‘Fieldwork’ for first Sixfields loan investigation is nearly complete

David Cardoza, centre, was chairman of Northampton Town through 2013 and 2014.
David Cardoza, centre, was chairman of Northampton Town through 2013 and 2014.

Auditors investigating whether Northampton Borough Council followed the correct procedures in loaning Cobblers £10.25 million for a failed stadium development have nearly completed their “fieldwork”.

Pricewaterhousecooper was appointed to carry out an internal review of the borough’s handling of the loan in January, amid calls from the public to find out what happened to the money.

Internal auditors are coming to the end of their investigations into how Northampton Borough Council loaned millions to the Cobblers through 2013 and 2014.

Internal auditors are coming to the end of their investigations into how Northampton Borough Council loaned millions to the Cobblers through 2013 and 2014.

Since then a team of three investigators for the firm have scoured minutes of council meetings, emails and other relevant documents to “understand the rationale behind the agreement” to loan Northampton Town the funds through 2013 and 2014.

Its remit was to look at whether the council had an effective business case in place before deciding to grant the League Two side the funds.

The firm has also looked into the wording of the loan agreement itself and all other documents “produced to support the decision to make financing available to the football club”.

Papers released for next week’s audit committee show that PWC has nearly finished gathering information for its report.

They state that at present “the fieldwork is substantially complete”.

They add that once this phase is complete the report will be taken through an established internal audit “quality assurance and review process”.

It will then be presented to the audit committee, though the process could still take months yet.

The PWC team will work to ”identify any gaps and weaknesses in the processes” of the council in 2013 and 2014 and “consider “lessons learnt” to improve processes for future agreements of a similar nature.

The audit committee will take place in the Jeffrey Room of the Guildhall next Monday, June 27, at 6pm.