20 November 2013

Council and Credit Cards

Given that none of the elected members in Unley have a Council funded credit card their spending should be of little concern to ratepayers. It also seems Unley has far less approved approved credit cards given to staff than other Councils (5 presumably for the CEO and 4 General Managers). At this time I have never had any concerns about the use of these or any complaints made to me for investigation. However, the following makes interesting reading. The LGA report should also be interesting when it is available.

Silence on card usage
Eastern Courier Messenger, Adelaide  by John Stokes Meagan Dillon

RATEPAYERS remain in the dark on council credit card use as Unley, Burnside and Norwood, Payneham & St Peters refuse to release their spending statements.

The State Government began publishing credit card statements, travel summaries and other office expenses for ministers and department chief executives last month. Councils, however, will not be following suit.

"At this stage there are no plans to introduce credit card reporting, largely due to the administrative burden in compiling reports," an Unley Council spokeswoman said.

None of Unley’s 13 elected members have council credit cards. Five staff have cards with $10,000 limits, including the chief executive and two high-level managers. Unley Council has a corporate credit card procedure which all staff with cards are expected to abide by.

A Burnside Council spokeswoman said that $203,047.78 was charged to 14 credit cards during the 2012- 13 financial year. Councillors do not have council cards, but some employees have access to credit cards with limits up to $15,000 to fund travel, cater for functions and register councilowned cars.

Burnside Council said the Local Government Association was developing a policy in relation to the public release of credit card details.

"Once the information is received from the LGA a report will be presented to council to adopt our approach," the spokeswoman said. NP&SP Council said it had three credit cards but did not provide any more information.

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