A recent audit by the inspector general at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that when employees were given government purchase cards, they used the cards to purchase approximately $15,000 in fitness memberships, according to an article in the Washington Free Beacon.
It was also discovered that internal controls which require approval from officials in the agency, and certain rules about transactions, simply weren’t being followed. This lack of oversight applied to 18 transactions totaling more than $48,000.
The goal of the audit was to gauge the risk of “illegal, improper, and erroneous purchases made on the EPA’s purchase card.”
Auditors noted that the purchase card program has been abused by employees in the past, due to the lack of adequate oversight. It was also discovered that the agency does not have policies in place regarding how many purchase cards could be issued and gave no credit limits to cardholders.
“In March of 2014, the inspector general released a report noting that of the $152,602 in transactions that they evaluated, $79,254 went to purchases that were prohibited, improper, or erroneous.”
The fitness club memberships purchased by employees represented only two of the 18 transactions scrutinized.
Transactions were also made to vendors who were considered by the agency to be high-risk; still, the money was spent without the required review of such transactions.
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