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Schools fail spot-check on finances

AUDITORS are looking for untraced cash after a series of accounting errors at Glasgow schools.

City council watch-dogs have uncovered what they called "serious deficiencies" in the way both money and equipment were managed at primaries and secondaries.

Internal auditors, the Evening Times can reveal, failed to trace more than £3000 after spot-checks at just five schools.

They also discovered four of the five schools had failed to stick to rules for handling petty cash, "increasing the risk of a potential loss to the city council".

And they found all five schools did not keep complete and up-to-date inventories and created an "increased risk that equipment could be lost or stolen without being identified".

The auditors insp-ected Kings Park and St Margaret Mary's secon-daries and St Clare's, Swinton and Kelbourne Park primaries. There is no suggestion of wrong-doing by anyone at any of them.

However, the auditors said: "The procedures for receiving, recording and banking council income are not being fully adhered with at all five schools visited, and at three schools the auditors were unable to verify that all amounts received had been banked as required.

"Due to the poor administration there is an increased risk of loss to the council."

Auditors reported to councillors this week, with recommendations including that primaries stop handling petty cash. SNP councillor Kenny McLean – who chairs the council's finance and audit scrutiny committee – said the report raises serious concerns, adding: "We should ensure that staff are given the support they need to implement the recommendations".

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