Corporate credit card for Ulster senior staff was too lax, says assembly

January 25, 2002

An official of the Northern Ireland Assembly has criticised "the degree of laxity" in the University of Ulster's corporate credit card system, which was axed after evidence of abuse.

Correspondence with the assembly's public accounts committee shows that concern over the issue continued throughout the period that led to the return of devolved powers to Ulster and that UU has carried out a further review of expenses claims in the past year.

The all-party committee decided against holding a public evidence session over the scheme, in which users and administration were castigated.

The audit office identified "inadequate control" over the scheme, which paid business expenses for senior staff on trips abroad, and the unauthorised use of cards to pay for computer equipment, meals and petrol for hire cars travelling between UU's campuses.

UU director of public affairs Brendan Kelleher said the university acknowledged weaknesses in the control mechanisms.

The report does not imply misuse or misappropriation of university funds.

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