Oversight

IRS employee credit cards vulnerable to fraud

Magnifying glass

The Internal Revenue Service has one more set of improprieties to address, as the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration reported in late June that IRS oversight for employee use of credit cards is insufficient, making the agency vulnerable for abuse.

In the report, TIGTA said the agency lacks a system to detect improper purchases that results in appropriate action, does not cancel cards before an employee leaves and does not have standards for what constitutes a split purchase between the agency and employees.

"The IRS does not have the controls in place to provide assurance that improper purchases do not occur and appropriate corrective action is taken," the report said. "Enhanced internal controls would provide greater assurance that IRS resources are being used more effectively and efficiently."

Among TIGTA recommendations was including in their guidelines that accounts be closed before employee departure, reducing pending transactions and defining what constitutes a split purchase. IRS management agreed with all 11 recommendations, saying they will implement all corrective actions. The agency said that it already has begun evaluating all referrals related to potential abuse, which was one of the recommendations.

"The majority of IRS cardholders appear to use their purchase cards properly," the report said. "However, TIGTA identified some instances of inappropriate use that include improper decorative and give-away items for managers' meetings and Combined Federal Campaign fundraising events."

About the Author

Reid Davenport is an FCW editorial fellow. Connect with him on Twitter: @ReidDavenport.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.

Featured

  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

Reader comments

Mon, Jul 8, 2013

Supposedly the IRS is supposed to be looking for financial (tax) fraud in others but apparently is unable to stop it within their own ranks. Before that we heard that they were wasting tax dollars on frivilous activities, and before that it was their political harrassment scandal. Since we have not seen people getting fired or prosecuted for their unethical and/or illegal actions, I doubt that we will see anything serious done about this latest issue either.

Mon, Jul 8, 2013

I was wondering what card was being talked about and the very last paragraph implies PURCHASE. But the article is not clear if it is the purchase or travel card (which some folks call a purchase card also) that is at issue.

The purchase card would make sense to make a fuss about since it is really a company credit card, however the employee TRAVEL card is in the employee's name and tied to his credit report, it is his credit hit if not paid (so says the fine print on mine), so what does it matter what is put on it? Only that it is paid off and the card company is happy.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group