Hartford Councilman Plans to Stop Unnecessary Spending
Ever feel like government employees frivolously spend your tax dollars on personal items? You’re not the only one.
In an effort to put a limit on the money Hartford city employees spend on dining and travel, Councilman Kenneth Kennedy is proposing a ban on the use of city credit cards or purchasing cards. These cards are given to city workers to cover their eating and business expenses, but Kennedy feels that they promote unnecessary spending habits.
Kennedy has suggested that all city employees pay for their expenses upfront and receive reimbursement afterwards. This will still ensure that they are properly cared for, but it will make the employees more conscientious about their money.
“When people spend their own money up front and have to wait for reimbursement, they’re less likely to spend money. The problem with the [purchasing] cards is you can’t control it,” said Kennedy. “This is the second administration to do this, and it’s just very hard to watch. You’re basically just depending on people’s judgment for the cards. It’s taxpayers’ money–you need some control over it.”
Currently, there are 185 purchasing cards in circulation in the Hartford area. Elimination of those would cause a huge change in the operation of the city’s government. Through the reimbursement program, auditors are able to monitor costs more closely and verify their validity. This should end any former suspicions about excess spending.
The council is waiting for the results of last month’s audit before reviewing this proposal, so there will be no changes right away. However, Kennedy’s plan has already been referred to the city’s operations, budget, management, and legislative affairs committee.