The inspector general’s office at the EPA said that in a routine annual review of fiscal 2016 spending on purchase cards and convenience checks it found enough issues to warrant a full audit for fiscal year 2017.
The office said that none of the 18 transactions it examined complied with all the internal controls tested; that two of them, totaling nearly $15,000, were for fitness club memberships improperly paid in advance; and that while the agency acted to block certain purchase categories deemed to be at high risk of abuse, the internal control did not work and thus did not stop such transactions.
Further, EPA management did not document regular reviews of individual cardholder transaction reports, it said.
The office also identified other issues that it said did not raise the risk of illegal, improper or erroneous purchases, including that the EPA did not review all rebate information for accuracy and that the agency did not have a specific policy regarding the number of purchase cards it would issue.
It said that over the first nine months of fiscal 2016, the EPA had nearly 39,000 purchase card and convenience transactions totaling more than $19 million.