Rob Ford wants city purchasing cards cut
Published Thursday, July 28, 2011 7:55PM EDT
Mayor Rob Ford's plan to stop the ‘gravy train' is extending to the city's credit cards, CTV News has learned.
Nearly 1,200 PCards, or purchasing cards, are in use by city staff and there's even more at the city's agencies, boards and commissions.
Through a freedom of information request, CTV News discovered the cards are being used for meetings and conferences held at restaurants in the city, accounting for more than $9 million in city spending in 2010.
Ford told CTV News that all meetings paid for by taxpayers is unnecessary and needs to stop. He said he holds all his meetings in his boardroom and doesn't charge the taxpayer.
"When the mayor is not wining and dining executives from all over the world, why should some manager," he said.
The cards, which have been in use since 2005, are also used to buy goods and services and in emergencies.
Ford said only senior staff should have access to the credit cards.
"I don't believe 1,200 employees from the City of Toronto should have credit cards to go out and spend on whatever they want," he said.
A 2009 auditor general report reviewed the cards and put new controls in place. CTV News's investigation found the controls are being followed and there are few questionable expenses.
"It's an easy means of acquiring goods fairly quickly, again as long as the controls are in place," Jeff Griffiths, Toronto's auditor general, said.
The city announced on Thursday that all PCard expenses will be posted online for public review.With a report from CTV's Naomi Parness