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Case 8

Description of activity


Total amount

Ritz Carlton Excessive cost

Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice


The following text further describes four of the cases in table 5:

aDOI uses an integrated card, which is a combination purchase, travel, and fleet card. bUSPS does not consider these inconsistencies a violation of its policy,

Source: GAO analysis and review of governmentwide purchase card transactions and supporting documentation.



Apple Computer

Questionable government need

Seduccion Boutique

Questionable government need



Department of State 360

Additional facts

A cardholder charged coffee and “light” refreshments for 50 to 70 conference attendees for 4 days averaging about $50 per day per person.

The total bill was just over $15,000.

Seventy percent of the total conference billing was for food and beverages, while audio visual and other support service requirements for this event totaled only about $4,000, or the other 30 percent of the charges.

NASA cardholder purchased two 60GB iPods at the request of his supervisor.

Although NASA officials told us that the iPods were purchased to store official information, our investigation found that the supervisor also stored personal photos, songs, and videos on the iPods.

Both iPods were also engraved with the supervisor’s name and NASA center.

Cardholder purchased women’s underwear/lingerie for use during jungle training by trainees of a drug enforcement program in Ecuador.

A Department of State official agreed that the charge was questionable and stated that he would not have approved this purchase.

This official did not have jurisdiction over this purchase card account, yet is a program coordinator for a similar account at the same post.

Case 2 relates to a cardholder who is a 20-year veteran at FAS, a unit within USDA. At the end of fiscal year 2006, the cardholder purchased two vehicles—a Toyota Land Cruiser and Toyota Sienna—on two separate days for two separate USDA offices overseas. Although the vehicles appeared to have been shipped overseas for a legitimate government need, our investigative work found that these purchases were made in violation of USDA purchase card policies and with the implicit agreement by FAS policyholders as follows:

According to written communications at FAS, the requester for one of the cars had a “large chunk of money that needed to be used before the end of the fiscal year (2006).” The requester requested that the vehicle be purchased in the United States, and then shipped

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GAO-08-333 Governmentwide Purchase Cards

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