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Does Your Latte Taste Better at Taxpayers Expense

Wondering whether forking out almost $5.00 at your local Starbucks is worth the price? Apparently you wouldn't have to worry if you were employed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to a report by Ali Meyer, who posted a story yesterday for the Washington Free Beacon.

According to Meyer's reporting:

"Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees used a government charge card to make purchases totaling $31,413 at Starbucks, according to an audit by the DHS Inspector General (IG).

"The IG conducted the audit to see whether DHS implemented quality internal controls for the usage of the government charge card to prevent illegal, improper, or erroneous purchases.

"The IG found that DHS did not have sufficient oversight over these purchases and as a result a moderate level of risk remains that DHS will not prevent illegal, improper or erroneous purchases in the future. From fiscal year 2012 to 2014, DHS made transactions totaling $400 million per year using this government card.

"Transactions made with the government purchase card are subject to the rules in the DHS Purchase Card Manual. Problems arose when transactions did not comply with the manual because they either lacked documentation such as receipts or approval by a Department coordinator.

"Nearly half, or 49 percent, of the sampled transactions reviewed by the IG, valued at $206,903, did not comply with at least one of the requirements set forth in the purchase card manual."

Her reporting is based upon this DHS Office of Inspector General audit report, and this press release for the audit report.

We urge Growls readers to ask their members of Congress what they are doing to oversee the use of government credit cards. Contact information is available at Thomas (use left-hand column). Taxpayers living in Virginia's Arlington County, can contact:

  • Senator Mark Warner (D) -  write to him or call (202) 224-2023
  • Senator Tim Kaine (D) -- write to him or call (202) 224-4024
  • Representative Don Beyer (D) -- write to him or call (202) 225-4376

Ask for a written response, and tell them ACTA sent you.

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