DOD will cut up some of its credit cards

DOD will cut up some of its credit cards

The Pentagon is tightening control over who can use government purchase cards and what purchases they can make. Deputy Defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz announced the department would begin using data-mining software to monitor purchase patterns in search of misuse or fraud.

Defense Department comptroller Dov Zakheim yesterday outlined the findings of a three-month study of the charge card program. Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld ordered the review months ago following allegations of widespread abuse.

The review found that most Defense employees were not abusing their card privileges. But DOD leaders are requiring all agency heads by July 15 to tell Zakheim what they are doing to combat cases of misuse. Another reform would increase penalties for fraud and misuse and cut the number of cards issued from 1.6 million to 1.2 million.

The study came on the heels of a General Accounting Office report that said DOD should limit the number of purchase cards it issues and impose credit checks on employees who carry them.

Some examples of misuse at two Navy facilities included unauthorized purchases of home computers, notebook PCs, personal digital assistants and DVD players.

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