Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fuel Card Problems Lead to Audit Finding

The Washington State Auditor's Office recently released an audit finding on misuse of fuel cards by an employee of the Mt. Pleasant School District in southwest Washington. 

More than $1,000 of personal use:  The audit finding and criminal investigation came after a 27-year employee was found to be using a District fuel card for personal fuel purchases estimated to exceed $1,000. The employee resigned shortly after pleading not guilty to a third-degree theft charge in court.

Systemic problems:  The auditor identified a couple of systemic problems that made the abuses possible:
  • The District did not monitor small purchases and reimbursements
  • Inadequate verification that purchases were actually for the District
  • Failure to require and retain proper documentation before making payments
Audit report:  Click here to read the audit report and finding.

Lessons learned:  Small purchases can often be streamlined through tools such as fuel cards, credit cards, store credit accounts, and petty cash accounts, but use of these methods of procurement can also lead to fraud and waste if they are not adequately monitored. It can be easy to overlook the other side of the equation - verifying and documenting the legitimacy of small purchases - especially if appropriate policies, procedures, and training are not in place.
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2012 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC 

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