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TMCNet:  Two more council staff reprimanded in report [Grimsby Telegraph (UK)]

[December 30, 2013]

Two more council staff reprimanded in report [Grimsby Telegraph (UK)]

(Grimsby Telegraph (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) TWO more senior figures at North East Lincolnshire Council at the time of the Icelandic banking collapse have also been reprimanded. Alan Thomas, NELC's former principal accountant and treasury manager, was also found by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) to have breached one of its professional standards as well as the International Federation of Accountants Code of Ethics.


"Because of poor management control and his own actions, Mr Thomas caused public monies to be invested in institutions which were known, widely and publicly, to be in financial difficulty," the report into the hearing said.

"Although he had limited support and, apparently, insufficient time to read documents sent by the council's treasury consultants, it was incumbent on him to keep abreast of the developing financial situation." The professional body said that in or around 2008, he had breached his professional duties in six areas, including failing to: ? Keep himself sufficiently informed of the challenges facing the treasury management function of the council.

l. ? Provide timely advice with due care and diligence by failing to advise his managers of crucial information in respect of the downgrading of credit ratings of various institutions with whom the council had placed investments. ? Ensure that the requirement for all dealing transactions to be properly authorised was adhered to.

? Recognise and act on the need for effective internal controls to provide accountability.

The report read: "Mr Thomas had day-to-day responsibility for the council's treasury management function, including investments in third party financial institutions, and personal responsibility to ensure that investments were made only as approved by the council and were authorised by at least two of the designated council officers." CIPFA made it clear that "primary responsibility for the failures which led to the investments" was with more senior officers but that "by his misconduct, he brought discredit on himself, the council, the Institute (CIPFA) and the profession of accountancy.

"The breaches of professional duty were wide ranging, continued and sustained with the result that the council had been deprived, at least in the short term, of the use of sums of money," said the report.

They noted he had made some admissions, displayed remorse and that his conduct had not been dishonest.

"The committee also had regard to Mr Thomas' attempts to bring to his managers' attention the problems he experienced.

"No further failures were identified between the time of the relevant events and Mr Thomas' retirement." The disciplinary committee imposed a reprimand on Mr Thomas.

Simon Riley, deputy to Alan Madin in his role as an officer in charge of financial issues, has also been reprimanded by CIPFA's investigations committee, at his agreement. It was alleged that on dates and for various periods in and around 2008, Mr Riley failed to: ? Appropriately manage his staff. ? Alert the executive director of corporate finance of matters of which he knew or of which he should have informed himself. ? Adhere to the council's financial regulations.

? Put in place effective internal controls for his department.

"Mr Riley did not have a key role in treasury management and his practical involvement in treasury management affairs was very much more limited than that of other senior officers," the report read. "In the committee's view, the gravity of the breaches did not warrant a more severe penalty than a reprimand." Neither Mr Thomas nor Mr Riley now work for NELC.

? ON THE WEB: Read the full reports into the disciplinary hearings online at www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk Council's investigation undertaken in 2009 A SPOKESMAN for North East Lincolnshire Council said a report into the investigation commissioned by the chief executive and looking at the respective roles, responsibilities and accountability of staff involved in the treasury management process was presented to members in 2009.

This was covered extensively in the Grimsby Telegraph, and it is only now that CIPFA has decided its course of action.

"Following internal investigations anda subsequent District Auditor''''s Public Interest Report, improvements to our AT Wednesday,March18,2009 Telephone:01472360360(newsdesk372236) TeleAds:242525 BYSHARONBAKER sharon.baker@gsmg.co.uk GRIMSBYTOWNNEEDSYOU! IT'S5IVEFEVERAT BLUNDELL PARK plus ReportonIcelandicbankONLY BROUGHT TO Voteforyourfavouritemarinerschant ONLY one anonymous council OFFICEr has been disciplined over the Pounds 7-million Icelandic bankingblunder.

THEOFFICER,alreadydealtwithinternally,ISthe only person to be held accountable FORNorth East Lincolnshire Council's disastrous dealings with two stricken Icelandic banks. This is revealed in a report tobediscussedbycouncillors tomorrow.

