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Risk for Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Fiscal Year 2016 Purchase Card and Convenience Check Program Warrants an Audit

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The Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012, enacted October 5, 2012, requires the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of each executive agency to conduct periodic assessments of its agency’s purchase card or convenience check programs.

According to EPA reports, for the first 9 months of FY 2016, the EPA had a total of 38,928 purchase card and convenience transactions totaling $19,048,218.

The EPA OIG has issued several reports on purchase cards and convenience checks:

  • On March 4, 2014, the EPA OIG issued a report, Ineffective Oversight of Purchase Cards Results in Inappropriate Purchases at EPA, Report No. 14-P-0128. The report found that the EPA did not provide effective oversight to ensure that purchase card holders and approving officials comply with internal control procedures. Of $152,602 in sampled transactions, $79,254 was for prohibited, improper and erroneous purchases. The OIG made seven recommendations, involving regular transaction reviews, training, agencywide standard operating procedures, and revisions to the Contracts Management Manual. The EPA reported that all corrective actions were completed.
  • On March 29, 2016, the EPA OIG issued a report, EPA’s Fiscal Year 2015 Purchase Card and Convenience Check Program Assessed as Low Risk, Report No. 16-P-0124, assessing the risk as low. This was based on the EPA’s recently strengthened internal controls. The OIG made no recommendations.


Because a risk assessment was conducted, there were no recommendations. Since the OIG found noncompliance with internal controls, a full audit will be conducted for fiscal year 2017 in lieu of a risk assessment.

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