WCC responses to first batch of credit card questions in full

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These are the W’bool City Council responses to my first batch of questions about the use of a corporate credit card by one of its senior managers. That story is here.

Is the WCC aware of the use of a corporate credit card for such expenditure and is this type of expenditure the norm for all WCC managers who use corporate credit cards?


How is this spending justified to ratepayers?

Each authorized holder of a corporate credit card will perform different roles requiring different stakeholders, different working hours and locations, and therefore different costs of doing business.   Some roles may require extensive engagement with business and industry, volunteers, residents, regional engagement and statewide engagement, other roles may not. The use of credit cards as a payment mechanism can be of considerable benefit to the Council, ratepayers and the various individuals and organisations that supply goods and services. The benefits are in the form of efficient procurement and reduced administration costs.

Does Mr McMahon’s manager, Director City Growth Andrew Paton, sign off on Mr McMahon’s monthly credit card expenditure? If Mr Paton does not give this approval, who does?

The line manager of the authorised holder of the corporate credit card provides approval.

Several transactions have been deleted from the statements released because they were deemed irrelevant, ie. they were repaid. Who has repaid these funds and for what reason? How much has been repaid since Mr McMahon received a corporate credit card?

A Corporate Credit Card Policy* exists to ensure relevant internal controls are in place. These apply to all authorised credit card holders.

Does Mr McMahon still have access to a corporate credit card? 


* I asked for a copy of this credit card policy and the council’s travel policy. Neither are available to the public.

5 thoughts on “WCC responses to first batch of credit card questions in full”

  1. Not a good way of dealing with public funds. No available benchmark. It’s like money does grow on trees for some senior staff members of Warrnambool City Council.
    What I find scary is that ALL politics is local.

  2. I work for a multi national company and I have access to a company credit card but if I used it will nilly like this I’d be terminated immediately. This is a joke and they need to reign in what is allowed to be spent and have a limit per person for breakfast lunch and dinner same as any other company credit card holder!!!

    1. You are right – anyone who has had access to a company credit card in a private business knows how closely they are scrutinised. You would think the public sector would be even more closely regulated.

  3. A major issue is that FOI requests and council explanations indicate that there is no budgetary control at any level leaving little wonder that Council needed to raise rates above the cap.
    Corporate cards don’t appear to have an audit apart from your FOI requests. Council accounts department staff must be paying off the cards (monthly) without reference to budget or appropriate audit trail guidelines.
    Council Corporate cards (and petrol cards) appear to be part of emoluments. If not then charging of personal expenses to these cards is fraud..
    No doubt there is a mad scramble to shut the gate now that our rates have bolted but Council (internal) auditors should be made aware of these findings so that a special audit is carried out.
    Council has an Audit Committee (see 2018 Annual Report available on line) . Hopefully they are now more aware of what it was they were supposed to be doing.
    Lastly the Council Chambers incorporate a number of meeting rooms. This is where meetings should be conducted at minimal cost.

    1. Thankyou so much for this comment Ian. It fleshes out so many of the bigger picture issues that surround this set of stories.

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