While the EPA has made improvements in its controls over its use of purchase cards and convenience checks for minor purchases, those controls are not always followed and the agency “continues to be at risk of making improper or erroneous purchases, which may result in the misuse or waste of taxpayer funds,” an inspector general report has said.
“Cardholders made and approving officials approved improper purchases and that the EPA’s purchase card team did not monitor purchases to ensure timely processing and approval, as required by EPA procedures,” it said. Of 25 transactions reviewed, policies were fully followed in only two, and 5 percent of the $120,000 total value of those purchases was unallowable, it said.
Reasons included that cardholders and approving officials” lacked knowledge of relevant purchase card policies”; that they underused an available system’s capabilities to document and monitor purchases “because they did not believe that the system was user-friendly or that they received adequate training”; and that the purchase card team did not use the system’s full capabilities to adequately monitor purchases.
It said management agreed with its recommendations directed toward those issues.