Department of Homeland Security Purchase Cards: Credit Without Accountability, Hearing Before the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Ninth Congress, Second Session, July 19, 2006 [open pdf - 5MB]
From the opening statement of Susan M. Collins: "Today, the Committee will examine the results of the joint investigation conducted by the Government Accountability Office and the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General into wasteful and potentially fraudulent uses of DHS' purchase cards. Government purchase cards are similar to the personal credit cards that many of us carry, but with a notable difference: The American taxpayer pays the bill. The government is responsible for paying all charges by purchase cardholders regardless of what was purchased or whether the buyer got a fair price. When used properly, purchase cards allow agencies to streamline the acquisition process and reduce costs when buying goods and services or paying government contractors. When used improperly, purchase cards enable wasteful and even fraudulent transactions. [...]Today's hearing will focus on spending associated with DHS purchase cards in the months both immediately preceding and following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita when DHS was given ex-panded authority for using purchase cards. I opposed raising the micropurchase threshold to $250,000, fearing that hurried and wasteful spending might occur. GAO's investigation indicates that my fears were warranted." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Susan M. Collins, Joseph I. Lieberman, Norm Coleman, Gregory D. Kutz, John J. Ryan and David L. Norquist.
S. Hrg. 109-889; Senate Hearing 109-889
Government Printing Office, Congressional Hearings: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/chearings/index.html