CONDUCT of the council’s eight corporate credit card holders has been condemned as “worrying”.

A number of failings were unearthed following an audit of the senior Glasgow City Council officers with credit cards.

Problems with receipts being returned, important paper work missing and lack of official authorisation on transactions have been exposed.

As a result, impartial auditors have put forward new rules that the council should put into practice to prevent such neglect happening again.

Councillor John Kane said: “It seems a bit worryingly high that figure that we basically didn’t have the receipts for 66 out of 114 and basically not had VAT returns.

“Why on Earth has that been happening on the scale and not been picked up before?”

Councillors and officers discussed the findings at a meeting of the Finance and Audit Committee yesterday (Wednesday).

Will Hart, chief auditor at the council, explained how the banking unit had “not been chasing up” the eight senior council officers with credit cards.

Mr Kane questioned whether there was an exact figure on how much council coffers had lost due to being unable to reclaim VAT from the lack of receipts.

However, the audit officer said “only a percentage of” the £60,000 spent a year on the cards would have been lost to the negligence.

Councillor David Meikle then demanded that the exact figure be brought back to the committee.

It was suggested by Councillor Norman Macleod that banking unit officers could be afraid of challenging senior officers over matters such as receipts.

Announcing he was speaking “colloquially”, he said: “I can actually understand why another member of staff in our banking team might be hesitant to get on the phone to the Chief Executive and say they have not got the receipt.

“There’s a wee bit of interplay, I think. Understandable interplay.”

The council’s Head of Executive Compliance has been urged to update the credit card procurement document with new guidance.

Some of the audit’s suggestions include: banning cash withdrawals, ensuring refunds are paid back to the correct cards, ensuring transaction paperwork, or “analysis forms” record VAT and that they should have a redefined section on what exact information it requires on the “reasons for expenditure” section.

Councillors have also requested to know how much money has been lost from the council being unable to claim back VAT due to a lack of receipts being returned.