CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS

Baillie raises allegations of of corruption with Minister and Accounts Commission

Cabinet Secretary Aileen Campbell and Jackie Baillie MSP.

By Bill Heaney

Dumbarton and Lomond MSP  Jackie Baillie, has written to the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, Aileen Campbell, and the Accounts Commission to highlight allegations of corruption within West Dunbartonshire Council.

Following allegations of inappropriate procurement practice, an internal audit of the Council found that some of the contracts which were tendered by the Roads and Greenspace departments between 2013 and 2016 were agreed without following the proper procedure.

The Labour MSP has asked both the Cabinet Secretary and the Accounts Commission to review the practices of the SNP-run council.

Ms Baillie said:“A number of my constituents are concerned about the allegations made about procurement practice in West Dunbartonshire Council.

“Councils are responsible for making sure that they spend the public pound wisely. It is clear that some contracts, which were agreed by council officials in the Roads and Greenspace departments, were not tendered properly, and it has been found that in a number of cases, quotes were not properly obtained for these jobs.

“I have now written to Aileen Campbell, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, and Caroline Gardner, the Auditor General, to ask whether a review will be carried out to ensure best practice going forward.”

Community Party councillor, Jim Bollan, has given notice to the Council that he wants two motions to go before their next full meeting in Clydebank Town Hall on February 14.

These serious allegations first came into the public domain after ex-councillor George Black from Milton was tipped off by a whistleblower.

Mr Black consulted the police who carried out inquiries and submitted a report to the Council’as chief executive Joyce White.

Mr Black claims however that he has tried repeatedly to obtain a copy of that report but has been unable to do so.

The Council’s Communications Department refuses to answer questions about this matter – and many others – from The Democrat.

It was revealed in a report which went before the Council’s audit committee in December that Greenspace and the Roads department are the only two areas to have been examined by the auditors – so far.

Greenspace was at the centre of a huge controversy which followed the SNP administration’s decision to make austerity cuts across the council’s parks, cemeteries and open spaces.

Council leader Jonathan McColl, who heads that administration, is part of an SNP ban and boycott of The Democrat.

Other high-spending departments’ accounts and financial transactions have yet to be examined in similar fashion.

How Levengrove changed after austerity cuts and Cllrs Bollan, Black and McColl.

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