Magazine article Public Finance

Accounts Probe for Ex-Audit Chief

Magazine article Public Finance

Accounts Probe for Ex-Audit Chief

Article excerpt

The National Assembly for Wales is to ask the police to probe the handling of Wales Audit Office accounts by former auditor general Jeremy Colman.

Its Public Accounts Committee also plans to refer Colman and former WAO external auditor KTS Owens Thomas to their professional bodies.

However, Colman's successor, Huw Vaughan Thomas, said: 'The legal advice that I have received strongly suggests that the proposed action is unlikely to result in a successful prosecution.'

The committee's concerns centre on a severance package agreed by Colman for the WAO' s former chief operating officer, Anthony Snow.

It said this was not properly disclosed, as a commitment to make annual payments to Snow until his sixtieth birthday was not shown in accounts for the year it was agreed. Instead, it was shown year by year as the payments were made.

It said that if Snow's severance package had been correctly accounted for, it would have been large enough to show up as unauthorised expenditure in a single year, so prompting investigation. …

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