Number:  112-23
Date:  September 25, 2012

Senate Passes House Amended S. 300
The Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012

On September 22, 2012, the Senate agreed to the House amendment to S. 300, the Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012, by unanimous consent, clearing the measure for the President.  The bill would codify a number of reporting and program integrity policies for government purchase and travel charge card programs.

Following are descriptions of provisions of interest to SSA:

  • Would require agencies to develop internal controls and safeguards for a number of purchase and travel card program requirements, which include areas such as training, records of cardholder purchase limits, and verification of valid purchases.  Agencies would develop penalties, including dismissal of an employee, for violations of card policies.
  • Would require the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to review existing guidance on purchase cards and, as necessary, prescribe additional guidance on the implementation of internal controls by Federal agencies as required in the bill.  For government travel cards, OMB would do the same, but no later than 180 days after the date of enactment. 
  • Would require periodic assessments and audits by agency Inspectors General (IG) of agency purchase and travel charge card programs. IGs would report findings to agency heads and report to OMB on agency implementation of IG recommendations.  OMB would transmit the compiled IG reports to Congress. 
  • Would require agencies with more than $10 million in annual travel card spending and its IG to submit to OMB a joint semiannual report on travel card violations and corrective actions taken on each violation.   The agencies’ IGs would be required to conduct periodic audits of its program to analyze risks of travel card improper payments and report its findings and recommendations to OMB and Congress. 
  • Except as noted above, would be effective upon enactment.