Councillors refer €3.5m WSW to value for money

Councillors refer €3.5m WSW to value for money

Donegal County Council has referred the controversial Whole System of Work to the council value for money committee.

At Monday’s regular meeting of Donegal County Council, Sinn Féin Cllr. Mick Quinn said the committee should take on the issue at their next meeting. In November, he had asked for a review of the work organisation system at the council’s January meeting.

“And again I would ask the executive, can you at least suggest to us whether we would ever be able to recoup this investment?” he said.

Cllr. Quinn said there was, “a general consensus that this money was a huge amount of money to spend and so little return from it”.

The council spent up to 3.5 million euro on WSW, under former County Manager Michael McLoone.

A regular audit of council finances brought the matter before councillors several years after work had begun, and further audits raised questions about the expenses allowed to the researchers hired to do the work.

Cllr. Quinn was dissatisfied with a report on WSW that the council executive presented on Monday, saying, “I certainly can’t say that I am any the wiser than when I came into this meeting early today.”

Cllr. Quinn, Fine Gael Cllr. Terence Slowey and other councillors said they had understood parts of the system were viable and could lead to money coming to the council from organisations who would employ the system. Councillors in 2010 approved a €90,000 test of the WSW system, but did not authorise any further spending for a formal assessment of system suitability and applicability.

“As far as I’m concerned, I expected that evaluation would have resulted in a report to elected members, but that never happened,” Cllr. Slowey said.