Indemnity for Libel Counterclaim - Carmarthenshire County Council - Report in the Public Interest

This report has been issued in the public interest under section 22 of the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004 (the 2004 Act). The 2004 Act requires me to consider whether, in the public interest, I should make a report on any matter which comes to my notice in the course of the audit, in order for it to be considered by the audited body or to be brought to the attention of the public.

I have issued this report to draw the public’s attention to a decision Carmarthenshire County Council (the Council) made to indemnify the Chief executive in respect of the costs of a libel counterclaim that, in my view, it was not authorised under statute to make. There were also inadequacies in the processes adopted by the Council when making this decision. I believe it is important that the public has a full and proper awareness of the events concerning the Council. I also consider it appropriate to give the Council an opportunity to explain the steps it has taken to improve arrangements and to ensure that the risk of such failures recurring is reduced to a minimum.

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