The Council's defence is also potentially worthy of an award in itself:
"Whilst acknowledging that the full rigours of the procurement rules were not adhered to, the adhered to principle of obtaining value for money was of upmost importance"
Insofar as I can base my views on the Internal Auditors Report, I agree the need to professionalise their procurement and embark on a skills development programme but I personally don't think that will be suffice.
I suspect that what we are seeing is only the tip of the iceberg. The administrative processes for the receipt and opening of bids, and a sample review of tender evaluations were not included in the review. I suspect the inclusion of those areas within the audit could have revealed a minefield open to corruption and awards not made to the most economically advantageous tender. Nor did the review consider the effectiveness of contract management - can the constituents of Waterford really be confident that their Council are getting what they have paid for?
Why not give the Internal Auditor's Report a read and use it as a test of your own organisation - it would be great to hear from you if you can beat the benchmark of 78% non-compliance.