Council Broke Law With $380,000 Misappropriation

Filed in Recent News by December 18, 2019

COUNCIL’S Annual Report has shown Council broke Local Government law, by using $380,000 from restricted funds, without approval by the Minister. 

The report described the unlawful act as “inadvertent”, but went on to explain the funds were used “to assist with major capital infrastructure works” before they received a loan and once the loan money was received they “reinstated the external restrictions to their required level” and informed the Minister after the misappropriation.

Council also completely wiped out $9.7 million of internally restricted assets to begin the Scone Regional Saleyards Project and the White Park Arena, before loans for the projects were received.

The internally restricted funds remained at ‘nil’ until the loans were received and the restricted assets were then replaced with the loan money.

At Monday’s Council meeting Cr Sue Abbott questioned when the auditor would be available to report on the matters, which the auditor was scheduled to do at the November Council meeting, but was rescheduled by the auditor until the December meeting, but the auditor was also unavailable for the December meeting. 

Cr Sue Abbott said she believed it was critical such information was shared with all Councillors to ensure they were fully informed of financial matters discussed Audit Risk and Improvement Committee meetings and to the broader community.

Cr Abbott was advised many financial matters were “sensitive in nature” and whatever information was “suitable” for the public would be made available.

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