11 August 2009 | Jake Kanter
More than 1,000 Metropolitan police officers who misused corporate credit cards in the last two years will not been punished, according to a police watchdog.
An internal audit by the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) found 1,183 officers had made purchases that broke procurement rules. The employees received "training and guidance", but were not formally disciplined.
The misuse of procurement cards fell into two categories - first, claims that should have gone through an alternative procurement process and second, personal purchases that were later repaid.
A total of 3,533 officers and staff were issued with the purchasing cards and in October 2007, £3.7 million worth of transactions were unaccounted for. Most of this money, although neither the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and MPA would confirm how much, has since been paid back.
In May last year the MPS replaced its American Express cards with a Barclaycard system, which had tighter spending controls. The service also included "extensive" staff training.
A spokesman for the MPA said: "The MPA is determined to regulate compliance with the guidelines on the use of corporate credit cards and expenses claims and will maintain a rigorous and transparent oversight regime to ensure that abuse is identified and stamped out."
The MPS declined to comment on the matter.