Monday, June 16, 2008

Red Faced Council Got Its Sums Wrong

Article in the Press and Journal on 10 June 2008 by Jamie Bachan.

Aberdeenshire Council have had to apologise after it released figures in response to a freedom of information request were dramatically wide of the mark. When asked to provide details of the amount spent on agency and temporary workers in the last financial year they came up with a figure of just over £27.3million.

The actual figure was £4,036,922. The council said "This was down to human error where the cumulative figures for each month were added together, rather than individual monthly figures."

This sounds like another spreadsheet error, which is ironic as I only posted an article on this very subject about a week ago.

On receiving the first figure the GMB union, who asked for the information, descirbed it as a “horrific abuse of the public purse.” I wonder how many times the incorrect figure will be quoted in years to come by people looking for evidence of overspending by doing a quick search of the internet.

Andy Brazier

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