Waterford County Council has been criticised by he Local Government Auditor for deteriorating collection levels and for not properly maintaining a register of lands.

The auditor, Patrick J Healy said in his annual report said the local authority needed to apply appropriate resources to follow-up arrears and improve its reporting, monitoring and control procedures covering capital projects. It also needed to improve procurement procedures to comply with Dept of Finance Guidelines.

Mr ealy said the Council was continuing to carry a substantial deficit of €.9m in the revenue account and no provision was made in preparing the budget for 2009 for the elimination of this deficit. It should be acknowledged that the Council implemented major reductions to its budgeted expenditure in 2009.

In response the County er said the Council was aware of the deficit but 2009 was a difficult year financially for the Council. From an adopted budget of €0.661m the Council suffered significant reductions in all its income streams and as a result had to reduce its expenditure by €4.539m. There was also some unforeseen expenditure on retirement lump sum payments.

Dealing with fixed assets, the Auditor said he was not satisfied that the Council’s registers of lands and buildings have been properly maintained and he brought this to the attention of management over a number of years. The updating of these important registers needed to be prioritised.

See The Munster Express newspaper for full story.