The report is the result of an internal investigationinto the fiasco, which has left Pounds 7-million of NELC's reserves at risk' following the collapse of Landsbanki and Kaupthing,Singer and Friedlander., last October.

ASREPORTED,despitewarningsfromfinance experts, NELC continued to invest inthe failing banks in the midst of the global financial crisis - including Pounds 4-million invested just days before the institutions folded. The investigation, led by chief executive Tony Hunter, has also called for a review of financial controls to prevent this happening again, and an external examination of the changes to ensure the best course taken.

MR Hunter is expected to report after it is presented meeting of the council's audit The results have renewed some opposition councillors, who leadersshouldbeheldLabour leader Coun Chris Shaw is the point of this report? It's whitewash.

"We don't know who has bee"and thereport doesn't tell us didn'tknowthreemonthsago." leader of the councilCoun Freitas has claimed he had no the ill- fat' investments.

GamblesFlorist 01472500866 When didyou lastbuysomeoneflowers?treasury management strategy, practice and activity, were implemented," the NELC spokesman added.

Mr Madin joined NELC in 2004, having worked for eight years as the deputy director of corporate finance at Cumbria County Council. Previously, he worked in Bermuda for 11 years as assistant financial secretary in the Ministry of Finance.

36p INSIDE He left Grimsby in 2009 to take up a new post with East Hertfordshire Council, from which he retired in 2011.

Visit our website www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk GRIMSBYTELEGRAPH Friday,January16,20097 Demandsmadeforbankingblunder investigationtobeexternal ''Conduct cash inquiry outside the council''By LUCY WOOD News Editor lucy.wood@gsmg.co.uk Grimsby Town Hall and (inset) Coun Ian Colquhoun said itwouldbe unacceptable for an inquiry into the missing money to take two months in the private sector.

A Full report has been ordered on how East Lindsey District Council came to havePounds 4-million invested in failedIcelandic banks.

Members of the Audit Committee are demanding the same level of information that has been supplied by NorthEast Lincolnshire council where Pounds 7-million is in similar jeopardy.

The spotlight will fall not - just on the decisions andTiming of finance chiefs at the MANBY-based authority butalso on the quality - and cost - of the advice provided by its advisers, a consultancy called sector.

Coun Brian O'Connor (Ind, SKEGNESs - Winthorpe) said:"There are a lot of questions that need answering. We need."to know what lessons have"been learned." the leader of the council, Coun Doreen Stephenson (Con, North Thoresby), claimedexplanations had been given atvarious previous meetings, butthis did not satisfy AuditCommittee chair Coun LyndaMackenzie (Con, Tetford).""We want the information to be collated, not cumulative,""she said.

Present at the meeting wasportfolio holder for finance,Coun Colin Davie (Con,Ingoldmells), who insisted he was "very comfortable" about what thereport mightConclude.

Once it has been compiled, the document will beconsidered at the nextcommittee meeting, with thepossibility that it will then be considered by full council.

Full report for East Lindsey DEMANDS for an external probe into the Pounds 7-million council banking blunder have been made.

AT a tense meeting of North East Lincolnshire council's audit committee yesterday, calls were made for EXTERNALinvestigators to carry out an inquiryinto w North East Lincolnshire Council - continued to invest millions ofpounds in stricken Icelandic banks just days before they collapsed.

Although an investigation will definitely go ahead, it will be conductedinternally - and when thereport ispublished, part will be confidential tosafeguard interests of officers involvedin actions leading tothe blunder.

though -- Lincolnshire County Council - which withdrew funds in time.

MANYOFTHESECOUNCILs,likeNELC,are trying to recoup investments throughthe Local Government Association,though it is unlikely the outcome will be known before the end of summer.the committee also heard how NELC has now adopted a safety-first policy onits cash reserves.

finance chief ALAN MADIN said Pounds 22-million was invested with BarclaysBank and four different building societies, Pounds 5- million with the Anglo-Irish Bank and Pounds 59-million with the Government Debt Management Office.

However, the rates of interest are negligible - one per cent or lower.

Because of the concerns over the fate of public money, two OFFICErs from the Audit Commission were present to monitor the debate .

