reduce instances of fraudulent, improper, and abusive purchase card activity.
We recommend that the Director of OMB:
Issue a memorandum reminding agencies that internal controls over purchase card activities, as detailed in Appendix B of OMB Circular No. A-123, extend to the use of convenience checks.
Issue a memorandum to agency heads requesting the following: Cardholders, approving officials, or both reimburse the government for any unauthorized or erroneous purchase card transactions that were not disputed. When an official directs a cardholder to purchase a personal item for that official, and management later determines that the purchase was improper, the official who requested the item should reimburse the government for the cost of the improper item.
Consistent with the goals of the purchase card program, to streamline the acquisition process, we recommend that the Administrator of GSA, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Management Service:33
Provide agencies guidance on how cardholders can document independent receipt and acceptance of items obtained with a purchase card. The guidelines should encourage agencies to identify a de minimis amount, types of purchases that do not require documenting independent receipt and acceptance, or both and indicate that the approving official or supervisor took the necessary steps to ensure that items purchased were actually received.
Provide agencies guidance regarding what should be considered sensitive and pilferable property. Because purchase cards are frequently used to obtain sensitive and pilferable property, remind agencies that computers, palm pilots, digital cameras, fax machines, printers and copiers, iPods, and so forth are sensitive and pilferable property that can easily be converted to personal use.
33Treasury Financial Manual, issued by the Department of Treasury’s Financial Management Service, policies, procedures, and instructions for Federal departments and agencies, Federal Reserve Banks (FRBs), and other concerned parties to follow in carrying out their fiscal responsibilities.
GAO-08-333 Governmentwide Purchase Cards