Typing error saw resident overpaid £300,000 by Fife Council

Fife Council headquarters in Glenrothes
Fife Council headquarters in Glenrothes

A vulnerable young person was overpaid £300,000 after two members of staff failed to carry out checks.

In October, a resident was due to be paid £59.95 a month but a typing error meant £59,395 was paid out instead.

After an internal investigation Les Robertson, Head of Revenue and Commercial Services, Finance and Corporate Services at Fife Council, told councillors at the Standards and Audit committee on Thursday that it had been a “very embarrassing situation”.

He told the committee: “A very new junior member of staff made an error when inputting data into a spreadsheet.

“We have controls that mean it should have been checked.

“When inputting data, a confirmation box would have popped up to ask if the £59,000 was correct and they would have clicked confirm.

“Any payments over £5000 are then flagged up with a senior team member who then also failed to carry out the correct checks, resulting in this payment.

“It was a one off, but a fairly significant one off.”

Councillor Dave Dempsey said: “I don’t really know what to say to this. The question nags is there any other possibilities that may be lurking out there?”

Mr Robertson said that new checks had been put in place, so they wouldn’t expect this to happen again, however he added: “I can’t guarantee it wouldn’t happen again, but I can guarantee if it did, heads will roll.”