Sunday, January 11, 2009

Avocado Audit Airs Abuses

The California Avocado Commission was cited in a recent audit by the state for up to $2 million of questionable expenditures that benefited employees of the Commission, most of it with government issued credit cards.

According to a story in the Los Angeles Times on January 10, 2009, "during the three-year audit period, 18 employees used commission credit cards to run up more than $1.5 million in charges to make 'a significant amount of discretionary expenses that appeared questionable at best,' the report said."

Questionable expenditures included home remodeling projects, sporting event tickets, gym memberships, auto allowances, $850 a night hotel rooms, flowers, gifts, meals, clothes, massages, nail service, facials and body treatments.

Credit card abuses by government agencies is a fairly regular finding by auditors. While credit cards help to streamline the procurement process, without sufficient accountability and controls, they can result in abuses and purchases by government employees of items for personal use.

If your agency issues credit cards to your employees, it's a good time to assess what kind of controls you have in place. Please contact me if you would like assistance in this area.

To read the complete story about the audit, go to the
Los Angeles Times website.

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