Earlier this month the firm escaped complex legal action after the college's governing body decided against the move over 'shortcomings' in Deloittes' advice to the Widnes-based college. A spokesman confirmed the firm had resigned as auditor on Thursday 23 September but refused to comment further. Deloittes had recently questioned some of the comments made in the committee's report. Halton, one of England's largest further education colleges, claimed almost £14m more in grants from the government than was justifiable, costing the taxpayer £1.8m. The PAC blamed a 'weak' audit process and poor financial irregularities. These included extravagant spending - particularly on overseas trips by the principal and deputy principal - costing more than £200,000. 'Following discussions between Deloittes and the acting principal, director of finance and chairman of the audit committee of Halton, the firm has resigned as both internal and external auditor with immediate effect,' a Halton spokesman said. The resignations have been accepted and the Further Education Funding Council has been informed. The council now requires Halton to appoint new auditors at the 'earliest opportunity'.
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