As reported, a document published this week revealed the council invested a total of Pounds 7-million of "rainy day" cash into the failing banks Landsbanki and Kaupthing,Singer and Freidland - despite advice from paid experts.

The Audit Committee meeting at Grimsby Town Hall heard it could take two months for thereport to be completed. According to head of legal services ROBWALSH,itwouldbe "entirely proper" for any contents to be exempt if they risked compromising the rights of individuals or the council as a whole.

Coun Ian Colquhoun (Con, Waltham), a former sales manager, said: "That length of time wouldbe unacceptable in the private sector.

".If Pounds 7-million ofcompany money went missing, the managing director would demand the explanation to be instant." As reported, NELC was one of 120 local authorities nationally to lose money in the collapse, includi East Lindsey District Council - a West Lindsey District Council - , In tomorrow's Telegraph WE held an online debate with NELC's chief executive Tony Hunter to allow readers to ASKhim questions about the banking blunderdirectly - see tomorrow's paper for a reporton what happened.

".If Pounds 7-million ofcompany money went missing, the managing director would demand the explanation to be instant.

COUN IAN COLQUHOUN Classic Furniture Hangar 4 Binbrook Technical Park, Brookenby 01472 398280 photos for illustration purposes only KITCHEN BEDROOM OFFICE LIVING SPACE CHILDREN JANUARY SALE 10% OFF everything (not including special promotions) Seeourhugeshowroomforawideselection of Solid Wood furniture Visit our website www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk GRIMSBYTELEGRAPH Thursday,October9,20083 Nature or tourism - which is best for Cleethorpes.? Join the debate at www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk YOUR VOTE Do you support scrapping the tolls or reducing them to Pounds 1? SCRAPPING TOLLS REDUCETOLLSTOPounds 157% 43% YESTERDAY'S RESULT WHO HAS INVESTED WHAT - AN AT-A-GLANCE GUIDE North East Lincolnshire Council - Pounds 2.5-million invested with Landsbanki.

North Lincolnshire Council - Pounds 2-million invested with Landsbanki and Pounds 3.5-million with its subsidiary, Heritable.

East Lindsey District Council - Pounds 2-million in Heritable and Pounds 1-million in Glitnir.

West Lindsey District Council - The council has money invested with the Icelandic banks; details Were expected today.

Lincolnshire County Council - nil. Hull City Council - nil.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council - nil. Lincoln City Council - nil.

Council chiefs waiting for more details on stricken institution Taxpayers'Pounds 2.5mtied upinIcelandicbankBy CAROLINE WHEELER Parliamentary Correspondent caroline.wheeler@gsmg.co.uk ALandsbanki sign on the side of a car outside the Icelandic bank'sLondonoffices, at Beaufort House.Landsbanki, Iceland'''second largest bank, is now under the control of the Icelandic government...in anattempt to avoid afinancialcrisis. Inset, Mr Madin, who says a delay inrepayment ismanageable.

A TOTAL of Pounds 2.5-million of North East Lincolnshire taxpayers' money couldbe lost after it was invested in Landsbanki- the collapsed Icelandic-owned bank.

North East Lincolnshire Council has confirmed ithasthecashondepositwiththebank-outofatotalofPounds 90-million invested across a spread of institutions.It is among at least 20 local authorities throughout the UK - including East and West Lindsey - to havePounds cash invested in the stricken Icelandic institutions.While NELC does not have any deposits with Heritable, Landsbanki's UK operation, East Lindsey does - a total of Pounds 2- million, as well as Pounds 1-million in Glitnir. , Iceland's third largest bank, which has now beentaken into state ownership.

West Lindsey District Council - Tas confirmed it also has money tied up in the collapsed banks, and wasexpected to make a further announcement today.North Lincolnshire Council has Pounds 2-million invested with Landsbanki and Pounds 3.5-million in Heritable.The news comes as.Chancellor Alistair Darling faced nationwide calls to guarantee the huge sums oftaxpayers' cash they have invested in Landsbanki,Heritable and Kaupthing, its online arm.

