July 12, 2017 3:54 pm

Scammers target Bainimarama’s credit card

The Auditor-General has found that expenses of $6,492.11 charged to PM Voreqe Bainimarama’s credit card were cleared without acquittals/invoices from overseas suppliers.

In the 2016 Audit Report on the Office of the Prime Minister, the Auditor-General singled out two transactions that had unacquitted amounts.

Source: Audit Report on the Office of the Prime Minister 2016.
Source: Audit Report on the Office of the Prime Minister 2016.

PM Bainimarama has a Visa credit card with a $50,000 limit to cater for accommodation and incidental expenses while on official overseas trips.

In response, the PM’s Office stated that the first transaction was the result of a scam while a refund was being sought on the second.

“The un-acquitted amount of $3,368.87 was the result of visa card scam that happens worldwide.  The bank has been informed about the fraudulent transaction and the Office has requested for the refund.”

The PM’s Office said that they were “following up on the balance of refund amounting to $2,699.41.”  The audit noted that the return had not been received as at 30 January 2017.

The Government’s Credit Card Policy – Section 7.3 – states that “Any transaction appearing on the credit card bank statement that is not supported by a signed receipt is to be personally reimbursed by the card holder 7 days upon return,”

The Auditor-General recommended that the PM’s office should ensure that individual receipts for payments were submitted, immediate recovery action was taken, and the necessary arrangement was made for the refund of the amount incorrectly charged.