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overseas because it was not possible to finalize the purchase during fiscal year 2006 if the agency was to purchase the vehicle in the country where the office was located. The cardholder stated that he wrote three checks (two at $25,000 each and a third at $7,811) to purchase the Land Cruiser because the checks have a $25,000 limit printed on them. The convenience check fee on the three checks was over $1,000. Pursuant to our investigation, the cardholder informed his supervisor that he intentionally violated agency policy, which requires that vehicles be acquired through the GSA unless a waiver is obtained. The cardholder stated that he disagreed with USDA policy requiring GSA involvement in car acquisition because it was too cumbersome and that USDA needed to issue new policies. We reviewed supporting documentation showing that the vehicles were shipped overseas to the units that purchased them, but we did not perform work to determine whether the year-end purchase was necessary. Agency management did not take action when they were made aware of the cardholder’s significant violation of agency policy.

In case 3, four DOD cardholders purchased over $77,000 in clothing and accessories at high-end clothing and other sporting goods stores, including over $45,000 at high-end retailers such as Brooks Brothers. The Brooks Brothers invoices showed that the cardholders paid about $2,300 per person for a number of servicemembers for tailor-made suits and accessories—$7,000 of which were purchased a week before Christmas. According to the purchase card holder, DOD purchased these items to provide servicemembers working at American embassies with civilian attire. While the Department of Defense Financial Management Regulation authorizes a “civilian clothing allowance” when servicemembers are directed to dress in civilian clothing when performing official duty, the purchase card transactions made by these individuals are far greater than the maximum allowable initial civilian clothing allowance of $860 per person.

Case 7 relates to the $13,500 that USPS spent on food at the National Postal Forum in Orlando, Florida, in 2006. For this occasion, USPS paid

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GAO-08-333 Governmentwide Purchase Cards

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