The Malta Independent 13 December 2018, Thursday

No Ministry of Finance approval for Malta Philharmonic Orchestra credit card

Giulia Magri Thursday, 6 December 2018, 11:09 Last update: about 7 days ago

There was no approval from the Ministry for Finance for the use of a credit card with a limit of €7,000 at the National Philharmonic Orchestra, a National Audit Office exercise has found.

The report also noted that the current policy is to grant approval for the use of a debit card with a running balance of €2,500 and that a credit card with a higher limit can only be granted for “justifiable circumstances.”

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The National Statistics Office recommended that the MPO gain approval from the ministry for the use of the card and a valid justification as to why the limit of €7,000 is required.

The MPO told the National Audit Office that the card was cancelled immediately. It also said that, once approval from the Ministry of Finance was granted, the management would apply for another card with a credit with a limit of €2,500.

The report highlighted that during 2017, 294 transactions forming a total value of €43,049 were made using this credit card. The NAO provided a chart showing how the funds were spent. €14,832 was spent on restaurants and bars. The second highest expenditure was €7,793 which was on music hire.

The National Audit Office report stated that the lack of supporting receipts for such transactions only reflected the lack of internal control of the accounting officer. The report recommended that to control the abuse and for the sake of transparency, all amounts paid out of the MPO’s funds are to be backed up by official documentation, those being invoices or receipts.

Instances involving entertainment are to be supported by proper written justifications, and that the managements should ensure that public funds are utilised in an efficient and economic manner.

Effective monitoring is also to be carried out by the Finance team, with any extraordinary transactions being flagged and brought to the attention of the Board for further discussions.

 

 

 

 

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