RTÉ internal audit raises concerns over senior managers asked to sign off on purchase card spending they knew little about

An internal audit at RTÉ found senior managers were being asked to sign off on purchase card statements they knew little about and had to check more statements than they could feasibly manage.

The audit said individual managers were often too far removed from the “day to day requirements” of a programme to understand if purchases being made were legitimate or not.

It said this left RTÉ exposed to “inappropriate transactions” where managers had little oversight over an individual programme, and what might actually be needed to make it.

The audit gave an example of a lawnmower being purchased on a purchase card for the production needs of a specific programme or scene.

It said: “Checking of the receipt alone does not satisfy whether the purchase was actually required for RTÉ.”

The investigation also raised significant concerns over the level of checking of purchase card statements with 67% of a sample “not appropriately approved”.

This involved an absence of approval evidence on seven envelopes of statements they examined, and three examples where the cardholder had self-authorised their own expenditure.