Report Date

03/31/2023

Case Against

St Harmon Community Council

Subject

Duty to uphold the law

Case Reference Number

202106161

Outcome

Referred to the Adjudication Panel for Wales

The Ombudsman‚Äôs office received a complaint that a former member (‚Äúthe¬†Former Member‚ÄĚ) of St Harmon Community Council (‚Äúthe Council‚ÄĚ) had breached the Code of Conduct.¬† It was alleged that the Former¬†Member had provided false information to Audit Wales.

The investigation considered whether the Former Member failed to comply with the following provisions of the Code of Conduct:

  • 6(1)(a) ‚Äď Members must not conduct themselves in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing their office or authority into disrepute.
  • 7(a) ‚Äď Members must not in their official capacity or otherwise, use or attempt to use their position improperly to confer on or secure for themselves, or any other person, an advantage or create or avoid for themselves, or any other person, a disadvantage.

The investigation considered documentary evidence received from Audit Wales and obtained a witness account from a former Clerk to the Council.  The Former Member was interviewed and denied that he had provided Audit Wales with false information.

The investigation found that the Former Member’s conduct was suggestive of a breach of paragraphs 6(1)(a) and 7(a) of the Code of Conduct.

The report on the investigation was referred to the President of the Adjudication Panel for Wales for adjudication by a tribunal.

The Tribunal concluded that the Former Member had breached paragraphs 6(1)(a) and 7(a) of the Code of Conduct by providing misleading information to Audit Wales.  Accordingly, the Tribunal decided that the

Former Member should be disqualified for 15 months from being or becoming a member of the authority or of any other relevant authority.