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Public Statements

Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mrs. MALONEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

The serious fiscal challenges facing the Federal Government demand that agencies do everything they can to operate as efficiently as possible. The Federal Government spends billions annually through its purchase card programs, using purchase cards and convenience checks to acquire millions of items--everything from paper and pencils to computers--and to make payments on government contracts for a variety of goods and services such as vehicles and relocation services.

The primary responsibility for purchasing these items rests with cardholders and the officials who approve their purchases. Because of the position of public trust held by Federal employees, Congress and the American people expect cardholders and approving officials to maintain stewardship over the Federal funds at their disposal. Specifically, purchase cardholders and approving officials are expected to follow published acquisition requirements and exercise a standard of care in acquiring goods and services that is necessary and reasonable for the proper operation of an agency.

Because every Federal dollar that is spent on fraudulent, improper, and abusive purchases is a dollar that cannot be used for necessary government goods and services, ensuring that purchase cards are used responsibly is of particular concern at a time when the United States is experiencing substantial fiscal challenges.

I strongly support Senator Grassley's bill, on which he has worked many years, S. 300, because the legislation will require agencies to establish internal control activities over travel and charge cards. Agencies will be able to perform credit checks on potential recipients of travel cards. Agencies will also be able to appropriately discipline employees who misuse charge cards, including termination of their employment.

Most importantly, this legislation will keep agencies accountable for charge card misuse because the inspectors general of each agency will be required to examine charge card use twice a year and report any violations to the Office of Management and Budget.

I urge my colleagues to support this bill, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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