Charging problems

A recent report by the General Accounting Office found that there are continuing problems with how government purchase cards are managed.

Among GAO's findings:

n Too many cards. Agencies often did not have policies to govern the number of cards issued or criteria to determine which employees should have them.

n Not enough direct managers. GAO found that some officials were responsible for reviewing and approving too many monthly cardholder statements, leading to cursory examinations of charges. One Defense Department official approved more than 700 statements for 1,526 cardholders per month.

n Not enough oversight. Most agencies had not assigned enough people to monitor purchases or develop an oversight program. At DOD, for example, none of the major commands that GAO officials audited had a full-time program coordinator to oversee purchase card use.

n Too much credit. Agencies typically set spending limits at arbitrary levels and did not tie the limits to the unit's historical spending figures.

n Not enough training. Agencies required cardholders and approving officials to receive initial training and periodic refresher courses, but in many cases they could not show documentation to establish that users and managers had actually been trained.

Source: General Accounting Office

Featured

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

  • Comment
    Pilot Class. The author and Barbie Flowers are first row third and second from right, respectively.

    How VA is disrupting tech delivery

    A former Digital Service specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs explains efforts to transition government from a legacy "project" approach to a more user-centered "product" method.

  • Cloud
    cloud migration

    DHS cloud push comes with complications

    A pressing data center closure schedule and an ensuing scramble to move applications means that some Homeland Security components might need more than one hop to get to the cloud.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.