Alleged Refusal has Unley Drawn into Crackdown on Credit Cards

In the wake of the reported goings on at the City of Onkaparinga the State Auditor General has advised of a Crackdown on Credit Cards. He will be investigating the use of credit cards in Local Government.


If what has happened at the City of Onkaparinga is anything to go by this is an appropriate action by the Auditor General. I look forward to the results of his investigation.

As you would expect the media has jumped on this Crackdown on Credit Cards. They have suggested that the City of Unley was one of three councils who refused to respond to a series of questions put to all Councils.

That is not correct. We did respond.  Our reply was not received prior to their own tight deadline. They therefore reported as a refusal to answer. The journalist has promised to correct this on the electronic version of the storey.

Unley has a written policy on the use of cards. A policy labelled the Corporate Purchase Card Policy. Council issues cards to officers who are regularly exposed to making minor purchases.

Cards v Petty Cash

As with all organisations and/or businesses, Councils in the past used a petty cash system to process minor purchases.

The use of cards has been identified as a way of transacting in a more efficient manner. Rather than use the old-fashioned messy petty cash system. It is also a more transparent method of transacting than a petty cash system.


Our Policy

Our policy is quite explicit in that:

Each Card has a monthly limit imposed on it. It is for official business only. The policy does not allow private purchases under any circumstance.  Nor does it permit cash advances.

A valid tax invoice must be issued with each purchase, clearly stipulating what the purchase was for and any GST applicable.

Is that not the way it should be?



  1. Gail Stead   •  

    Valid is the point!
    What people are up in arms about, is what council’s deem is a valid purchase and use of the money and what ratepayers consider to be the same Valid reason, they dont always match,no matter how much the justification is made.

    • Don Palmer   •     Author

      The Auditor General’s investigation will identify such as you are concerned about Gail. That said, he may well have a different verdict as to what is legitimate than some ratepayers.

  2. Gail Stead   •  

    Don thanks for the reply.

    Exactly my point , everyone has a differing opinion,so if council’s are listening to what the ratepayers want the money spent on and it reflects that and quite possibly even returns a profit to the council coffers not just a hypothetical return,money that can be utilized in all areas of the council district and is a fair and equatable distribution that benefits all .

    Council’s will have no problems from ratepayers and voters.

    I think what we have seen with Onkapringa a small majority have taken high positions and even higher position’s and opinions on what entitlements they think they deserve and possibly even dare I say some intimidation and bullying has gone along with their demands and cover up of mis -appropriation of ratepayer’s money for a long period of time.There is a great saying what goes around come around” but that doesn’t solve the problem if these people are still in the position of command, I personally think a clean sweep of all councils and that includes the senior administration are way over due
    As part of the problem is complacency and comfort that is afforded to a select few.

  3. Pingback: Don Palmer, Councillor for Clarence Park Ward, City of UnleyTime to make sure our Credit Card policy is working as it should.

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