Corruption blamed on council's deficiencies

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The Independent Online
LAMBETH council's chief executive last night accepted some of the blame for allowing corruption and malpractice that cost the south London borough pounds 10m over the past 10 years.

Herman Ouseley told a meeting of the policy and resources committee that a great deal had been done to stop the rot by abolishing departments and restructuring administration.

Mr Ouseley said: 'It is the reconstruction which goes to the heart of identifying the historical and continuing divisions. That initiative was right to do.

'It has exposed those corporate deficiencies and is to an extent ample justification in itself. The criticisms, allegations and failures are due in my view, in some way, to the corporate failings of the organisation through the legal, finance and top management, including myself.'

Mr Ouseley and other senior council officers involved in exposing the scandal have received threats, which are now being investigated by police.

The crowded council chamber heard the Labour group demand additional information held by various departments before they were prepared to start the council meeting proper.

They were told the files were more than six feet high, but the council leader, Stephen Whalley, agreed to supply the reports.