The EPA’s purchase card and convenience check program controls are not effective for preventing improper purchases, an IG report has said, saying that “cardholders, approving officials, the purchase card team, and program offices were not providing oversight needed to achieve compliance with internal controls.”
The EPA reported 80,917 purchase card transactions and 458 convenience check transactions totaling $41,175,877 and $241,078, respectively, in FY 2017 by more than 1,100 employees.
In a sample of 69 purchase card transactions, auditors found numerous problems including lack of required approval, justification, and verification that the purchases received, purchases from prohibited merchant categories, and more. Non-compliant purchases were made for items including a wireless projector, computer memory, laboratory chemicals and a garage door opener.
Similar issues were found in the six convenience card transactions sampled, including a $2,000 training transaction for which the dates of purchase, funding and training approval were unknown. “None of the 75 reviewed transactions were in complete compliance with EPA requirements,” it said.
The EPA agreed to a series of recommendations but the report noted that the agency similarly had promised to improve controls following a similar 2014 report.