Desperately seeking SHAM

Smalltown and Dullbridge (SaD) Town Council has found itself having to advertise again to try to fill the Smalltown Head of Accounts and Malfeasance (SHAM) position, which has now been vacant for almost a year after the previous incumbent left the role.

The previous attempt in January to recruit a new SHAM failed to attract a suitable candidate and, if this second attempt does prove successful, then by the time the position is actually filled it will be well over a year since SaDTC has had a suitably qualified person undertaking the role.

The recent interim Audit Report and Sums Examination, presented to SaD Town Council in January, and covering the first six months of the 2022/23 financial period identified several areas of concern including:-

  • The lack of any ability to calculate the amount of interest gained on council investments and bank accounts, with staff saying “We haven’t got a clue whether our bank account is paying a decent level of interest nor do we know if we could get a better return on our savings elsewhere. What we really need is some financial advice. We can’t be expected to understand all this technical stuff.”
  • A failure to raise invoices for services provided and a lack of chasing up debts was also noted, with staff defending their results by saying “We were aware that we have a long list of people and companies who haven’t paid us for services we’ve provided, so the easiest way to stop adding to that problem was to stop sending out invoices in the first place. That cuts down on the amount of work needed to get people to pay up.”
  • The exam board also raised questions about the amount of petty cash held in the office cash box, which had been frittered away without approval or details of what it had been spent on. Council staff confirmed that from December 2022 office petty cash would cease. However, anyone concerned that this could lead to a lack of tea and biscuits need have no fear, as SaDTC has a debit card to cover this expenditure. However, the exam board noted that the card still bears the name of the previous Smalltown Head of Accounts and Malfeasance.

The job advertisement once again describes the position as ‘challenging‘, which, given that it is likely that even more errors have been made since the Interim ARSE, it undoubtedly is.

SaDTC describes itself as being responsible for the Hayloft Road Palace Retirement Home for Bemused and Bewildered BeFuddled Party ex-Teachers -(and Others), three cemetaries, and is still insisting that the White Elephant Enclosure is ‘thriving‘. Whilst people do tend to exaggerate their abilities on their Curriculum Vitaes, this is the first time SomersetClive has ever seen a potential employer do the same.

The successful applicant will be expected to know how to add up and subtract, have excellent attention to detail and be able to complete their homework on time. In what is being described as a ‘novel‘ approach for SaDTC the vacancy also details that ‘honesty and integrity are essential qualities‘.

The previous deadline of January 27th has now been changed to 24th April and, should anyone actually apply this time, interviews will take place from 1st May.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *