At a recent workshop of Wrexham Council on Commissioned services I posed the following question to a senior officer:
How many services do Wrexham Council commission from the third or not for profit sector and what is the total value?
The answer I had was, "About 180" and "With a value of about £8 million"
Now bearing in mind that this was a workshop on the subject I asked the question one would have expected an 'exact' response not an 'about' response, particularly as we are talking taxpayers money here.
But what makes this answer particularly revealing is the fact that it doesn't correspond to answers to TWO previous Freedom of Information requests on the same subject.
The first request can be found on the What Do They Know website which shows that in 2013/14 Wrexham Council commissioned services from 120 organisations with a total value of £6.9 million.
Another FOIA request asked similar questions but for financial year 2012/13, so is not strictly comparable but this figure SHOULD be the most accurate because this figure SHOULD be in the Council's Statement of Accounts for 2012/13 which have been audited and approved by the Wales Audit Office. This FOIA response showed that Wrexham Council had 195 funding agreements with a a total value of just over £7 million.
These anomalies pose a whole host of questions for our Audit Committee and the Wales Audit Office to ask before we approve the 2013/14 accounts in September this year.