By Graeme Murray
Council chiefs have been forced to introduce a new checking system after almost £300,000 was deposited into a member of the public’s account in error.
The person was supposed to receive weekly payments of £59.95 per week, but instead they received £59,995 due to a typing mistake.
Recurring payments happened on five occasions during July and August which amounted to £298,000.
The overpayment was discovered during budget monitoring by finance staff.
Most of the cash has been recovered by the authority, but more than £12,000 has yet to be recovered.
The error was discovered on August 29 and an investigation was launched and the recipient has been asked to repay the money in instalments.
Recommendations have since been made to tighten up the system and prevent it happening again.
Jacqueline Armitage, service manager at Fife Council said: “Unfortunately a keying error resulted in the wrong payment being issued and, as it was set up as an automatically recurring payment, multiple payments were made.
“The incorrect recurring payment should have been picked up as part of our normal checks, so we’ve now put an additional reporting mechanism in place to create a dual-checking system.
“We retrieved the majority of the funds and have agreed a repayment plan for the outstanding amount.”