Pentagon Employees Used Government Credit Cards For Gambling, Audit Reveals
An audit has revealed that some Pentagon employees used their government-issued credit cards to pay for casinos and adult services, a Department of Defense official said.
According to ABC News, the official said that DoD employees misused credit cards issued to them by the government. A staggering amount of $952,258 was spent in casinos and $96,576 at “adult entertainment establishments” from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014.
The spending amounted from 4,437 transactions at casinos and 900 transactions at adult entertainment establishments.
The credit cards are issued for travel-related expenses.
These findings are currently in an Inspector General’s report titled, “Government Travel Charge Card Transactions Made at Casinos or Adult Entertainment Establishments” and have not been made public yet.
“Clearly the behavior displayed by these individuals neither comports with our values nor represents the good service of the vast majority of or service members or DOD Civilians,” the official said, according to CNN.
“While any misuse of the card is taken seriously, the amount of this misuse is extremely small given the size and scope of the Department of Defense travel charge card program.”
Since the findings come from an audit of the credit card system, not from an investigation of specific individuals, the departments will be asked to remind employees that such practices are a violation of the law.
According to Politico, improper use of credit cards comes notwithstanding a law called the Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act brought into effect in 2012 by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). It required all federal agencies to intensify the monitoring of purchases made from government-issued credit cards.
In a statement, Grassley said, “I’m interested to see the report and find out more about what’s being done, right and wrong, at DOD to prevent abuse. What I hope is that my reforms that became law have been implemented well and that agencies and auditors are using the reforms to catch problems.
“The law requires periodic audits by inspectors general, like this one, specifically to keep on top of charge card abuse and hold agencies accountable for implementing the required internal controls. That’s especially true with purchase cards, where taxpayer money is directly involved even more than with travel cards, but the reforms should prevent travel card abuse, too. If everything is implemented as intended, we’ll stop a lot of purchase card and travel card abuse.”
Disciplinary action has been taken against most of the responsible employees, the official said.
Taxpayer money was not used for any of the spending, the official added, as employees reimbursed them.
The travel cards are used by almost 1.6 million employees.
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