Sunday, 15 June 2014


I remember a friend once saying that they hated school so much that after they finished their 'O' levels they ceremoniously burned anything to do with their time at school, including their text books. I can't say that I hated all of my time as a councillor, it was a curates egg and parts of it was really excellent. But I am now faced with the same problem as my friend, what do I do with the vast amount of paper that I've collected over the past 4 years. My friend's conflagration was over forty years ago and we have now moved into the recycling era and I try to be as "green" as I can. So I'm now into filling my blue wheelie bin for the second time.

Fortunately, Harrow Councillors are to be issued with iPads and told that paper documents will no longer be issued. This will not only save trees it will save a huge amount of money on printing costs and allow our councillors to work a great deal more efficiently.  

Whilst sorting through the papers I found this letter that amused me. I was a member for a couple of years of the "GARM" committee at the council. GARM stands for Governance, Audit, & Risk Management. To improve my knowledge of the "Audit" part of the work of the committee I bought a booklet from CIPFA (The Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accounting). 

They say of themselves on their website:

"We also champion high performance in public services, translating our experience and insight into clear advice and practical services."

This is the organisation that advises, trains, and is an exemplar on all things associated with government finance and accountancy. As such one would expect that they would keep their own house in order and have the correct checks in place that would stop people from being billed incorrectly and to stop them from sending out a stream of unwarranted and unpleasant letters.

Sadly no...

Click on the letters in order to expand them and make them readable. 

I paid for the booklet over the phone at the time of ordering and the money was taken from my credit card before the booklet and the original invoice arrived. I would have thought that the big bold "paid with thanks" might have been a clue to Thomas their Finance Manager when he wrote the letter. I waited until I got the really shirty letter, which I do not appear to have kept and then allowed myself the amusement of telling him. 

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