Auditors probe gagging orders

By Dan Peters | 26 November 2020

Auditors have delayed signing off Thanet DC’s 2019/20 accounts while they investigate the council’s use of gagging orders in resolving grievances.

Grant Thornton said further enquiries into resident Ian Driver’s objection were needed before it could issue its 2019/20 value for money conclusion.

A report by Grant Thornton read: ‘During 2019/20 a number of matters were brought to the auditor’s attention regarding grievances and the arrangements in place to respond to those grievances.

‘As part of our value for money conclusion we are reviewing the arrangements the council has followed to respond to the grievances.’

Mr Driver said: ‘There is a powerful Best Value argument for the auditor to investigate my objection to the current process of managing and approving non-disclosure agreements at Thanet DC which I believe to be conflicted, open to abuse and not fit-for-purpose.’

A council spokesperson said the objection would not prevent the auditor from concluding the audit on its financial statement of accounts.

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