Commons staff spent hundreds of pounds on cinema trips and football kits claimed as 'office supplies'

Laura Hughes
Houses of Parliament in Westminster  - PA Wire

Commons staff spent hundreds of pounds on cinema trips and football kits on government credit cards, it has been revealed. 

A total of £200 was spent on football kit and £140 was  claimed for cinema visits under "office supplies", according to a Freedom of Information request by the BBC. 

A Commons spokesman told the broadcaster that the items had followed purchasing policy as "genuine business transactions". The cinema tickets were allocated as prizes for school children participating in a competition called ‘Lights, Camera, Parliament’, 

The Parlimentary authorities said there were 205 cards in circulation for Commons staff "to make quick, simple and cost-effective purchases when they are either away from their workplace, on business" or for "very low value items".

The documents revealed that a claim had been registered for a £30 book entitled Framing the Face: New perspectives on the History of Facial Hair. 

It also showed £140 worth of cinema visits were claimed as "office supplies". 

A House of Commons spokesperson said: "The procurement cards allow some members of the House of Commons service to pay for low value items in a secure and quick way. 

"The cards are held by a limited number of staff and have strict controls for the authorisation of all transactions. The cards can only be used for business purposes and never for personal expenditure (other than in exceptional circumstances where private expenditure is incidental to official business and in this case must be reimbursed). 

"All staff with GPCs sign a ‘Terms of Use’ agreement which requires them to adhere to the GPC policy and follow established procedures for the use of the card. Failure to follow the agreed procedures may result in the card being withdrawn."

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