THE auditor heading the investigation into two allegedly unlawful Carmarthenshire County Council transactions may issue a public interest report within the next four weeks, the Guardian has learned.

Anthony Barrett, assistant auditor general with the Wales Audit Office, is looking into the granting of a £23,217 indemnity to pay chief executive Mark James’ costs in his libel case and counter claim against blogger Jacqui Thompson, plus £16,353 paid in lieu of pension contributions.

A public interest report aims to draw the public’s attention to a matter of concern. The council would have to consider it at a full meeting of the authority within one month of the date of issue – possibly on Wednesday, January 8.

If the auditor believes that an item of account is contrary to law, he may send the matter to be tried in court, as was the recent case at Caerphilly borough council.