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 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?