An OIG report has found that a moderate risk remains on DHS charge card programs.
The audit examined DHS spending on charge cards during fiscal year 2016 and found that the agency reported spending approximately $1.2 billion in purchase, travel, and fleet card transactions.
It found that although DHS has established internal controls for its charge card programs, components were not always following the agency’s procedures. OIG specifically found major internal control weaknesses at the U.S. Coast Guard and within CBP’s Fleet Card Program.
In its transaction testing, OIG found that 37 percent of all Coast Guard purchases and procedures did not comply with DHS policies and procedures. As a result, Coast Guard’s Purchase Card Program is at a high risk for illegal, improper, or erroneous charges associated with approximately $214 million spent in FY 2016.
Transaction testing also showed that about 5 percent of CBP’s fleet card charges did not comply with DHS policies and procedures. As a result, CBP’s Fleet Card Program is at a relatively low risk for illegal, improper, or erroneous charges associated with approximately $69 million spent in FY 2016.
OIG made four recommendations, which include that DHS should develop a tiered system of violations for approving officials that will apply department-wide, and that the Coast Guard should update its version of the Purchase Card Transaction Worksheet and accompanying instructions to be more intuitive and user-friendly. It also recommends that the DHS OCFO Bankcard and Review Branch directs the Coast Guard to develop more enhanced training for its Purchase Card Program, and the Coast Guard partners with DHS to strengthen training requirements, and that DHS issues a revised fleet card policy to update the review and approval process.