We all love chocolate but for some official in the UK, this fondness has led to a scandal. Officials in the United Kingdom (UK) have launched an internal probe after it was discovered that taxpayers' money was used to buy high-priced chocolate days before Christmas.
Business Insider, an American financial and business news website, claims to have intimated the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) of "a potential breach of its finance policies".
It also reported that a transaction to the tune of £6,248.40, roughly Rs 6,27,000, was made on a corporate credit card at Hotel Chocolat, a luxury brand chocolatier. Not just that, the money spent on the purchase of chocolates was also the single-largest transaction made on an ICO card in the last 10 months.
Most of the other amounts charged to the ICO's corporate credit card are for advertisements, job listings, and web design, the news website further reported.
When asked about the transaction, an ICO spokesperson told Insider: "This payment is currently subject to an internal investigation."
Officials added that theybelieve that the transaction has been made contrary to ICO policies. "The ICO is committed to upholding high standards in all aspects of our financial management and controls." They also assured that if a contravention of finance policies is confirmed, appropriate action will be taken, including ensuring the payment is reimbursed.
According to the information available on the ICO website, it is the UK's independent body set up to uphold information rights.
The ICO is primarily funded by organisations paying the data protection fee, which accounts for around 85% to 90% of the ICO's annual budget, the commission mentions on its website. It is also supplemented by a grant-in-aid from the government to fund the ICO's regulation of various other laws.
The ICO, through its various teams, looks into potential infringements of the Data Protection Act 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation, NIS Regulations 2018 and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003. The agency also investigates criminal offences under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.