This is a publication by GAO's Inspector General that concerns internal GAO operations. GAO had 2,884 travel card accounts, primarily issued to employees as individually billed accounts, and about $10.4 million in related travel card charges as of September 30, 2010. While the charges for centrally billed travel cards go directly to the government for payment, individually billed travel cardholders are directly responsible for all charges incurred on their travel card account and for remitting payments on the monthly bill. The cardholders are expected to use the government travel card only for valid expenses related to official travel. The intent of the travel card program is to improve convenience for the traveler and to reduce the government's costs of administering travel. Audits of agency travel card programs by GAO and others have found varying degrees of waste, fraud, and abuse at a number of agencies because the agencies have failed to implement adequate safeguards against card misuse. In response to these findings, Congress has held hearings and introduced legislation in the current Congress that would enhance travel card management and oversight. In addition, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued guidance, OMB Circular No. A-123, Appendix B, for executive branch agencies that establish standard minimum requirements (including internal controls that are designed to minimize the risk of travel card misuse) and suggested best practices for government card programs. As a legislative branch agency, GAO is not required to follow any OMB circulars, including OMB Circular No. A-123 or its appendixes. However, as a matter of policy, GAO has indicated that it generally would assess and report on the effectiveness of GAO's internal controls in accordance with the principles of OMB Circular No. A-123.
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