Federal Manager's Daily Report

Amid a continuing stream of audit reports finding wasteful and inappropriate use of government-issued charge cards, one agency receiving a generally positive review in an IG audit was SSA.

“Generally, SSA complied with its travel charge card policies and procedures. For example, travel advances for employees were appropriate, relocated employees’ expenses were allowable” and employees’ credit limits generally were reduced to nominal amounts when there was no activity, it said.

Instances of noncompliance were relatively few and for small amounts. These included 234 employees who separated but who retained travel charge cards, although there were no charges on those cards; four who incurred travel costs totaling $1,600 that they charged to other cards rather than to the official travel card as required, potentially costing the agency value in rebates; five cases of authorizations not being approved before employees left on travel; and questions about whether 14 employees received training in use of the cards as required by agency policy.

In addition, seven cardholders made unauthorized ATM withdrawals or used the card to make unauthorized purchases, mostly for meals outside their approved travel periods, that totaled less than $1,000; the employees did not claim those charges on their travel vouchers.

Auditors said the agency was responsive to their recommendations, including by canceling the cards still in the hands of former employees.