Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Boris Sets Up Full Audit of City Hall Finances

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Boris Sets Up Full Audit of City Hall Finances

Article excerpt

Byline: PIPPA CRERAR

(1) Accountability: how the Standards investigation into Lee Jasper and LDA funds unfolded, leading to Boris Johnsons vow to clean up City Hall (2) Mayoral toast: Boris Johnson, enjoying a glass of champagne on the day he banned alcohol on the Tube, with fellow guest of honour David Cameron(3) A jumble of Johnsons: a hug for the new Mayor from Phoebe Vela and then Boris poses with his sister Rachel and father Stanley, a former Tory MP(4) Party line: writer Arabella Pollen and Mariella Frostrup; TV presenter Anne Robinson, centre, with daughter Emma and Nicky Haslam; Barry Humphries and his son Oscar with writer Kathy Lette

BORIS JOHNSON announced plans to clean up City Hall today by setting upa forensic audit group to investigate its finances and cut bureaucratic waste.

The panel will recommend how the Greater London Authority can be made moretransparent and accountable after the damaging dodgy grants affair.

It will also identify areas where savings can be made and resources redirectedto the new Mayors priorities, such as tackling youth crime.

The announcement will stamp Mr Johnsons authority on City Hall and draw a lineunder the troubles faced by the London Development Agency under hispredecessor.

Mr Johnson said: I was elected on a promise to provide Londoners with bettervalue for money from their taxes. I am delighted to have recruited some of themost capable and experienced people in the capital to scrutinise recentperformance at the LDA and GLA and suggest ways to prevent mismanagement andwaste in future.

We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to ensure that the LDA and GLAdeliver value for money to the taxpayers of London.

He has appointed former Sunday Telegraph editor Patience Wheatcroft, anon-executive director for Bar-clays, to head the audit panel. The financialprobity of City Hall became a key election issue after it emerged that policeare investigating seven organisations linked to Ken Livingstones equalities andpolicing director Lee Jasper or his associates which were given millions ofpounds worth of LDA funds. …

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