CRITICISM OF EXPENSES Cllr Frank Durcan.
Durcan to issue complaint against County Manager
Controversial Mayo Cllr Frank Durcan is to this week issue a complaint to the Standards in Public Office Commission, the Department of Finance and the Department of the Environment against Mayo County Manager Peter Hynes.
At last week’s meeting of Mayo County Council Cllr Durcan made a series of criticisms about the expenses claims that Mr Hynes had filed at County Manager and, previously, as Westport Town Manager.
Cllr Durcan had submitted a number of requests under the Freedom of Information Act, including information on expenses claimed by Mr Hynes.
He made criticisms of a number of the expenses submitted by Mr Hynes and also lashed out at the fact that some of the expenses were unvouched. He also claimed that on a number of occasions Mr Hynes drove from Foxford to Westport, where he was based as Town Manager, to turn around and drive straight back to Castlebar for a meeting at 9am.
“It is now ten years since there was any documentary evidence for expenses claimed by him,” Durcan told The Mayo News. “He admitted it too, telling a girl in the council who questioned some expenses in 2009 that he hadn’t submitted vouched expenses in seven years. It shows a total lack of accountability and transparency when dealing with public money.”
Cllr Durcan questioned how the council could prosecute for non-payment of the household charge tax if they were allowing unvouched expenses. He also said he was ‘considering’ making a complaint to Gardaí on the matter.
Cllr Durcan did refer to a memo by Mr Hynes which said his formatted claims were available for audit purposes but not for Freedom of Information requests.
At last Monday’s meeting Mr Hynes refuted the allegations and said he would take counsel on the matter. He said he would ‘meet’ any charge Cllr Durcan made. When contacted by The Mayo News last night, Mr Hynes said he had no further comment to make.