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Agency Comments and Our Evaluation

Response from OMB and Our Evaluation

Instruct agencies to remind government travelers that when they receive government-paid-for meals at conferences or other events, they must reduce the per diem claimed on their travel vouchers by the specified amount that GSA allocates for the provided meal.

Provide written guidance or reminders to agencies: That cardholders need to obtain prior approval or subsequent review of purchase activity for purchase transactions that are under the micropurchase threshold. That property accountability controls need to be maintained for pilferable property, including those items obtained with a purchase card. That cardholders need to timely notify the property accountability officer of pilferable property obtained with the purchase card. That property accountability officers need to promptly record, in agency property systems, sensitive and pilferable property that is obtained with a purchase card. That, consistent with the guidance on third-party drafts in the Department of the Treasury’s Treasury Financial Manual, volume 5, chapter 4-3000, convenience checks issued on the purchase card accounts should be minimized, and that convenience checks are only to be used when (1) a vendor does not accept the purchase cards, (2) no other vendor that can provide the goods or services can reasonably be located, and (3) it is not practical to pay for the item using the traditional procurement method. That convenience check privileges of cardholders who improperly use convenience checks be canceled.

We received written comments on a draft of this report from the Acting Controller of OMB (see app. III) and the Administrator of GSA (see app. IV).

In response to a draft of our report, OMB agreed with all three recommendations. OMB agreed that the efficiencies of the purchase card program are not fully realized unless federal agencies implement strong and effective controls to prevent purchase card waste, fraud, and abuse. To that end, OMB noted that it had proactively designated government charge card management as a major focus area under Appendix B of Circular No. A-123, Improving the Management of Government Charge Card Programs. With respect to the recommendations contained in this report, OMB is proposing to issue further guidance reminding agencies that Appendix B extends to convenience checks as well as government

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GAO-08-333 Governmentwide Purchase Cards

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