South Wales Guardian Opinion
6:00am Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in Ammanford news
MEMBERS of Carmarthenshire county council’s audit committee certainly did not mince words at Friday’s meeting in the council chamber at County Hall.
They want a swift resolution after the Wales Audit Office declared two transactions involving chief executive Mark James to be unlawful.
But with the matter in the hands of solicitors that may not happen.
In a revised statement this week, the local authority say Mr James – who won a high-profile libel case against blogger Jacqui Thompson – was not the author of the report to councillors on the matter and did not participate or offer any advice during the process.
“So far as the payment in lieu of employer’s pension contributions is concerned, this has not incurred any additional cost to the council or the local taxpayer,” the statement continued.
“Instead of paying into the employee’s pension scheme we have agreed simply to make a payment directly to them of an equivalent amount and it is then for them to make their own arrangements as they see fit.”
So there you have it – the council say those payments were lawful, auditors say they were not. A Mexican legal stand-off indeed!
One thing is certain, however: any delay in sorting this out will do Carmarthenshire county council no favours.
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