"The Government purchase card program was designed to save the Government money by avoiding costly paperwork and to expedite the process of making purchases. According to U.S. Bank data, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) cardholders used Government purchase cards to make 851,511 purchases, totaling approximately $458 million in calendar year (CY) 2005. On September 8, 2005, in response to Hurricane Katrina, Congress authorized agencies to streamline certain purchasing requirements for procurement of supplies or services to support rescue and relief operations. In response, the Office of Management and Budget and HHS issued guidance regarding management controls for implementing temporary changes to normal purchasing requirements. Of the total CY 2005 purchases, HHS officials identified 1,139 purchases totaling $2,109,173 related to Hurricane Katrina for the period of August 28 through December 14, 2005. For a stratified sample of 243 of these Hurricane Katrina purchases, we assessed whether the purchases complied with selected requirements for the use of the card. We interviewed 62 cardholders who made these 243 purchases to gather relevant documentation."
Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, OEI-07-06-00150
Department of Health and Human Services. Office of Inspector General: http://oig.hhs.gov/