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Olds council approves hike in total purchasing card limit

The total combined borrowing limit on Town of Olds purchasing cards has been increased from $85,000 to $100,000
mvt Olds town office-2
File photo/MVP Staff

OLDS — The total combined borrowing limit on Town of Olds purchasing cards has been increased from $85,000 to $100,000. 

Town council has approved that request from administration during its Nov. 14 meeting.  

The cards are provided by the (AMSC) Alberta Municipal Services Corporation, a subsidiary of Alberta Municipalities, an association and lobby group for municipalities to which the town belongs. 

Chief administrative officer Brent Williams told the Albertan the cards are the same as credit cards. 

“Not sure why we call them purchasing cards,” he wrote in an email. 

Williams told council that town staff use the cards for things like reserving hotel rooms, deposits on purchases, meals, staff appreciation events or promotional items. 

Williams said the town is finding in this era that “we’re reaching our limit with some cards that we use more often than others,” hence the request to increase the overall limit. 

Coun. Darren Wilson asked Williams to explain the controls that are in place to ensure these cards are used wisely. 

Williams said transactions are tracked just as they are for personal credit cards and when a cardholder uses one, they have to submit a receipt.  

Those expenditures are also closely examined during auditing processes. 

“It has been working well,” Williams said. 

“Purchasing cards have the added benefits of spend visibility, card controls, in-depth reporting, online account reconciliation and protection against fraud and misuse,” a request for decision in council’s agenda package said. 

“There are no service fees for this program.”  

That request for decision also noted that the province’s Municipal Government Act allows municipalities to borrow money in order to finance operating expenditures. 

Williams said because of their buying power, there are no fees associated with those cards.