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Independence city council to address lack of oversight on city-issued credit cards

Independence City Manager
Posted at 5:24 PM, Jan 17, 2023

INDEPENDENCE, MO — The Independence City Council is expected to address the lack of oversight on city-issued credit cards during Tuesday night's meeting.

On Tuesday, Zach Walker, Independence City Manager said city staff will be asking the city council to award a new contract to the same vendor for the city's purchasing card services.

Under the new contract, Walker said the city plans to address a number of "deficiencies" with how the city's credit cards are issued and used among city staff.

"In the police department, there were just a certain number of purchase cards issued to that department and somebody would go and check one out, use it, bring it back," Walker said, "But there wasn't accountability that that individual was responsible for that card and could personally attest to, 'yeah, these were the purchases I made, on this day, at this place, and we're in keeping with an authorized use'."

In Feb. 2022, the I-Team discovered the police officer at the center of an excessive overtime investigation spent more than $42,000 on a city-issued credit card in 2021.

Most of the purchases appeared to be used to remodel the police station.

Initially, the city told the I-Team the officer did not have a city-issued credit card. However, it was later discovered the officers used a police department issued card.

Because the city initially did not know the officer used a credit card, I-Team asked how credit card purchases are monitored.

At the time, no one within city hall would answer our question, except Walker, who said he does not monitor credit card purchases within the police department.

During an audit on the city's finances, an investigator found the officer did not do anything wrong, but rather, the city did not have good policies for monitoring credit card expenses.

Walker said the new policy would address two things:

"It's going to greatly restrict the number of p cards available, "Walker said. " Two: it's gonna be directly tied to an individual. As an employee we can track those expenses."

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