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The following table sets out a comparison for the mean average spend per member of staff against the Government Procurement Card expenditure from 2008-09 onwards. This shows a continuing reduction in expenditure over the years.
|Arm’s length bodies|
|Homes and Communities Agency||(1)701||2,295||1,256||978||736|
|Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre||1,167||1,650||1,070||619||447|
|Valuation Tribunal Service||24||37||19||8||(3)—|
|Local Government Ombudsman||0||164||337||348||253|
|Fire Service College||984||852||617||417||279|
|(1) Spend from December 2008 since inception of the Homes and Communities Agency. (2) Spend has gone up in 2012-13 due to the bookings and payments of staff training which are now being done through the Government Procurement Card. (3) All cards withdrawn by April 2012.|
We received nil returns from the five other arm’s length bodies:
London Thames Gateway DC
West Northamptonshire DC
Independent Housing Ombudsman Ltd
Building Regulations Advisory Committee
While there is a role for electronic payments using such cards, under this Administration, my Department has introduced new internal checks and audit trails on the use of the Government Procurement Card, from pre-approvals to requiring post-transaction reporting. We have significantly reduced the number of card holders. Our transparency agenda of publishing spending data online has also increased internal and external scrutiny of every single transaction on such charge cards.
As the Department explained in its publication, ‘50 ways to save: Examples of sensible savings in local government’ published in December, the online transparency and tougher controls have helped cut expenditure on ‘Central Departments’ Government Procurement Cards’ by over three-quarters, from £321,076 in 2009-10, to just £70,835 in 2011-12 and cut the number of card holders from 210 in May 2010 to just 26 in November 2012.