Council’s spending over £500 published

Saturday October 5th 2019

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Written by Midlothian View Editor, Phil Bowen

Midlothian Council has become the first council in Scotland to publish details of payments it makes which are more than £500.

Local authorities in England are required to publish their expenditure under the Local Government Transparency Code 2015, however there is no legislation in Scotland.

In publishing the local authority’s available information of spending of over £500 the move will give local people the information they need to ask questions of how the council is managing the services they provide and their interest in how the Council manages the assets they hold.

The council has published details of its total spending to 779 VAT registered suppliers so far this financial year (since 1st April 2019) of over £65 million.

Conservative Councillor Andrew Hardie, whose motion in December 2018 requested that this information be published, said:

“It is great that Midlothian is leading the way in Scotland, as the first council in Scotland to published this spending online, with a new level of transparency not seen in any other council in Scotland.

“I hope members of the public are willing to go and look at this information and see what the council is spending money on. If they have any concerns then they can raise this with elected members or council officers.”

Midlothian Council Leader, Councillor Derek Milligan said:

“As a public body we need our spending to be easily scrutinised.

“This will help us be more transparent and accountable to local people while avoiding waste.”

To comply with GDPR, suppliers and other personal information are not identified. This includes payments made to staff, sensitive personal information, such as individual foster carer payments; any payments which may reveal details about an individual and internal charges between different parts of the council.

Details of individual payments of over £500 made to VAT registered suppliers of Midlothian Council since 1st April 2019, totalling over £65,386,236 can be found HERE in both PDF and Excel formats.

Midlothian View has created an Excel version collated by supplier which can be DOWNLOADED HERE.

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