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Mar 28 2014

Harrow Council’s Credit Card Spending – Blown Wide Open

harrow_council_logoAn iharrow.com exclusive.

An analysis of credit card expenses has revealed some disturbing spending by the Council’s senior officers on items such as books, cameras and – on on occasion – rental of a dinner jacket, all funded by the residents of Harrow. The amazing list of expenditure over the last year even goes as fas as a purchase of dishwasher tablets picked up in the Isle of Wight, apparently, we’re told, for council premises in the borough.

The camera – a purchase in excess of £700 – is reported to be a “professional” type camera, purchased to make a short film. Why the council feels such an expensive piece of kit, to be used by an amateur, is appropriate, isn’t clear.

Cllr. Susan Hall, Leader of the Council, said: “Any inappropriate use of these cards will certainly not be tolerated. This is taxpayers’ money and spending it responsibly is paramount. My first inclination was to stop the use of all these cards immediately, but I recognise that in some situations they allow the Council to do business more quickly and efficiently. I have therefore asked the Director of Finance to undertake a forensic line-by-line investigation of all credit card expenditure, to check all transactions are in line with the Council’s guidelines and policies. An internal review of these credit cards, which has been underway for a couple of months, is due to conclude soon, with the intention of making the Council’s policies more robust and the use of the cards rarer and more transparent. ”

She continued, “I am yet to get to the bottom of why the specific information was not given in response to the FoI request, but this may be a hold-over from the attitude of the previous Labour administration towards transparency. My view is that the Council should be as open as possible.”

susah_hall_credit_cardsReaders will recall that iharrow.com sought further detail from the Council’s FOI officer earlier this week, but got rebuffed, and it was only with the intervention of the Leader of the Council that this information was forthcoming in an open and transparent manner.

 

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5 comments

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  1. Gary Roberts

    I’m actually beginning to like Susan Hall.

  2. Timeforchange

    Thank goodness Susan is in charge to sort this out. We can be sure that she will and also that she’ll ensure it doesn’t happen again

  3. j p hobbs

    Yeah but aint the rest of them B useless ?

  4. mike mcfadden

    Thank goodness for Susan. Don,t let. Em. Get at you. Make honesty pay.

  5. Owen

    You can tell the elections are coming up can’t you! Nothing like winning the support of the staff who work at the council by reviewing their expenditure. It would be interesting to do a similar exercise to see how much money is never claimed by Harrow staff. This will never happen though, imagine a Harrow staff member paying for things themselves surly that would never happen. This website tries to highlight what’s bad rather than focusing on the good. I’m pleased I do not work for Harrow council because if I did I would want to leave and go somewhere else, good luck Harrow employing top knotch staff to transform services and bring down taxes with all this going on.

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