THE Royal Armouries was today rebuked by the Whitehall spending watchdog for making “irregular” pay awards in breach of a Civil Service pay freeze.
The National Audit Office said it had “qualified” the accounts of the Armouries - which runs a museum in Leeds - after it failed to obtain proper authorisation for the payments.
One employee received two increases of £5,000 and £4,000 in 2011-12 while another employee was given a rise of £6,000.
The following year, a third employee received a £7,000 increase, breaching a 1% pay cap.
Amyas Morse, the head of the NAO, said: “There is insufficient evidence that due process was followed in awarding these pay increases, and insufficient documentation to support any exceptional circumstances to justify pay increases for the three individual members of staff.
“There is also no evidence that HM Treasury approval was obtained. In the absence of approval, these payments must be deemed to be irregular. I have therefore qualified my audit opinion on regularity.”
The Armouries - the UK’s national museum of arms and armour - is responsible for collections at the Tower of London, the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds and Fort Nelson in Hampshire.