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Financial Management

Improper Credit Card Transactions at NASA

By Keith Cowing
NASA Watch
April 2, 2007

Internal Controls to Detect and Prevent Unauthorized and Potentially Fraudulent Purchase Card Transactions at Four NASA Centers Needed Improvement, NASA OIG

“Internal controls designed to detect and prevent unauthorized and potentially fraudulent transactions were not always followed. We reviewed 1,749 transactions identified through data mining techniques and judgmental sampling that totaled approximately $2.1 million. We identified 875 transactions (50 percent), totaling $831,953.82, that did not comply with regulatory and program guidance.”

“We questioned 186 transactions as being a potential misuse of Government funds and referred those transactions to our Office of Investigations. The 186 questioned transactions totaled approximately $118,300 and included instances of cardholders not maintaining receipts or supporting documentation, cardholders not disputing unauthorized charges, and cardholders purchasing prohibited items. For example, one cardholder at Kennedy had 58 transactions that totaled approximately $33,300, but she was unable to provide appropriate receipts for 95 percent of the items purchased. In addition there was no record that any of the items she had purchased were delivered to the Center. The employee involved has resigned from NASA and may be subject to criminal sanction.”

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.