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June 06, 2011

  • News:  More UK Government Card Abuse 

    A recent report in the UK revealed officers in the Woking Borough Council (WBC) have spent more than 100,000pounds on credit cards in the past three years. Charges for hotel stays, flights to Germany and sports prints for a photo gallery are just some of the credit card purchases authorized by the Council officers since 2008. All transactions above 500pounds were detailed in a report published this week after details of credit card spending at 186 councils across Britain were obtained under the Freedom of Information legislation.

    The report submitted by the authority detailed a total of 112 credit card purchases for a total of 102,954pounds in various categories. The most money was spent on legal expenses and airline tickets with 3,579pounds paid to Surrey Magistrates and 2,591pounds for a 2008 RyanAir flight, which was the single most expensive purchase. Other credit card transactions included seven sports prints for a photo gallery in a refurbished gym, which were purchased in 2009 for 868pounds and additional purchases in 2009 included 1,190pounds spent in Game and Toys 'R' Us for playscheme supplies. Other spending included a stay at Holiday Inn in Woking totaling 521pounds, Argos, a high street retailer for 1,715pounds, and a membership of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives for 665pounds earlier this year.

    The charges were attributed to multiple people but 16 of the card purchases were attributed to individual cardholders including chief executive Ray Morgan, his deputy Douglas Spinks, and officers Sue Barham and Geoff McManus. The Councils strategic director, Steve Bonsor, explained the credit cards allow staff to carry out council business in an efficient and cost effective way to purchase goods and services necessary. 93 staff members have cards and Bonsor said the use of the cards streamlines the process for ordering. Card limits are determined by the nature of the cardholders potential purchases and all transactions are approved on a monthly basis by the cardholder and their manager.

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