Over the last one and a half years, IRS staff with government-paid credit cards made more than 174,000 purchases worth more than $80 million. This was according to the results of a recent study by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). The report, based on records of transactions between September 1, 2007 and March 31, 2009, concluded that the IRS needs to improve its control over government spending using credit cards.
It has been a practice of the IRS to issue credit cards to some of its employees to make purchases of less than $3,000. These purchases are meant to be for items such as office supplies and training. On the other hand, the Federal Acquisition Regulation does not allow high cost purchases to be made neither should any employee charge these purchases to their cards in multiple smaller amounts. Cardholders are also required to seek approval for purchases and verify that funding is available prior to using the credit cards. But during the period reviewed by the study, the 4,270 IRS cardholders made many purchases without proper approvals and verifications of funding.
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