Improper charge card use by government employees wastes millions


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Serving the taxpayer: Federal employees given charge cards that allow them to buy things freely wasted millions of dollars in unauthorized or improper purchases, according to an inspector general report.

Government purchase cards are intended to be used only for purchases of approved merchandise under $3,000. Southern Command employees used the cards improperly nearly 6,000 times at a cost of $5.1 million, according to a Department of Defense inspector general report. Another $160,000 was spent on an estimated 3,500 unnecessary gifts in the years since 2010, often just days before the government’s fiscal years ended. The items remained in storage at least three years. “The wasteful expenditures could have been put to use in other operational areas and are considered abusive use of the [purchase cards],” the IG said.

Not surprisingly, government officials disagreed with the report, even as they admitted there was nothing factually wrong with it.

Despite the clear misuse of taxpayer dollars, DOD officials disagreed with the IG’s recommendations for tighter management. Southern Command’s chief of staff told the IG “he was unaware of unnecessary gifts in the gift locker.”

The federal government is entirely out of control, and needs to be reined in aggressively. Many people who work there need to be fired. Some need to go to prison for theft. Until that happens, it will continue to suffocate our society with its crippling overspending and increased debt.

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