Government Payment Cards (GPCs) are used in the public sector to purchase a range of goods or services from basic office supplies to the wages of temporary staff. They can simplify high-volume, low-value transactions and provide flexibility.
Scrutiny is however important. In 2012 the National Audit office confirmed that while GPCs have the potential to save money, procedures were too lax and there was a lack of central guidance on when it is appropriate to use a card.
This research looks at the use of procurement cards within Welsh Local Authorities. It shows that a significant proportion of Welsh Local Authorities have failed to maintain records of spending from as little as two years ago.