Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–July 21, 2016. After a federal watchdog found nearly $100,000 of improper adult entertainment charges on taxpayer-funded credit cards, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL-08), Ranking Member of the Oversight Subcommittee on Transportation and Public Assets, today introduced good government legislation to help rein in waste, fraud and abuse in taxpayer-funded government credit card spending. Duckworth’s new proposal, which is cosponsored in the Senate by Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-DE), along with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), would strengthen the federal government’s ability to continually monitor charge card spending and enhance information sharing to better identify and stop sophisticated improper payment schemes.
“The vast majority of federal workers are honest, hardworking public servants trying to safeguard taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars,” said Congresswoman Duckworth. “But recent misconduct by unscrupulous employees underscores the need for us to improve oversight to better rein in waste, fraud and abuse on taxpayer-funded credit cards. My comprehensive good government proposal offers a solution to help protect taxpayers and prevent future abuse.”
Congresswoman Duckworth’s Saving Federal Dollars Through Better Use of Government Purchase and Travel Cards Act is cosponsored in the House by Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (MD-07) and Congressman John Carney (DE-AL). The legislation has already passed the Senate.
Audits by federal Inspectors General—watchdogs meant to investigate practices and misconduct at federal agencies—reveal that isolated incidents of abuse or weak controls and oversight in federal charge card spending persist. A 2015 report published by the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) details how certain DoD employees committed waste, fraud and abuse by using government-issued charge cards to pay for personal expenses at casinos and adult entertainment establishments. The DoD’s OIG also found that this spending, which included 900 transactions that totaled $96,576 spent at adult entertainment entities over a one year period, was not detected because the agency program coordinators did not receive assistance from the DoD compliance program that is tasked with overseeing this spending.
Since arriving in Congress, Duckworth has consistently advocated for better government practices, increased accountability and reduced waste while working to support the citizens of the Eighth District. In February alone, she helped recover approximately $40,000 of federal funds owed to Eighth District residents and, in March, she returned $200,000 of her office budget to the U.S. Treasury.