Archive for Friday, October 18, 2002

Government reports results from credit-card crackdown

October 18, 2002

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— A six-month White House crackdown has reduced personal shopping sprees with government credit cards. The effort involved canceling thousands of accounts, docking paychecks to collect unpaid bills and banning payments to thousands of businesses.

The Office of Management and Budget said Thursday this was the first time it could report some success since it demanded that agencies rein in abuse of the charge cards. Congressional and agency investigators found the cards were used for goods and services at brothels, adult clubs, jewelry and electronics stores, concerts, sporting events and pornographic Internet sites.

The Defense Department alone is canceling some 400,000 travel cards by the end of this month, nearly 20 percent of the total issued by the federal government, OMB said.

A governmentwide indication of progress is that 7 percent of travel card accounts are delinquent as of July, down from 13 percent in January.

Travel card holders pay their own bills and submit vouchers for reimbursement.

Bills for purchase cards are paid directly by the government.

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