Fears as Gloucester City Council accounts monitoring outsourced to India
Sensitive council data is being sent to India sparking fears of a global security breach.
Councillors have called for assurances that Gloucester City Council accounting data being sent to auditors in India will not lead to a disastrous leak of information.
Tardy accounts with a string of errors were filed to auditors KPMG months late.
The firm is charging the council £139,000 to monitor the next set of accounts – costing taxpayers £55,000 more than they needed to pay out.
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But they admitted that they use workers in India as a cost-cutting exercise.
Councillor Fred Wood (C, Quedgeley Fieldcourt) said: "People are going to come and ask 'what about our data'. I don't have an issue with it but we need to have a defence against this."
KPMG bosses allayed fears at the city council's audit committee on Monday night.
Darren Gilbert, director at KPMG, said: "We use a team in India to do some basic checks. It is one of those things that make audit process as cost effective as possible.
"It is more secure than our UK teams. It is absolute lock down when it comes to the information. They use secure UK based servers."
The extra costs footed because of the city council's late filing of its accounts has also been criticised.
Robert Oxley, of the TaxPayers' Alliance said: "It's appalling that the council have squandered so much taxpayers' money by failing to keep its records in order.
"This costly delay is not only entirely avoidable, it is also deeply damaging."