ALAN MADIN, the executive director corporate services at NELC, said: "The council and our treasuryadvisers areawaiting further information on the supportfor Landisbanki from the Icelandic government, who are aware of the reputational risks shouldIceland's second largest bank default on foreignloans."It is clear that deposits due in the next few weeks are unlikely to be repaid on the due date but it is too soon to speculate on the size of any ultimate loss ofc ap it a l. "A delay inrepayment ismanageable. without impact on council services andthe council carries a level of self insurances that would help cushion a loss should any occur." THERE are more than 400 local authorities in the UK, each of which are required tomanage their cash investments prudently.They take independent advice and spread their cash holdings widely to reduce therisk of losing all their money - that is whythey are able to invest in foreigninstitution s.the Local Government Association(LGA), which represents councils inEngland and Wales, said some councils couldbe hit financially, although frontline services should not be affected by anylosses.LGA chairwoman Margaret Eaton said the UK Government had been entirelyresponsible in selecting Landsbanki as a"reputable bank with a solid credit rating".

Yesterday, the Government took steps to protect the nearly 500,000 UK consumerswho have money saved with Icelandicbanks.Chancellor Alistair Darling said no UK saver would lose money as a result of theclosure of internet bank Icesave if, asexpected, its parent company Landsbanki is declared in default.

But he insisted councils were not in the same situation as individual savers."I do know the position about local authorities - I think they're in a slightly different position in that they are more of an informed investor," he said.

"But this situation is evolving, we are t."trying to sort the matter out with theIcelandic government." Reducing risk of losing money More news News on this story as it breaks will appear throughout today on www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk and www.thisislouth.co.ukComing up in your Grimsby Telegraph - why businesses in North East Lincolnshire will be studying the impact of theIcelandic cash freeze.

".The council and ourtreasury advisers areawaiting further information on the supportfor Landisbanki from the Icelandic government...

ALAN MADIN A MILITARY exercise is underway to prepare for anational emergency.A number of Grimsby Telegraph. readers contacted the paper to ask why so many military aircraft were using a flight path over Grimsby andCaistor areas.

They described seeing unusual objects, includinghelicopters with Land Roversand landing craft suspendedfrom them.

An MoD spokesman said: "RAF Chinook helicopters aretaking part in a routinetraining exercisetransporting Land Rovers andother military equipment inpreparation for a nationalemergency or other contingency plan. Theaircraft are operating for aweek out of Kirton-in- Lindseya"and the exercise finishetomorrow." Nettleton resident Ann Turton said: "They were"carrying a boat yesterday.There were a lot of them." Militarytraining Value holidays by coach PRINCIPAL JOINING POINTS Barton, Brigg, Cleethorpes, Gainsborough, Grimsby. Lincoln& Scunthorpe BookingsHORNSBYTRAVEL & Enquiries:-Tel:- 01724 282255Visa/ Accessaccepted Alsobookat many local travel agents BLACKPOOL FESTIVE HOUSE PARTY Monday 17th Nov, 5 Days Pounds 179 4 nights dinner, bed & breakfast at The Savoy Hotel LONDON WEEKENDER 'JANUARY SALEs' Fri 16th Jan 2009 & Fri 23rd Jan 2009 3 Days Pounds 149 2 nights bed & breakfast at The Hilton Canary Wharf TASTE OF FRANCE Full day in FRANCE & Blue Water Shopper Sun 9 Nov & Sun 23 Nov, 3 Days Pounds 149 2 nights dinner, bed & breakfast at The Hilton Maidstone OSTEND CHRISTMAS MARKET Friday 5th December, 4 Days Pounds 169 3nightsdinner,bed&breakfastattheAdmiralHotel EASTER IN LONDON Fri10thApril2009,4DaysPounds 185 3 nights bed & breakfast at the Hilton Canary Wharf Hotel MOTHERS WEEKEND Saturday 21st March 2009, 2 Days Pounds 89 1 night dinner, bed & breakfast at the Hilton Hotel, Northampton THURSFORD SPACTACULAR Includes good tickets, 2 days / 1 night dinner, bed & breakfast from Pounds 105 Tue16thDec,Pounds 119 Thu18thDec,Pounds 119 Sat 20th Dec Pounds 105 Mon 22nd Dec Pounds 105 LONDON THEATRE 'OLIVER' Sat 14th February 2009, 2 Days Pounds 179 1 night bed & English breakfast at The Hilton Metropole Hotel Visit our website www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk GRIMSBYTELEGRAPH Friday,October10,20083 A BUS passenger was leftwith suspected face and backinjuries after a crash inImmingham. The woman was lifted out of the emergency exit on top of anumber 45 Stagecoach buswhen it was in collision witha Ford Fiesta at the junctionof Stallingborough Road andHabrough Road.

