TAXPAYERS are likely to be disappointed at the news that, under the noses of their bosses, junior civil servants committed £8million of public money that the council did not have to improving secondary schools.
Residents will be wondering how this happened, while senior figures at Harrow Civic Centre, such as elected members of the current Labour administration and their Conservative predecessors, as well as council officers, appear to be insulated from the damage because they were being fed reports that were either 'misleading' or wrong.
The fact that a select few individuals managed to get away with this for so long undetected will cast a shadow over the ability of the upper echelons of the authority to control those below them.
Questions need to be answered: Why did the culprits need to do it in the first place? What set of circumstances existed where ordering these jobs without permission became a regular practice?
Why did no one blow the whistle? What is the extent of the mismanagement? Why was there no strong monitoring of council employees?
Apart from the fact that the episode will damage residents' faith in their council, the ordinary taxpayers are the ultimate victims as the council's time and money is diverted to sort out this mess.
Two investigations into the fiasco alone cost £150,000, which could have been better spent in a time of economic hardship.