President Obama Signs New Law to Target Government Charge Card Abuse

Under a new law President Barack Obama signed last week, federal employees will see stricter rules on government charge card usage.

Introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and a bipartisan group of co-sponsors, the Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 will require agencies to create internal mechanisms for targeting unauthorized purchases on government charge cards.

"This bill is about accountability,” Grassley said in a statement. “The public trust has been violated by abusive use of government charge cards. By putting some common-sense controls into the law, we can make certain the federal bureaucracy improves the way it responsibly manages the use of these cards.”

The bill, which passed the House in August and cleared the Senate in September, includes rules for stopping unauthorized purchases, such as:

  • Running credit checks for travel-card users;
  • Limiting travel-card access for those with poor credit;
  • Providing training for charge-card users; and
  • Maintaining records of cardholders.

The Government Accountability Office has previously identified instances where federal employees used government charge cards to purchase jewelry and cruises.

Posted in General News

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