Displaying items by tag: possible corruption

Thursday, 17 March 2022 21:41

Concerns over Scotland’s £5bn Covid funds

A detailed analysis of where almost £5bn of Covid business funding went is not possible due to gaps in data, a spending watchdog has found. The Scottish government provided £4.4bn in grants and business rates relief between the start of the pandemic and October 2021. A further £375m was announced following the emergence of Omicron last winter. Although the speed and scale of the rollout helped to safeguard thousands of jobs and businesses, Audit Scotland was unable to determine where all the money ended up. It also identified gaps in information about how quickly applicants received funding. Auditor general Stephen Boyle said, ‘Knowing where the money went matters’. Information to enable wider analysis of how funding supported groups, such as female-owned businesses, is not available from centrally held data. The Accounts Commission said that councils' fraud arrangements are generally robust, but during the pandemic they were severely relied upon.

Published in British Isles