26 September 2023

Treasury goes cold and hard on cash

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The NSW Treasury has issued a Circular requiring all Agencies operating under the Government Sector Finance Act 2018 (GSF Act), to adopt digital and contactless payment options to reduce and eliminate cash and cheque handling.

Secretary of the Treasury, Michael Pratt said the Circular, TC21-01 NSW Payments Digital Reform – Digital Payment Adoption, outlined a multi-faceted approach to the Reform Agenda.

“This multi-faceted approach improves safety for citizens and staff in the face of COVID-19, while supporting our digital vision,” Mr Pratt said.

“These payment options provide safer alternatives for NSW employees to the use of cash, cheques and money orders, will deliver a more efficient payment process for NSW Agencies and ensure more immediate payment for NSW citizens and suppliers,” he said.

Mr Pratt said implementation levers included that Purchasing Cards (PCards) are to be used for adhoc transactions up to $10,000; must be adopted as the preferred payment option, where viable; GSF Agencies have the discretion to use a higher threshold where appropriate controls, fraud and risk management frameworks are in place.

He said Virtual Cards are to be adopted as preferred card payment option for regular payments.

“All payments into and out of NSW Agencies, where viable, should be moved to digital and contactless payment channels to reduce/eliminate the handling of cash, cheques and money orders,” the Secretary said.

He said this included payments from citizens for the payment of Government services; to citizens or suppliers for the provision of services, refunds or rebates; and between Government Departments.

Mr Pratt said GSF Agencies were required to establish an appropriate adoption strategy; related targets to comply with the policy; and to work with NSW Treasury to implement the changes.

He said a revised policy and guidelines for PCard and vCard use had been issued in conjunction with the Circular and was available on the Treasury website.

“The policy will be mandatory and will apply to all GSF Agencies, Government officers and accountable authorities under the GSF Act,” Mr Pratt said.

NSW Treasury’s two-page Circular can be accessed at this PS News link.

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