A second woman travelling.on the bus suffered asuspected broken leg.The male occupant of the car was tended to at the scene, while the women were takento Grimsby's Diana, Princessof Wales Hospital.

Pc Mark Tarttelin attended the scene at 5pm yesterday,with paramedics and firecrews.He said: "The bus wastravelling down Stallingborough Road towards Pelham Road when the carcame across, travelling downPelham Road and turning right into Habrough Road."Stagecoach was unavailable for comment.

Information to Humberside Police on 0845 6060 222.

Chat to our reporter live at Blundell Park Latest team news, text commentary and more at Grimsby TOWN v WYCOMBE Are the community wardens worth theirmoney? Join the debate at www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk YOUR VOTE Nature or tourism - which is best for Cleethorpes.? NATURE TOURISM 51% 49% YESTERDAY'S RESULT Authority reveals further Pounds 4.5m and police Pounds 5.57m in system Moremillions tiedupinbank crisis By ANDY EDGEWORTH andrew.edgeworth@gsmg.co.uk THE true cost of the impact of the credit crisis North East Lincolnshire Council - is coming to light. Asreported,NorthEastLincolnshireCouncilsaid it had Pounds 2.5-million of taxpayers' money invested indeposit at Landsbanki, the collapsed Icelandicowned bank.

Now NELC has revealed it has a further Pounds 4.5-million deposited in the UK-based Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander.Ltd (KFS). It has been put intoadministration by Chancellor Alistair Darling after its Icelandic parent company, Kaupthing, was takenover by Iceland's government.

And at 6pm yesterday, Humberside Police Authority confirmed it has investments of Pounds 5.57-million inthe Icelandic banking system - Pounds 1-million in Singerand Freidlander, a subsidiary of Kaupthing, andPounds 4.57-million in Heritable, a subsidiary of Landsbanki. The money is part of the Authority's long-term reserves and an official statement said: "There will be no immediate impact on front-line policing activities."NELC'S Pounds 7-million is out of a total of Pounds 90-millioninvested across a spread of institutions recommended by the Government.

Alan Madin, the council's executive director corporate services, said: "In terms of how this eventaffects the tax payer, it has no impact whatsoever inthe immediate sense.

"We need to take time to review the situation and if we do incur any losses we are confident we can solve."any problem through our self insurance provisionswe have in place." NELC is just one of 20 local authorities who have invested money in Iceland's failing banking system.But this has not stopped opposition leaders from questioning the council's actions, claiming they ignored advice given by Liberal Democrat DeputyLeader, Vince Cable MP.

Coun Chris Shaw (Labour, Sidney Sussex) hascalled on the leader of the council, Andrew DeFreitas, to tell the public what the situation isregarding the financial crisis.

Hesaid:"Wewanttheleaderofthecounciltohold a specialmeeting into why this has happened. Whydid the council not take the advice of the LiberalDemocrat deputy leader 10 months ago and with"drawtheirinvestment,andwhatwillbetheshortfallfor the tax payers?"A spokesperson for Mr Cable said: "Over the pastyear Mr Cable has made reference tothe poorfinancial state of Icelandic banks. While he has notreferred to specific cases, the warning has been"circulated. We have posed questions to parliamentconcerning investment in Icelandic banks." Lord Oakeshott, Liberal Democrat spokesperson fortheTreasuryandforWorkandPensions,toldtheGrimsby Telegraph.: "I put a series of tough questionstoparliamentinJuneandwasgivenequivocal"replies as to what the risks were for local Government institutions investing in Icelandic banks."At the time of going to press, NELC leader Coun Andrew de Freitas was unavailable for comment.

