Council slow to

collect its debts

Accountants have raised “significant concerns” at the length of time taken by Birmingham City Council to collect the money it is owed.

A report by the internal audit team criticises unacceptable delays between services being delivered by the council and invoices being issued.

The problem is partly put down to incompatibility between the new £140 million Voyager computer programme and existing computer systems.

When Voyager was introduced a year ago by Capita-led Service Birmingham, a backlog of 30,000 unpaid invoices to firms supplying the council with goods quickly built up. Some suppliers threatened the council with bailiffs in order to get money owed.

More than 95 per cent of bills are being paid on time now, but the latest report sheds light on difficulties the council has in collecting its debts.