first_imgDONEGAL Independent deputy Thomas Pringle has accused county councillors of failing to properly scrutinise what happens on their councils.Deputy Pringle was speaking in the Dáil about the millions of euro paid to controversial consultants One Sigma Ltd by Donegal County Council.An independent report into how the consultants got work with the council was damning and found the council even picked up an expensive wine bill for stays at a top Letterkenny hotel. Deputy Pringle was speaking on a Private Members’ Bill which seeks to make county managers and senior staff more accountable to the Dáil.“This work (One Sigma) was not tendered, was not shown anywhere in the accounts, was not in the budget,” he said.“It was, in effect, a project of the county manager’s (Michael McLoone, now retired).“When this expenditure was revealed by the Local Government Audit Service, there was great reluctance on the part of the executive to deal with it. “I was the only councillor who raised it on the floor of the council meeting. There was consternation that I had the audacity to raise the matter.“Rather than justifying the expenditure or investigating how it was spent, the issue was personalised into a vendetta when this use of public monies should have been questioned,” he said.He said a small budget had been allocated by Donegal County Council for organisational development – work One Sigma was employed to do.Instead huge sums were spent (€3M).Deputy Pringle went on: “This kind of activity should not be allowed to continue and the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General and the Committee of Public Accounts should be enabled to scrutinise such expenditure so that this could not happen in the future. “There must be accountability, yet unfortunately, councillors cannot enforce it. The Local Government Audit Service can do its bit and provide reports but, unfortunately, councillors do not scrutinise them nor do they ask enough questions.“There is no real debate within local authorities as to the proper expenditure of public monies. This is where the system falls down.”Former county manager Michael McLoone has already defended the work of the consultants.He says their work was “valuable” and could help to save money for local authorities throughout the country. But a local government auditor questioned the value of the work that was done, claiming some of the information Donegal County Council paid €30,000 per month for was available for free on the internet.The council now plans to tender for outside counsultants to examine the worth of the work of One Sigma.TD PRINGLE SAYS DONEGAL COUNCILLORS FAILED TO QUESTION MONEY FOR CONSULTANTS was last modified: May 20th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:TD PRINGLE SAYS DONEGAL COUNCILLORS FAILED TO QUESTION MONEY FOR CONSULTANTSlast_img

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