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.

Rising Stars

Meet 21 early-career leaders who are doing great things in federal IT.

Featured

  • SEC Chairman Jay Clayton

    SEC owns up to 2016 breach

    A key database of financial information was breached in 2016, possibly in support of insider trading, said the Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DOD looks to get aggressive about cloud adoption

    Defense leaders and Congress are looking to encourage more aggressive cloud policies and prod reluctant agencies to embrace experimentation and risk-taking.

  • Shutterstock / Pictofigo

    The next big thing in IT procurement

    Steve Kelman talks to the agencies that have embraced tech demos in their acquisition efforts -- and urges others in government to give it a try.

  • broken lock

    DHS bans Kaspersky from federal systems

    The Department of Homeland Security banned the Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab’s products from federal agencies in a new binding operational directive.

  • man planning layoffs

    USDA looks to cut CIOs as part of reorg

    The Department of Agriculture is looking to cut down on the number of agency CIOs in the name of efficiency and better communication across mission areas.

  • What's next for agency cyber efforts?

    Ninety days after the Trump administration's executive order, FCW sat down with agency cyber leaders to discuss what’s changing.

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