Staff at the National Policing Improvement Agency ran up a credit card bill of more than £6.5million, freedom of information requests have revealed. Credit card statement statements show an astonishing range of items were purchased using the cards, from lingerie, beehives, wellington boots to “Duck tours” on the Thames. Around 150 members of staff have such credit cards and they racked up an average spend of £20,000 a year, each, this follows releases of credit card statements by Government departments and councils.
Bosses at the quango held their hands up and admitted that spending was out of control, commenting on the disclosure it’s Chief Executive Nick Gargan said “We accept that, in the early days of the NPIA, there was a perception of wastefulness.”
Ironically the quango was set-up in 2007 to help police forces in England and Wales save money and operate more efficiently. It is a pity they didn’t practice what they preached. Among some of the more shocking items were over £100,000 in taxi fares; £1,800 on a beehive; £800 on Judo equipment; £2,500 dining at the exclusive Boisdales restaurant in Belgravia and £1,200 on a lawnmower. The Daily Mail have examples of more here.
With these shocking figures now in the open, and following other examples of waste like the £70 million spent on consultants as we discussed in How to save £50 billion, it is becoming ever more clear why the government has taken the decision to scrap the quango. Unfortunately taxpayers will not be able to breathe a sigh of relief until they are finally disbanded next year, until then we are still picking up the tab for their irresponsible and out of control spending.