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The Indian Health Service's Controls Were Not Effective in Ensuring That Its Purchase Card Program Complied With Federal Requirements and Its Own Policy

The Indian Health Service's (IHS) purchase card program, under which IHS employees are to use Government purchase cards for payments of expenses related to official Government needs, did not always comply with Federal requirements and IHS's own policy. We identified 25 transactions (out of the 136 sampled transactions we tested) that were in error because they did not comply with Federal requirements and IHS's policy either for proper purchase card use or for supporting documentation. These errors occurred because IHS's controls for the administration of its purchase card programócontrols that included monitoring as well as educating cardholdersówere not adequate to ensure that transactions complied with Federal requirements and IHS's policy.

We recommended that IHS strengthen controls to ensure that purchase cardholders comply with Federal requirements and IHS's own policy by adequately monitoring purchase card usage and ensuring that all IHS purchase cardholders complete the required training on the use of the purchase card. IHS concurred with both of our recommendations and described corrective actions that it planned to implement.

Filed under: Indian Health Service