The New South Wales Government has announced “sweeping new measures” to ensure that local government bodies are properly managing credit card expenditure.
Announced by State Minister for Local Government Gabriella Upton, the measures are a response to following allegations a former general manager of Hay Shire Council spent more than $500,000 on a corporate credit card.
“These allegations are very concerning and I am taking action to get to the bottom of the matter to ensure it doesn’t happen in another council,” Ms Upton said.
“Councils must ensure they account for each and every ratepayer dollar.”
Ms Upton said the range of measures includes:
Requesting the Office of Local Government to launch a formal investigation into Hay Shire Council’s credit card expenditure and accounting practices
Requiring every council in NSW to have an audit, risk and improvement committee
Asking the NSW Auditor-General to undertake a Statewide performance audit of credit card usage at local councils
Updating the standard employment contract and guidelines for the appointment of general managers by Councillors to strengthen rules on their credit card usage
The Office of Local Government calling on all NSW councils to review their fraud prevention controls.
“This package of measures will help ensure council credit cards are not abused and they have the right mechanisms in place to account for all expenditure and identify any irregularities,” Ms Upton said.