JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

City of Vincent's million-dollar budget bungle

Date

Brendan Foster

The City of Vincent must correct a $3.2 million budget bungle.

The City of Vincent must correct a $3.2 million budget bungle.

The Department of Local Government wants the City of Vincent to explain a bureaucratic bungle which has seen a $3.2 million deficit in its recent budget.

In the city’s 2014-15 budget, staffers incorrectly reported a $3,199,799 deficit as surplus.

If not corrected the bungle could result in an estimated deficit of $6,339,558 by 30 June 2015.

The Department of Local Government has demanded the council submit a report to them by August 26 with the view of achieving a balanced budget by June 30, 2015.

New Vincent CEO Len Kosova presented a late item to council on Tuesday night to try and address the embarrassing error.

“The $6.4 million revised budget deficit must be addressed through cost savings in the city’s operating and capital budgets,” he wrote.

“This will impact the city’s 2014/15 capital works program and may impact some of the city services and initiatives.

“There is a risk that some core services and programs may be affected by these budget measures.”

 Mr Kosova said he was "surprised" and "disappointed" by the accounting error.

"Our primary concern is to our council, community and admistration who expect we are accurate with our data entry," he told WAtoday.

"We need to get more reliable and accurate in our accounting.

"From now on I would like to see more regular reporting to council on budget and expenditure matters."

Mr Kosova said it was too early to say whether director of finance Mike Rootsey, who was acting CEO when he drew up the budget, would be reprimanded or lose his job over the error. Mr Rootsey is currently overseas.

"I'm not going to jump to any conclusions until I have a conversation with him and have a better understanding of the circumstances," he said.

14 comments so far

  • What a stuffup...defies belief....a number of people would have to have checked it out.
    Current Mayor took over from Alannah MacTiernan of the Labour Party.....only months ago.he must have believed Alannah's numbers?......good to see things are consisitent with Labour.....one stuff up after another. But look be fair dont blame labour its the current ceo and mayors watch.

    Commenter
    steve
    Location
    mullaloo beach
    Date and time
    August 14, 2014, 6:01PM
    • Have you looked under the bed lately? May be some Reds under there!

      The budget was approved on 1/7/14, well after MacTiernan was Mayor. And I fail to see even if she was in office, how you can connect that to Labor.

      Commenter
      bio logical
      Location
      perth
      Date and time
      August 14, 2014, 6:46PM
    • you are so naive , what political party does the mayor of Vincent have a affiliation with , the labor party , who actively campaigned for Hon Alannah Mactieran Mp , Federal Labor member for Perth at the last election , the mayor of Vincent , John Carey . So Steve is on the money . Another example of Labor's inability to spend within it means & incompetence in general . Also the mayor John Carey , has been a councillor for a number of years, should have been aware of Vincent's terrible budgetary position & taken steps once elected to address these matters , instead choose too going on a spending spree, in typical Labor party fashion .

      Commenter
      berto101
      Location
      Leederville
      Date and time
      August 15, 2014, 12:34AM
  • Just wonder how much they've spent on the 6 month redevelopment of the tiny little park down the railway station end of Oxford St? Must have cost a fortune for very little gain.

    Commenter
    TJ
    Date and time
    August 14, 2014, 6:11PM
    • According to the last council minutes, progress payments claims of $663k on the Oxford St Reserve Redevelopment, which makes up 4 progress claims had been received by June. So, to that $663k you can add progress payments for a lot of work completed in July and this month - all money it turns out Vincent didn't have!!! Head have to roll for this.

      Commenter
      John Citizen
      Location
      Mount Hawthorn
      Date and time
      August 14, 2014, 9:38PM
  • I hope this does not affect the plans to implement cycling paths and facilities in Vincent.

    Commenter
    ant
    Location
    perth
    Date and time
    August 14, 2014, 7:27PM
    • I hope it does!

      Commenter
      Ron Ratepayer
      Location
      North Perth
      Date and time
      August 14, 2014, 11:08PM
  • Hmmm... as a Vincent ratepayer I thought I would check the numbers. There seems to be more errors being made by the reporter and the City of Vincent. Which goes to show, not checking your numbers can have serious ramifications!

    In the article: the estimated deficit should be $6,399,558.

    COV: Errors on page 73 of the late council agenda item 12/08/14.
    Item (a). This should read reducing the deficit to nil (balancing the budget should only refer to the operating budget for the current year).
    Item (c). This should read that $29,939,048 is required to be raised by rates, which is an amount $3,060,027 more than budgeted.
    Seems like the problem may not be with Mike Rootsey but the incompetent person who keeps giving the wrong numbers to the CEO.

    Commenter
    bio logical
    Location
    perth
    Date and time
    August 14, 2014, 8:25PM
    • Hmm, the financial year already commenced six weeks ago. What's a budget doing on the table now?

      It is the usually the responsibility of the Director of Finance, through the CEO, to produce the Budget. The actual work on the document probably commenced last December. During the following months the departments will have been negotiating for resources. We'd expect the elected members (Councillors) to have been part of the process to.

      Before presentation surely the elected members of every Council would read the document carefully, perhaps even across several draft versions. Ability to comprehend financial documents should be a core skill in their role. In the equivalent corporate role, as Board members, the courts have shown again and again that all members are responsible for financial oversight. It is not good enough to just defer to the accountant or the one member with financial training. Everyone carries responsibility, individually and collectively. This is what good governance is all about.

      There's a lot to being a Councillor.

      Here's one of my blogs on the topic http://comobeach.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/see-you-in-cartoon-court.html

      Commenter
      Peter Best
      Location
      South Perth
      Date and time
      August 14, 2014, 9:10PM
      • Complete amateur hour by the Finance Dept of the City of Vincent. To recoup $6.4m from rates revenue they'd need to raise rates by 20%, which would be diabolical. Capital works budgeted for 14/15 such as the new bike paths $2m+, Braithwaite Pk nature playground $500k+ and other 'nice to have's', but not 'essential' expenditure simply should be shelved until they're able to be afforded. This might be embarrassing for John Carey and his team to do, however it's the only prudent option.

        Commenter
        John Citizen
        Location
        Mt Hawthorn
        Date and time
        August 14, 2014, 9:10PM

        More comments

        Make a comment

        You are logged in as [Logout]

        All information entered below may be published.

        Error: Please enter your screen name.

        Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

        Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

        Error: Please enter your comment.

        Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

        Post to

        You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

        Thank you

        Your comment has been submitted for approval.

        Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

        Featured advertisers