After an internal audit, US Department of Defense have admitted that there has been a spending scandal over the past year in their ranks. Actually, over $1 million has been spent on gambling at casinos and strip clubs. The scandal is that it has all been charged on government credit cards.
According to The Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act government credit cards are subject to periodic audits in order to deal with the credit card abuse. One such audit performed recently has shown that in the period from July 2013 to June 2014 $952,000 of the government money was spent in Las Vegas and Atlantic City through 4,437 transactions at casinos and 900 transactions at adult entertainment facilities. The law also stipulates that those employees who misuse their credit card can be terminated from their positions. United States Senator for Iowa Chuck Grassley commented, “I’m interested to see the report and find out more about what’s being done, right and wrong, at DOD to prevent abuse. What I hope is that my reforms that became law have been implemented well and that agencies and auditors are using the reforms to catch problems.”
It will take some time before the exact number of employees who abused the credit cards is determined as there are over million credit cards issued. Nevertheless, some disciplinary action has already been taken in over 300 cases.
The credit cards are issued for travel, meal and lodging expenses and the users are supposed to take the receipts which are then reimbursed by the government. In reality this means that no taxpayer money has been spent until the reimbursement is realized and that these expenses will be paid by the employees themselves. So why did they do it then? The officials speculate that it is possible that the card holders in question wanted to hide the expenses on gambling and adult activities from their families. Either way the use of the cards for any charges apart from the authorized ones is illegal. “Clearly, the behavior displayed by these individuals neither comports with our values nor represents the good service of the vast majority of service members or DoD civilians,” an official told ABC.
Despite government efforts to deal with the issue of credit card abuse, it takes away hundreds of millions of dollars a year.