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IG Makes Recommendations to Strengthen DHS’ Oversight of Government Charge Cards

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Inspector General today released a report assessing DHS’s charge card programs for Fiscal Year 2014. The review concluded DHS components have not always followed established processes, and as a result, “there is a moderate risk that the department’s internal controls will not prevent illegal, improper or erroneous purchases,” the IG reported.

While DHS’s IG did not identify any illegal purchases in the sample of transactions it reviewed, “it did identify problems where cardholders did not comply with requirements established in DHS guidance. Additionally, the DHS IG identified instances of employee misuse of the travel card.”

The IG’s audit report said it “did not identify any illegal purchases in the sample of transactions it reviewed; however, it did identify problems where cardholders did not comply with requirements established in DHS guidance.” Additionally, the IG identified instances of employee misuse of the travel card.

“Because of concerns raised by members of Congress, the Inspector General also reviewed DHS’ purchase card transactions made at Starbucks in 2013. Generally, transactions were supported, allowable and reasonable.”

IG auditors identified a few transactions that lacked proper documentation and 10 fraudulent purchases made by unauthorized users. “The bank identified the fraudulent transactions and the department was not responsible for payment,” the IG said.

“I am encouraged that DHS has established internal controls for both its purchase card and travel card programs,” Inspector General John Roth stated. “However, the department needs to implement controls more consistently and be more vigilant in its oversight of these inherently risky programs.”

Roth noted “DHS conducts a large volume of business using government charge cards,” and that “in Fiscal Years 2012 through 2014, it had more than $400 million per year in purchase and travel card transactions.”

The review was required by the Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012, which requires DHS to implement safeguards and internal controls to prevent and detect improper use of government charge cards.

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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