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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

NSW councils have new guidelines on credit card use and expenditure

Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said the new Guideline on the Use and Management of Credit Cards are part of the NSW Government’s commitment to improve financial management, transparency and accountability in the sector.

They would provide councils, county councils, and joint organisations with the information needed to establish, manage, review and maintain their internal credit card policies, she said.

“Local communities rightfully expect their council to be responsible when it comes to spending their hard-earned ratepayer dollars so these new guidelines will not only help manage their credits card expenditure more efficiently but also give ratepayers confidence about how their money is being spent,” the minister said.

“All councils in NSW must ensure they have proper financial management systems in place to regulate and account for all credit card expenditure by their staff.”

From June next year, all 128 local councils in NSW will be required to appoint an Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee to review their financial management, statutory compliance and fraud and corruption controls. Eurobodalla Council has such a committee in place presently however it has been revealed on several occasions that they have been limited in the information they are provided and meet so infrequently, limited by an agenda set by staff, that they are at best a token, box ticking device.

The Guideline on the Use and Management of Credit Cards comes after the Auditor-General recommended that the Office of Local Government develop sector-wide guidelines following a performance audit into credit card use and management at six councils last year.

The guidelines were adapted from guidance for NSW Government agencies and developed in consultation with NSW Treasury, the NSW Audit Office, Local Government Professionals Finance Network, LGNSW and councils.


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