An audit has identified concerns with the SIC’s fleet management – with a number of council drivers found to have records showing expired insurance and licences.
The internal auditor’s report, which was discussed by elected representatives today (Tuesday) identified 276 drivers whose records showed an expired SIC insurance application and 71 with an expired photocard driving licence.
Some of the drivers may not have been currently “active”, although their details were on a spreadsheet of drivers maintained by the council.
Auditor Duncan Black said the issues regarding fleet management were “the most significant” in his report.
He told the audit committee that drivers must not be permitted to enter council vehicles unless the council is assured they have the adequate licence.
“Otherwise the council, quite frankly, runs the risk of quite serious reputational and financial damage, if the worst happens and there’s an accident,” Mr Black added.
Mr Black, who is based at Glasgow City Council, highlighted the bin lorry disaster of 2014, which killed six people.
“You can imagine that a situation like that, if the driver was not insured, or had inappropriate licenses these are the kinds of really significant things that can be horrific if these matters are not fully in place,” he added.
Audit committee chairman Allison Duncan said he was “horrified” by some details of the report on fleet management.
“I just can’t understand why this wasn’t picked up much earlier,” he added.
“We have to be thankful that there was no accidents involved because of these failures.”
Mr Duncan said work had to be done “very quickly to resolve come of these very important issues”.
“I would hope that there would be some method in place so that this never ever has to happen again,” he added.
The auditor’s report found that the main controls were in place to maintain the council’s fleet of vehicles.
“The staff and management within the fleet unit, infrastructure services and insurance are well established and have considerable knowledge of the council and operations within their area,” it added.
Councillor Cecil Smith said that although the report could be seen as “negative” the council should “take comfort” in the fact that internal auditors were scrutinising departments with action plans in place to resolve the issues identified.