Transport boss at Shire Hall discovers his signature used four times without his knowledge or consent on grant applications by FACT

Jo Philpott from FACT.

Jo Philpott from FACT. - Credit: Archant

A community transport boss at Cambridgeshire County Council learnt that his signature appeared four times on grant applications made by FACT without his knowledge or consent, says the PKF report into FACT.

Gavin Moulton, the council’s community transport officer, was questioned by PKF investigators about his signature on the applications to Fenland District Council for tens of thousands of pounds to buy new mini buses.

Mr Moulton is responsible for all Permit 19 authorisations across Cambridgeshire and as part of that role is an independent advisor at FACT’s annual meeting.

But Freedom of Information requests to Fenland Council revealed that between 2010 and 2012 his name was used to sign the applications in a capacity of ‘trustee declaration’.

Other trustee names were on the document – identical copies of which were used on four different applications, according to the PKF report.

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“This document has been submitted to Fenland Council without the trustees being aware that it has been inserted into the application pack,” says PKF. “This has been confirmed with the manager (Jo Philpott).”

PKF says: “What was of concern was that a signature believed to be that of the community transport officer is present on an application with the reference number 5004395. Inquiries to try and identify what the application number relates to have been unsuccessful.”

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PKF says when Ms Philpott was questioned about the reference number she was “unable to assist. The application must have been at least five years ago due to the application dates from which the forms were extracted”.

Mr Moulton told the inquiry team “that he believed the signature was his, but was concerned that it had been used on four separate applications for funding without his knowledge. “

After viewing it he could fully understand the concerns raised by the Cambridgeshire Bus, Coach and Taxi Drivers Association, says PKF, and why “they had come to the conclusion that he had been acting as a trustee.

“He said he was never asked by FACT whether they had his permission to use the form and said he had no knowledge that it had been used for funding applications. “He indicated that if FACT had made such a request he would not have given his permission.”

Mr Moulton told investigators that “although the signature appeared to be his, he did not recall signing the document in the form shown to him and questioned whether someone had copied and pasted one document into another.

“The original of the document has never been found and therefore this is a possibility.”

PKF concluded that annual returns from FACT showing Mr Moulton as an executive committee member were misleading “as he has no decision making capacity”.

PKF say they cannot explain how his name and signature appeared on the application forms.

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