PURCHASE CARDS. Continued Control Weaknesses Leave Two Navy Units Vulnerable to Fraud and Abuse
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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For fiscal year 2001, internal controls at SPAWAR Systems Center and NPWC continued to be ineffective, leaving both units vulnerable to fraudulent, improper, and abusive purchases and to theft and misuse of government property. Both units had made some improvements in the overall control environment, primarily after the end of fiscal year 2001. Key improvements included reductions in the number of cardholders, an increase in the number of approving officials, an overall decrease in the aggregate monthly credit limits, and a decrease in purchase card usage. At the same time, serious weaknesses remained in three key control environment areas, particularly at SPAWAR Systems Center. First, while both SPAWAR Systems Center and NPWC have taken steps to implement our recommendations regarding cardholder training and proper documentation of training, SPAWAR Systems Center still needs to do more to make sure all cardholders receive required training and to document the training taken by cardholders. For example, as of January 21, 2002 there was no documentation demonstrating that 146 cardholders had taken certain required training. As of February 15,2002, SPAWAR Systems Center had suspended the accounts of only 5 of the cardholders who had not taken the required training. In contrast, NPWC has taken steps to provide cardholders and approving officials the necessary training and to assure itself that untrained personnel do not remain purchase card holders. On October 26, 2001, NPWC cancelled the cards of its 15 employees who had not complied with training requirements.
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