Government Waste

Federal Workers Run Up $29B in Credit Card Charges, With a High Level of Misuse

Nice work, if you can get it


In short, there are some 3.5 million charge card accounts in the General Services Administration's SmartPay program, according to the federal government's procurement titan.

Established in 1998, SmartPay, billed as "charge cards for the federal government," is the largest charge card program in the world, serving more than 350 federal agencies, organizations and Native American tribal governments, according to GSA's website. In fiscal  2012, about 95.6 million transactions were made and $29.32 billion was charged on SmartPay cards. The cards are issued through three banks — Citibank, JP Morgan Chase and U.S. Bank. …

A Government Accountability Office audit in 2008 found 41 percent of the credit card transactions it examined did not observe government purchasing rules. And 48 percent of transactions over $2,500 violated federal rules, according to the report.