TREASURY INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR TAX ADMINISTRATION

Office of Audit

Highlights

REVIEW OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE’S PURCHASE CARD VIOLATIONS REPORT
AND THE STATUS OF RECOMMENDATIONS

Final Report issued on March 4, 2019

Highlights of Reference Number:  2019-10-023 to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue.

IMPACT ON TAXPAYERS

Federal audits of agency charge card programs have found varying degrees of fraud, waste, and abuse.  The Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 (Charge Card Act) was signed into law on October 5, 2012.  The Charge Card Act requires Executive Branch agencies to establish and maintain safeguards and internal controls for Government charge card programs.

WHY TIGTA DID THE AUDIT

This audit was initiated because the Charge Card Act requires each agency with more than $10 million in purchase card spending annually to submit semiannual reports of employee purchase card violations and the disposition of those violations, including any disciplinary actions taken.  The Charge Card Act also requires agency Inspectors General to report purchase card misuse to the Office of Management and Budget.  The overall objective of this review was to assess the IRS’s implementation of and compliance with the Charge Card Act requirements for the period April 1, 2018, through September 30, 2018.

WHAT TIGTA FOUND

The IRS identified and properly reported instances of confirmed and potential charge card misuse.  The IRS reported five instances of confirmed purchase card misuse.  These five instances were associated with a chair mat purchased for the individual’s home telecommuting location, hand sanitizer, an Amazon Prime membership, and a magnifier, representing a total value of more than $105.

With respect to disciplinary actions taken by IRS management in response to the five confirmed purchase card violation cases, one employee received written counseling, and the remaining four employees received e-mails from the Credit Card Services Branch providing notification of the cardholder’s first instance of an inappropriate purchase.

The IRS reported four instances of potential purchase card misuse pending agency investigation.  Four additional instances of suspected purchase card misuse were referred to Labor Relations by the Credit Card Services Branch for review.  Labor Relations responded that management did not conclude that purchase card misuse had occurred.  As a result, the Credit Card Services Branch did not include these cases in the Purchase Card Violations Report.  However, TIGTA’s independent review found that two transactions were inappropriate and should have been identified as reportable violations for the purposes of the Purchase Card Violations Report.

Finally, TIGTA reviewed the Joint Audit Management Enterprise System and found no open recommendations associated with prior audits of IRS purchase or travel cards.

WHAT TIGTA RECOMMENDED

TIGTA made no recommendations as a result of the work performed during this review.  However, key IRS officials reviewed this report prior to its issuance and agreed with the facts and conclusions presented.

READ THE FULL REPORT

To view the report, including the scope, methodology, and full IRS response, go to:

https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/auditreports/2019reports/201910023fr.pdf.

 

Phone Number   /  202-622-6500

E-mail Address  /  TIGTACommunications@tigta.treas.gov

Website             /  http://www.treasury.gov/tigta