To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what percentage of purchases made by his Department via electronic purchasing cards were subject to assurance checks in 2021-22; and if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of the level of those checks in reducing risk of misuse.
4 July 2022
The Ministry of Defence has robust assurance measures in place in relation to transactions using electronic purchasing cards, as set out in Joint Service Publication (JSP) 332 - Low Value Purchasing (LVP). Each month cardholders must reconcile their transaction logs against bank statements received and inform LVP Managers immediately of any discrepancies. In addition, LVP Managers must conduct 100% cross-checks of all LVP transaction logs, bank statements and receipts provided by cardholders and ensure that documentation is submitted in a timely manner.
An appointed checking officer must also complete a locally agreed sample check (currently a minimum of 10%, but up to 100% depending on the size, complexity and assurance level of the accounts) of all transactions, including associated documentation. This is to ensure that all purchases made were appropriate and comply with MOD policy, that correct procedure has been followed and that audit trails are complete.
A revised version of JSP 332 is planned for publication later this year. This will provide an even greater level of assurance, through phasing in 100% sample checks by the Checking Officer.