Sunday, November 22, 2015

Time to clean up credit card mess

FOR the third year in a row, the state's Auditor-General has drawn attention to weaknesses in the management of credit cards at the Derwent Valley Council. This concern was first expressed by the Auditor-General in his Report on the Financial Statements of Local Government Authorities in 2012-13 and was repeated in the report covering the 2013-14 financial year.

In his latest report to Parliament last week, the Auditor-General said: "In respect of Derwent Valley Council, weaknesses in the management of credit cards reported to Council each year since 2012-13 remained unresolved. The matter related to a lack of adequate supporting documentation for credit card purchases. Our recommendations again included:
• all credit card expenditure should be supported by adequate documentation
• a reconciliation of purchases from transaction statements to supporting documentation and certification of expenditure by the cardholder be undertaken
• a review of the above reconciliation should be performed by a person independent from the cardholder."

He concluded: "We continued to remind Derwent Valley Council of those matters and increased the associated audit risk to high."

The report includes the following response from the council's new general manager: "In relation to the credit card matter ... additional administration protocols have been implemented to address the matter raised."

The new protocols referred to above have not been reported to councillors, nor do we have information about exactly who has a council credit card. It was only last year that I became aware the mayor had a council credit card but I do not know how or when that was approved and what conditions there are on its use.

It is time to clear all this up and not have a fourth "must do better" rating from the Auditor-General.

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