COUNCILLORS want the Welsh Government to be asked why did they not share concerns they had about construction firm Dawnus with Powys County Council?

Audit committee chairman, Cllr John Morris (Liberal Democrat – Crickhowell), has said that he would take up the point with chief executive Dr Caroline Turner soon.

The committee was discussing a report by vice-chairman and independent member John Brautigam.

He has looked into the demise of both Dawnus and Jistcourt construction firms.

Both companies went bust earlier this year leaving a number of building projects for Powys County Council (PCC) in limbo.

One of the concerns Mr Brautigam had uncovered is that the Welsh Government had pumped money into Dawnus but had kept quiet that it was in a poor financial state.

He said that the Welsh Government had based its decision to keep quiet. on the need for commercial confidentiality.

Cllr Gwynfor Thomas, (Conservative – Llansantffraid), said: “I’m unhappy as we could have stopped this happening if we had been notified of the situation.”

“It’s given us a bad reputation and there’s a financial obligation. What representations have we made to Welsh Government about this?”

Chairman Cllr Morris asked head of finance, Jane Thomas, if there had been any discussions with the Welsh Government?

“I personally haven't had any,” answered Ms Thomas.

Cllr Morris added: “I’m happy to have a conversation with the chief executive about this and make some inquiries. It is a very valid point we have been put in an invidious position.”

In his report, Mr Brautigam had welcomed the 'Assessing and Monitoring the Economic and Financial Standing of Suppliers,' framework recently published by the Welsh Government over the summer.

He believed that the document goes part of the way to addressing the procurement issues that led PCC to appointing both Dawnus and Jistcourt.

The committee hoped that its contents would be adopted in future contract evaluation and procurement processes.

In March, when Dawnus went bust, a 360-pupil English-medium primary school in Welshpool was partly built.

It had been expected that the staff and pupils would move there for this new school year, but the delay will take at least a year as PCC goes through a new tendering process.

The last two projects, a Welsh-medium school in Welshpool and a new building for an all-through primary and secondary school in Machynlleth, are still at the planning stage.

Jistcourt were supposed to build 26 flats in the middle of Newtown at the former bowling green.

They went into administration at the end of June.