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DOD Travel Cards: Control Weaknesses Led to Millions of Dollars in Fraud, Waste, and Improper Payments


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In November 2003, GAO testified on the significant level of improper premium class travel purchased with centrally billed accounts. These findings led to concerns over the Department of Defenses (DOD) overall management of the centrally billed account program. At the request of this Committee, Senator Grassley, and Representative Schakowsky, GAO performed work to determine whether DOD controls were adequate to protect the centrally billed accounts from fraud, waste, and abuse. This testimony focuses on whether DOD (1) paid for airline tickets that it did not use and did not process for refund, (2) improperly reimbursed travelers for the cost of airline tickets paid for with centrally billed accounts, and (3) adequately secured access to centrally billed accounts against improper and fraudulent use. This testimony also addresses the internal control breakdowns that led to instances of fraud, waste, and abuse and DODs corrective actions. In two companion reports issued today, DOD concurred with the 31 recommendations GAO made including moving to a well-managed individually billed account programto improve the management of unused tickets, recover the value of outstanding unused tickets, prevent and detectimproper payments, reduce the risk that airline tickets are issued on invalid travel orders, and improve security over the centrally billed accounts.



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