Page last updated at 13:41 GMT, Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Public Accounts Committee

A former employee of the public spending watchdog who received a controversial severance payoff dismissed any wrongdoing on 23 March 2011.

Anthony Snow, a former Chief Operating Officer at the Wales Audit Office (WAO), received a £750,000 redundancy package which was in line with his entitlement under Civil Service rules.

The disgraced former Auditor General Jeremy Colman has faced claims he deliberately concealed the extent of Mr Snow's retirement package from colleagues.

Mr Snow told AMs Mr Colman agreed to a request that the head of human resources was not involved in his departure.

But he added he was "completely unaware" that Mr Colman had taken external media advice about the redundancy and that he assumed it was going to be made public.

Labour AM Alun Davies said he had been well compensated by the taxpayer, to which Mr Snow replied: "Yes, and if you look at the actual entitlement I had less than half my income and three months to try to find another job in difficult economic times.

"I've ended up finding another job, but where I have to stay away from home every week of the year. So I beg to differ."

Mr Colman was jailed after admitting possessing indecent images of children.

Asked whether he had any idea of Mr Colman's criminal activity, he said: "Absolutely not. None whatsoever."

Mr Snow said the cost of the training he received averaged about £8,500 a year.

Mr Millar asked about the "extraordinary sums of money" spent on training Mr Snow and said that "many people would regard it as quite lavish".

Asked whether he would like to apologise to the taxpayer, Mr Snow replied: "Those training courses I attended and in my view they represented value for money."

The committee will also received evidence on major transport projects and Techniums, the assembly government's business innovation centres.

It was decided in November 2010, that six of the ten Techniums would be axed.

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