentation to confirm that an adequate segregation of duties was in place for the booking, receipt and payment of vehicle hires.

It also highlighted that controls over spending on fuel were also inadequate, with no segregation of duties during the ordering and payment process for the replenishment of fuel supplies.

The review was content that vehicles were being disposed of a public auctions in with with financial regulations, but also wanted to tighten up the disposal of vehicles by keeping a record of the reasons for choosing certain auction houses, some of which are more expensive than others.

Director of Place, Malcolm Binnie, told members that since taking up his post in January one of his main focuses had been looking at Falkirk Council’s fleet.

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He said that the audit report concluded in April and an action plan and follow up review had been carried out since then.

“I’m now confident we’ve got robust practices in place in Fleet Services,” he said. “These will continue to be improved and reviewed following the appointment of our new fleet manager Mark Cox, whose appointment I was delighted to see take place.”

At a previous meeting of Falkirk Council, members had agreed to speed up purchasing electric vehicles to help the council make its fleet greener.

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