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It has recently been reported that an official has received a substantial redundancy payment of between £400,000 and £800,000 to leave North Lanarkshire Council.
What is the First Minister’s view on the matter, given that that Labour authority suggests that it does not receive enough funding from her Government? What, if anything, can be done to stop such excessive payments to local authority officials to leave their posts early?
I understand that Audit Scotland is aware of the payment and that it will be looking at it as part of its annual audit work. That is only proper, given the apparent scale of the settlement. It is understandable that questions are being raised by Richard Lyle and by others.
Although the Scottish Government has no direct role in the matter, I am clear that there is a duty on all bodies to ensure that public money is spent appropriately and to be able to justify the decisions that they take. As well as Audit Scotland looking into the matter, I am sure that the Accounts Commission will also give it consideration.