Dorset Council has tightened up on its financial checks for duplicate payments after auditors spotted tens of thousands of pounds paid out in error – dating back to the former Dorset County Council.

Auditors say they have identified duplicate payments of £36,053 still to be recovered dating back to autumn 2018 although work is still ongoing to recover the money.

The auditors say they will be expanding their current regular data analysis work to enable Dorset Council to identify potential fraud and errors in its transactions.

Council treasurer Jim McManus says an new piece of software is now in use to help spot any errors and staffing numbers have returned to almost what they should be after a period of vacancies: “We are improving and we hope to get even better,” he said.