By Matthew Roscoe • 09 February 2021 • 14:25
CREDIT: "Hotel Chocolat." by jamesaharkness is licensed under CC BY 2.0
More Than £6k Spent at Hotel Chocolat Using UK Government Credit Card.
£6,248.40 SPENT using a government-funded agency credit card was revealed to have been used to buy luxury chocolate just days before Christmas last year and now an investigation from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has been launched.
Purchases made on a corporate credit card on December 21, which is the single largest transaction made in the last 10 months, are being looked into by the ICO who will determine whether any rules were broken, The Insider reports.
The extraordinary amount spent is made even more ridiculous when looking at the chocolatier’s website, which reveals that the most expensive item for sale is a 147-piece collection of solid and filled chocolates and biscuits called The Signature Cabinet costing £170, meaning whoever used the card must have bought 36 of them!
The ICO is an independent, government-funded agency, which it received £4.6 million from in the 2019-20 tax year, that regulates data use, privacy issues, and the Freedom of Information Act. According to its website, it is primarily funded by organisations paying the data protection fee, which accounts for around 85 per cent to 90 per cent of its annual budget.
John Slater, an FOI campaigner, said: “I don’t know what’s worse: the fact that someone who had access to the credit card did this, or that they thought it was OK.”
An ICO spokesperson told the Insider the transaction was the matter of an internal investigation.
They added: “We believe that the transaction has been made contrary to ICO policies.
“The ICO is committed to upholding high standards in all aspects of our financial management and controls.
“Should a contravention of our finance policies be confirmed, we will take appropriate action, including ensuring the payment is reimbursed.”
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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