Wait for details of £1m Dundee council fraud ‘unacceptable’

Fraudster Mark Conway and, right, Fraser Macpherson
Fraudster Mark Conway and, right, Fraser Macpherson

It will be November before details of the IT scam in which £1 million was embezzled from Dundee City Council will be made available to councillors.

IT worker Mark Conway, 52, was jailed for five years and four months after admitting defrauding the local authority of £1,065,085 between August 2009 and May 2016.

A judge at the High Court in Glasgow told Conway, from Brechin, he had committed a “serious breach of trust”.

The council said that following the discovery of Conway’s crime, it had “taken action to prevent a fraud of this type from happening again in the future”.

Mark Conway

However, councillors have been told it will be months before they are given details on the case and what steps the council has taken to prevent a repeat.

Liberal Democrat West End councillor Fraser Macpherson said it is “unacceptable” members have to wait so long.

Gregory Colgan, the council’s executive director of corporate services, wrote to Mr Macpherson to say councillors will be briefed about the crime in November and a full report will go before the scrutiny committee in December, even though the committee will be meeting at the end of this month.

Fraser Macpherson

Mr Macpherson said: “This was a sophisticated fraud involving a very significant level of public funds.

“While I accept a final report on the details of the implementation of an action plan may take some weeks, to have no update on the case to councillors until November is simply not acceptable.

“It’s important that a briefing and initial report is given very soon, giving reassurance on officers’ response to the case and actions taken by officers to avoid any repeat occurring in the future.

“I have written to the chief executive making it clear the timescales for reporting are not acceptable.

“The council must swiftly move to reassure its elected members and the public.”

Conway claimed he had stolen the money to pay off gambling debts.

He was able to pay money from the council into his own bank accounts rather than those of suppliers to the local authority.

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