We take a break at Leaky Towers from the Wirralgate! scandal to bring you a belated update on that most worrisome of Council departments – the Department of Adult Social Services (DASS).
Although we concede that Director Graham Hotpotatoskins inherited a shitstorm of Biblical proportions it would appear that despite his bright,shiny,optimistic presentation to the nodding dog “Improvement” Board things don’t appear to be getting any less controversial…..
For example, a highly critical speech making serious allegations was delivered to Wirral Council Cabinet last week by Wirral Carehomes Association (WCA). Power Boy Pip asked Hotpotatoskins to either confirm or deny the claims of WCA. He chose to very carefully say that WCA should have brought these matters to his attention before the meeting (they claim they did , on several occasions) and went on to say that he was under the impression that his officers have acted lawfully. We understand Directors of WCA are now taking legal advice as to how to identify, prepare, and present evidence in a form that can be given to Merseyside police to instigate a criminal investigation.
Needless to say Power Boy Pip accepted Hotpotatoskins explanation without question (dearie,dearie me it’s like the past decade of disastrous DASS Directors never happened).
It was interesting to observe that immediately following the Council meeting, Hotpotatoskins approached the Directors of WCA in a desperate attempt to reopen lines of communication on the subject. However WCA are now and we quote ” taking legal advice from an expert in local government law on the benefit of attempting meaningful communication with DASS, against involving the Police and the Local Government Ombudsman based upon the evidence WCA have already gathered”.
Good luck with that WCA ! – you can scream maladministration and misfeasance in public office as much as you like but based on previous stories we’ve reported on the Police and the Local Government Ombudsman will be quickly tossing the file into their respective “Nothing To Do With Us Guv” trays.
Much more interesting to us at Leaky Towers is a recent cryptic communique we received about DASS and we’re requesting whether our source can elaborate further otherwise it remains an unfounded allegation made against a blameless Council Department:
- Imagine if DASS were to get a letter asking for one of its care providers to be paid into another account.
- Imagine that DASS have a few requests.
- Imagine that they don’t do any checks on the £100k payments, that actually the emails or requests were not signed.
- Imagine on pay day a number of care homes contact DASS saying they have not been paid.
- Imagine if DASS had paid lots of money to fraudsters and then had to pay it again to the care providers.
- That would be very poor safeguarding of the public purse as well as utter inept financial mismanagement.
Anyone care to help us out with this one? And could it have anything to do with one of those awkward Freedom of Information requests that seem to so vex the powers that be?.
Perhaps Mark Niblock, Wirral Council’s Acting Chief Infernal Auditor and a worthy successor to the Council’s previous Chief Infernal Auditor – David ” Audit report not fit for purpose” Garry, can clarify?
In the mean time we eagerly await the response to the above FOI request to find out whether DASS is the gift that keeps on giving (to all the wrong people) and whether Infernal Audit just let them keep right on doing it knowing that no awkward questions will ever be asked at Audit & Risk Management Committee……