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Purchasing card payments

These files contain details of payments made by HCC staff using Visa Government Procurement Cards provided though a Cabinet Office Government Procurement Service contract.

These are issued free of charge to the authority and do not incur any charges to use. HCC receives a rebate against annual spend from the Royal Bank of Scotland and introduced purchasing cards to deliver efficiencies in the procurement process. By removing processing costs since the beginning of the project, the County Council has saved over £2m for the residents of Hertfordshire.

The Procurement Card programme consists of a card issued to individual named staff members who are involved in expenditure on behalf of the authority from time to time. Each card is issued with its own set of agreed limits regarding spend values and the type of transaction that it may be used for. In addition an on-line card transaction management system allows users, managers and internal audit to view all transactions and forms the electronic card statement. The system also manages the flow of data from our bank to our financial system. These procurement cards are proving to be the most cost effective mechanism for procurement of relatively low cost items. 

Procurement Cards are held by staff who provide support to Vulnerable Young People including looked after children and Care Homes who need to buy provisions and entertainment for those in their care.

The key benefits of the Card Programme are:

  • Reduced paperwork and administration time; removing paper based invoice payment processes; It is estimated that each card transaction that replaces a paper based transaction saves the authority £28 based on National Audit Office figures and our own research.
  • Replaced the need for staff to access cash for purchasing at a local level; cards have replaced a number of inefficient paper systems, imprest accounts and petty cash tins.
  • Provides greater management information on expenditure; we have an online banking system that allows us to manage the spend and provides for quick and easy overview by auditors, accountants and is published on Open Data.
  • Increased audit controls; each card has a series of spend limits and controls and is issued to a named officer who is responsible for its use and safekeeping.
  • Increased protection; we are insured against any fraudulent use to £50k per transaction (unlike any other payment process or system).
  • Supports the local economy. Using the cards allows staff to buy locally and it also speeds up payments to our suppliers and reduces the administration burden on them.
  • Supports electronic trading and payments on line e.g. vehicle licences removing the need for a member of staff to physically go to the post office.
  • Facilitates a quick response to emergency situations relating to our clients or operations.