A union member has alleged he was unfairly denied access to Ucatt’s expenses records

Construction union Ucatt has been hit by the prospect of another watchdog investigation, after a member alleged he had been unfairly denied access to its expenses records.

The Certification Officer (CO) for trade unions confirmed it is making enquiries after receiving an application to make a complaint about the union from construction worker Noel Kelly.

Kelly claims the union has denied him access to its leadership’s expenses records.

By law, members are entitled to view the accounting records of unions. A spokesperson for the CO said it judges on a case-by-case basis whether or not expenses records come under the scope of this entitlement.

The spokesperson said a provisional date for a hearing of the case has been suggested for 25 August, but this was not finalised.

George Guy, acting general secretary of UCATT, said: “We have availed Mr Kelly of the opportunity to come in and view the union’s accounts.”

The news comes just months after the CO ruled the union’s 2009 leadership election void, forcing its general secretary Alan Ritchie to stand down.

The CO ruling was made after it found ballot papers had been sent to less than half of Ucatt’s claimed membership of 130,000 workers.

In a further revelation it emerged that the union had claimed in its arguments to the CO that the 70,000 members who were not sent ballots were not in fact members - calling into question the union’s membership figures.

In June the union’s appeal against the CO’s decision was thrown out by the Employment Appeal Tribunal, on the grounds that it had “no reasonable prospect of success”.