Purchase Cards:

Navy Vulnerable to Fraud and Abuse but Is Taking Action to Resolve Control Weaknesses

GAO-03-154T: Published: Oct 8, 2002. Publicly Released: Oct 8, 2002.

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Gregory D. Kutz
(202) 512-9505


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

For a number of years, the Department of Defense (DOD) has been promoting departmentwide use of purchase cards, and their use has dramatically increased. DOD reported that in fiscal year 2001, more than 230,000 civilian and military cardholders made 10.7 million purchase card transactions valued at more than $6.1 billion. The Navy has the second largest purchase card program in DOD. As was previously reported, there were significant breakdowns in internal control at two Navy sites that left those units vulnerable to fraud, waste, and abuse. These weaknesses are representative of systematic Navy-wide purchase card control weaknesses that have left Navy vulnerable to fraudulent, wasteful, and abusive use of purchase cards. Since the original report, the Navy has been taking actions to improve the purchase card control environment and improve cardholder adherence to key purchase card control procedures. The Navy has also taken more aggressive actions to identify fraudulent, improper, and abusive or questionable purchase card acquisitions.

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