WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) was joined by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) to introduce the Saving Federal Dollars Through Better Use of Government Purchase and Travel Cards Act of 2015, legislation that targets waste, fraud and abuse through stronger oversight of federal agency travel and purchase cards spending.
This legislation would prevent charge card misuse and abuse by establishing an Office of Federal Charge Card Analytics and Review within the Government Services Administration (GSA) to continuously examine charge card purchases made across the federal government. The legislation would facilitate improved anti-fraud information sharing amongst federal agencies that use purchase and travel cards, in addition to requiring those agencies to share best-practices for detecting and preventing waste, fraud and abuse. The bipartisan bill would also encourage agencies to leverage purchasing power through strategic sourcing.
“Congress has a moral obligation to look into every nook and cranny of government spending and ensure our hard-earned taxpayer dollars are being spent responsibly and effectively. While federal agencies have made real progress in strengthening financial controls and preventing wasteful charge card spending, recent reports revealed that we can and should implement stronger and smarter steps to get better results in these efforts,” said Sen. Carper. “This bipartisan bill will help prevent future abuse and misuse of government travel and purchase cards by making effective improvements in agency oversight and coordination. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress on this and other legislation to yield stronger stewardship of our taxpayer dollars across our federal agencies.”
“This bill builds on my Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 by adding an additional layer of government-wide oversight to the work of individual agency inspectors general,” said Sen. Grassley. “The recent Defense Department inspector general report, which was drafted in response to the 2012 law, highlighted some areas where the Defense Department was not properly implementing the required controls and flagged casinos as a high risk for misuse of charge cards. Our bill will make sure we’re looking for similar patterns of misuse across all federal agencies and that agencies are sharing best practices to prevent misuse and identify potential cost savings.”
“This legislation is as commonsense as they come: we have tools that can help prevent waste, fraud, and abuse of government-issued charge cards—we should be using them,” said Sen. McCaskill, a former Missouri State Auditor. “My hope is that if federal agencies are all using the best tools available to safeguard taxpayer dollars, the public can rest a little easier and have a little more faith in government.”
“The federal government collects huge amounts of data involving the flow of dollars, then rarely looks at it for obvious red flags and opportunities to save money,” said Sen. Johnson. “Instructing the GSA to use better techniques to find waste and fraud in the billions of dollars of credit card transactions by federal bureaucrats is a small but important step in improving Washington’s stewardship of taxpayers’ money.”
Last month, a Department of Defense (DoD) Office of the Inspector General report detailed how some employees at the Department misused government-issued charge cards to gamble and pay for adult entertainment. This legislation aims to prevent charge card misuse and abuse by implementing more oversight controls for travel and purchase cards across federal agencies.