Purchase Cards:

Control Weaknesses Leave Army Vulnerable to Fraud, Waste, and Abuse

GAO-02-844T: Published: Jul 17, 2002. Publicly Released: Jul 17, 2002.

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A weak overall control environment and breakdowns in key internal controls have left the Army's purchase card program vulnerable to fraudulent, improper, and abusive purchases. At five Army major commands and one installation in each of the commands, GAO found that the Army had not established an effective internal control environment. As the use of purchase cards has expanded, Army management has not emphasized internal controls to ensure that individual transactions were for authorized purposes or that they adhered to legal and regulatory requirements. GAO identified a substantial number of purchases for which cardholder and approving officials had not adhered to important internal controls and were not in accordance with valid requirements, policies, and procedures. The weaknesses identified in the control environment and the breakdown in specific internal control activities resulted in potentially fraudulent and other improper transactions not being prevented or properly identified.

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