Environmental Protection Agency employees used their government purchase cards to spend $14,985 on fitness memberships, according to an audit by the inspector general of the agency.
With the goal of assessing the risk of illegal, improper, and erroneous purchases made on the EPA's purchase card, the auditors evaluated 18 transactions totaling $48,345 and found that none of them complied with any of the internal controls that were tested.
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Some of these controls require that officials give approval, that records be properly placed in the vendor's banking system, and that transactions be reviewed by the card holder within 10 days of posting.
The auditors found that 2 of the 18 transactions, totaling $14,985, were for fitness memberships. Three other transactions were made to vendors who were considered high risk, which requires further documentation for review.
Additionally, auditors found that the agency should have policies regarding how many purchase cards are issued and what are the credit limits for cardholders.
Auditors also noted that this is not the first time the agency did not have adequate oversight of the purchase-card program. In March of 2014, the inspector general released a report noting that of the $152,602 in transactions that they evaluated, $79,254 went to purchases that were prohibited, improper, or erroneous.
After the most recent findings, the inspector general said that the risk for the purchase-card program "is high enough to warrant an audit."
The EPA did not respond to requests for comment by press time.