NORTH East Lincolnshire Council is not our region's only local authority affected bythe Icelandic credit crunch.

Both East and West Lindsey have lost money invested in the country's financiali nstitution East Lindsey District Council - has announced a total of Pounds 4-million worth oficelandic investments, while West Lindsey's total stands at Pounds 7-million.

A spokesperson for EDLC confirmed the council's investments were at risk, but saidit did not mean they were lost.

They said: "The council rigorously ."followed all due procedures, law andGovernment guidance in it' investments."The council's financial position is sound. We will continue to take measures to reducethe council's overall financial risk for both"revenue and capital spending until the current issues are resolved."West Lindsey's chief executive, Duncan Sharkey, said the situation was far fromclear.He said: "Governments, liquidators and compensators are all working on theproblem andthe Local Government Association is pressing the nationalGovernment to protect local authorities and council taxpayers' money in the same waythey have safeguarded private investments."It is unclear as tothe extent of th"potential losses, if any. This will become clearer as the situation unwinds."Elsewhere in the country, one of the worst hit authorities is Kent County Councilwhich was reported to have Pounds 50- millioninvested in Icelandic banks.

Other councils' investments 'at risk' A TANKER crashed into the roof of a petrol stationin Immingham yesterday.the driver was attempting to get under the roof at the Total garage in Stallingborough Road , but the top of the truck caught the canopy.

As the driver attempted to reverse out, part of the damaged roofing fell down.

The accident happened at about 4pm yesterday.Paul Huxford, who works at Imperial Ford which is-on the same court, said:"There was a loud crash -he didn't realise that he""couldn't get under. It took acouple of hours to clear."The station remained open throughout.

Tanker hits petrol station petrol10ak Thedamaged roof of the Total petrol station.

Top left, the council has Pounds 2.5m invested in Landsbanki, asreported yesterday(left). Above, ChrisShaw has called on Coun De Freitas to tell the public what the situation is.

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Figures released to councils across the UK by one of the country's top public sector accountancy firms - the Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) - reveal how much local authorities can hope to recoup. One local council has describe".the news as "the brightest picturefor some time".

The CIPFA, which sets standards for accountancy practice in localGovernment, has been working closely with administrators and accountants of the collapsed ndicbankstoestablishhowmuchmoneyandassetsareavailabletoreturntolocal authorities.

The news means NELC could seetwo-thirds of its Pounds 7-million returned, the majority of which wasinvested just days before the collapse - a decision branded by THEAudit Commission as "negligent". The CIPFA calculations mean NELC can hope to recover 95 per cent of the Pounds 2.5-million invested in Landsbanki butjust 50 per cent of the Pounds 4.5-million in Kaupping and Singer and Friedlander.(KSF)- with the first payments being made in about September.

Although, it has been stressed,there is still no guarantee.NELC chief executive Tony Hunter said: "We are encouraged that the council will soon be receiving some of the investmentsback with prospects of ultimatelyrecovering a significant proportionof the monies invested.

"We continue to work with the Local Government Associationto obtain and secure preferential creditor status.

"The council expects a high level of recovery of it' investment with LANDSBANKI (Pounds 2.5-million) but remains more cautious about the levels of money to be returned from its Pounds 4.5-million investment in KSF."The administration of this bankis a complex process and thereforethe council has adopted a prudentview in respect of potential recovery. "Forallthebanksitwilltaketimefor investments to be returnedthrough a series of stage payments,with the first interim payments as"sumed to be taking place from latesummer this year." NELC leader Coun Andrew De Freitas said: ."We will be delightedto get some of the money back but that does not excuse the fact that a mistake was made and we should nothavemadetheinvestmentinthe first place.

He said the indication was that they "should recover a substantial amount" but added that there was no guarantee.

As reported, one member of staff was disciplined but the nature of the council can hope for Pounds 4.6m return from 'negligent' investment Continued on page two North East Lincolnshire Council made investments with Landsbanki, Kaupping and Singer and Friedlander.

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