A COUNCIL has been condemned after it emerged the authority was not planning to tell elected councillors for 11 months about the findings of a highly critical report stating it was failing to be sufficiently open with residents.

A report sent by auditors Veritau to North Yorkshire County Council last November – which has been exposed by a Freedom of Information Act request – states the authority had published correct details on three of the Transparency Code’s 13 sections.

The Government launched the code in 2015, and made it a legal requirement for councils to publish key details, such as major purchases, to make it easier for residents to contribute to the local decision-making process.

The audit revealed no information had been published in six of the 13 sections and four sections had out of date data.

Auditors concluded “major improvements” were needed.

In an email to transparency campaigners, Neil Irving, the council’s assistant director of policy, said the report’s findings would be presented to councillors in October.

Independent councillor Stuart Parsons criticised the delay in publishing the report and said members should be allowed to scrutinise the council to ensure it was meeting its legal requirements.

He said: “This just goes to show how lacking in transparency and accountability the county council is.”

A Transparency International UK spokesman said it hoped the authority’s members “ensure the recommendations are followed and take the opportunity to embrace a culture of openness in local government in North Yorkshire”.

A council spokeswoman said it would be up-to-date and compliant with the code by July 1. She added: “We are committed to transparent and open government and for this reason we have created an open data site datanorthyorkshire.org which is a platform for our own data, but which we also make available for the use of other public organisations.”