Frivolous use of council credit cards?

July 22, 2011

The Public Services website reports that:

“The only English local authority (Nottingham City Council)┬áto resist Eric Pickles’ data transparency drive has hit back at the Communities Secretary over allegations that it used corporate credit cards for frivolous purchases, writes Iain Robinson.

Pickles censured Nottingham City Council’s use of the cards on flights, wine and tickets to Alton Towers.

But deputy council leader Graham Chapman said the purchases were “perfectly reasonable and proper”, and that the issue highlighted the flaws in using financial data out of context.

Chapman said the wine was for resale in council-run cafes, while the flights were reimbursed by sponsors and the theme park tickets were for disadvantaged children.”

Nottingham City Council should publish its financial data. Citizens should have a right to know how their local authority is spending their money.

I suspect that the council is right in its comments about them park tickets. I am surprised though that a credit card is being used to buy wine to resell at a council run cafe. Unless we are talking about a couple of bottles of wine though, then it would surely make more sense for the cafes to be ordering directly from suppliers on an invoice basis?

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