The Postal Service IG has launched a new review of the government purchase card program as part of a cross-agency initiative by the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, the central IG committee.
It said that while those cards are used as a procurement shortcut for purchases that individually are relatively small, they add up to 20 million transactions worth $19 billion a year. USPS accounted for $424 million from nearly 900,000 transactions in 2016.
While controls against misuse are in place, numerous prior investigations by agency IGs, the GAO and congressional committees have found unauthorized and improper spending, sometimes leading to disciplinary actions against employees and often causing the agency public embarrassment.
“Our objective is to identify misused, unauthorized, and unallowable purchases made by employees through the government purchase cards,” the postal IG said in announcing its review, expected to be completed in September.
It will examine whether additional controls should be put in place and is asking for information about instances of actual misuse by employees.