NHS clinical watchdog NICE wastes thousands on luxury perks with corporate credit cards

September 12, 2011 12:37 PM

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has spent tens of thousands of pounds on luxury staff perks using corporate credit cards, including bills at 5-star hotels and Michelin-starred fine-dining. The story on NICE spending in yesterday’s Sunday Express is the second in a series of findings following TaxPayers’ Alliance research into quango credit card spending.

[caption id="attachment_40411" align="alignright" width="300" caption="The Hilton Hanoi Opera hotel"][/caption]

The body spent £611 at Apple Computer Inc, £2,354 on the Heathrow Express, £512 on Eurostar and £6,294 at various restaurants including Christopher’s American Grill, Le Deuxieme, Café des Amis and the Michelin-starred Deanes at Queens. You can see why quango staff are attracted by fine dining, coffee shop treats and slick Apple design, but they shouldn’t be leaving taxpayers with the bill.

Despite the economic climate and the Government’s drive for austerity, NICE increased credit card spending on hotels from £35,267 to £39,783 last year, including £19,690 at the up-market Marriott chain. Five-star hotels at which NICE staff spent taxpayers’ money included the Hilton Hanoi Opera in Vietnam, the Corinthia Hotel Praguein Czech Republic and £6,880 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Amman, Jordan.

Despite the disappointing waste identified, there are glimmers of hope for taxpayers. While NICE spent £2,419 on taxpayer-funded politics in 2009-10 (payments to political parties, presumably fees paid to attend party conferences to lobby politicians for more of our money), they did not spend any money on this in 2010-11 - at least not using credit cards - and they should be applauded for releasing their credit card spending data for public scrutiny. Many quangos have managed to dream up excuses to keep their spending of taxpayers money secret. Quangos should publish their spending automatically on their websites, and they should stop wasting taxpayers money on luxury perks that aren’t necessary for the job.

[iframe https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?hl=en_US&hl=en_US&key=0AvIqgbZxQot0dG55WDg3Z2s0eWtVTV9VZUlmMGRTNUE&output=html&widget=true 500 600]

Download the data (XLS)The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has spent tens of thousands of pounds on luxury staff perks using corporate credit cards, including bills at 5-star hotels and Michelin-starred fine-dining. The story on NICE spending in yesterday’s Sunday Express is the second in a series of findings following TaxPayers’ Alliance research into quango credit card spending.

[caption id="attachment_40411" align="alignright" width="300" caption="The Hilton Hanoi Opera hotel"][/caption]

The body spent £611 at Apple Computer Inc, £2,354 on the Heathrow Express, £512 on Eurostar and £6,294 at various restaurants including Christopher’s American Grill, Le Deuxieme, Café des Amis and the Michelin-starred Deanes at Queens. You can see why quango staff are attracted by fine dining, coffee shop treats and slick Apple design, but they shouldn’t be leaving taxpayers with the bill.

Despite the economic climate and the Government’s drive for austerity, NICE increased credit card spending on hotels from £35,267 to £39,783 last year, including £19,690 at the up-market Marriott chain. Five-star hotels at which NICE staff spent taxpayers’ money included the Hilton Hanoi Opera in Vietnam, the Corinthia Hotel Praguein Czech Republic and £6,880 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Amman, Jordan.

Despite the disappointing waste identified, there are glimmers of hope for taxpayers. While NICE spent £2,419 on taxpayer-funded politics in 2009-10 (payments to political parties, presumably fees paid to attend party conferences to lobby politicians for more of our money), they did not spend any money on this in 2010-11 - at least not using credit cards - and they should be applauded for releasing their credit card spending data for public scrutiny. Many quangos have managed to dream up excuses to keep their spending of taxpayers money secret. Quangos should publish their spending automatically on their websites, and they should stop wasting taxpayers money on luxury perks that aren’t necessary for the job.

[iframe https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?hl=en_US&hl=en_US&key=0AvIqgbZxQot0dG55WDg3Z2s0eWtVTV9VZUlmMGRTNUE&output=html&widget=true 500 600]

Download the data (XLS)

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