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Financial Management: Actions Needed to Strengthen GAO's Purchase Card Program Controls

OIG-15-2 Published: May 05, 2015. Publicly Released: May 05, 2015.
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This is a publication by GAO's Inspector General that concerns internal GAO operations. This report addresses the extent to which GAO maintained effective internal controls for preventing, detecting, and responding to potential misuse, waste, and abuse of GAO purchase cards.

What OIG Found

Our review of GAO’s purchase card program found that GAO had developed and implemented policy and procedures that generally address key requirements of applicable laws and regulations. Further, GAO maintained adequate documentation to support purchases made. However, opportunities exist to enhance controls. Specifically, we found that GAO’s

  • policy and procedures contained gaps in key areas, such as risk management; program evaluation; and needs determination that diminish program effectiveness and efficiency.

  • process for monitoring and tracking purchase card training was not effective in ensuring the proficiency and competency of program participants.

  • execution of key controls, such as approvals and funds verification, was not substantiated by transaction documentation.

Improvements in GAO’s purchase card program could enhance its ability to efficiently and effectively prevent, identify, and address compliance issues. In response to our work, GAO initiated efforts to strengthen its purchase card policy and procedural guidance and monitoring of program compliance.

What OIG Recommends

We are making three recommendations for the Comptroller General to direct the Acquisition Management Director to revise GAO’s purchase card policy and procedures to address key requirements; and develop, document, and implement a process to efficiently identify and monitor compliance with training requirements. GAO agreed with our recommendations and has taken or initiated efforts to address them.

Full Report

GAO Contacts


Compliance oversightFinancial managementInternal controlsPurchase cardsRegulatory noncomplianceFederal acquisition regulationsRisk managementPerformance appraisalAudit objectivesLaws and regulations