You might have got a charge for late payment of your credit card, but it’s probably nothing compared to the £124,970.08 charge that the British foreign office appears to have racked up.
The official response to a freedom of information request has outlined a series of so-called ‘fruitless’ payments made by the British government’s foreign and commonwealth office.
They include a £124,970.08 late bill settlement charge relating to expense and procurement cards supplied through a contract with the Royal Bank of Scotland. This is what the text of the FOI response says:
‘Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) charges incurred between 10th March 2015 and 4th March 2016 for late payment of expense and procurement card statements.
‘The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has a contract with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to supply expense and procurement cards. Late settlement of the bill in full led to an interest charge allowable under the terms of the contract. However, the FCO receives regular rebates from RBS under the contract which have saved the taxpayer a sum very many times the value of this charge over the last five years.’
Action taken by foreign office
It goes on: ‘The payment was deemed fruitless because the FCO made payment that brought no benefit to the FCO. We can confirm that an independent investigation took place and that appropriate action was taken.
‘To prevent a reoccurrence of this issue, immediate action was taken – the FCO now has payment by Direct Debit for all its RBS expense and procurement cards, and our card payments control has been further strengthened by implementing two new additional monthly checks..
You can read about other ‘fruitless’ payments made by the foreign office here.