At issue is the city's procurement card, or P-card, program, in which about 365 of
Some council members questioned some of the expenditures, particularly for meals. As a result, staff changed the P-card policy, which now prohibits charges for meals by employees within
Douglas found that employees spent
City officials defend the program as a necessary tool that allows employees to make small-dollar purchases necessary for their jobs without going through a bureaucratic maze of red tape. Many other local governments besides
But it was some of the meals charged with P-cards that got council members' attention.
The organization, which is charged with leading revitalization efforts in the inner city, is technically a nonprofit, but Executive Director
"Those are pretty nice places," said Davis. "It's somewhat unfair to other nonprofits in town that (Fuscoe) was able to take her board out on the city's dime. My point was, that's her board, not a potential client."
City officials said they did not have an estimate, as yet, on how much of the total amount spent with P-cards was for meals. Davis said he thinks the policy change prohibiting charges for local meals could save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
"The food thing just stood out; it was just so obvious that wasn't city business," said Councilman
Davis also questioned how city staff accounts for meal expenditures with P-cards in the city budget.
"We found meals credited to the office supply budget in some departments. How can that be legitimate?" he asked.
The amounts of some expenditures also raised hackles among some council members. Douglas said he uncovered instances where
"To me, a small item is, I go to
Moore said staff can waive the
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