Tester Fights to Reduce Government Waste, Fraud, and Abuse of Government Travel Cards

Senator: Bill Will Save Taxpayers Money and Hold Washington Accountable

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester is joining a bipartisan group of Senators in backing legislation that will crack down on abuse of government travel cards.

The Saving Federal Dollars Through Better Use of Government Purchase and Travel Cards Act would increase accountability and oversight across federal agencies on purchases made using federal government charge cards.

“Government employees using taxpayer money as a personal piggy bank is totally unacceptable and as long as I’m a Senator I’ll do whatever I can to stop it,” Tester said. “These folks need to be held accountable and this bipartisan bill will save taxpayers money, prevent abuse, and crack down on fraud in Washington.”

Tester, a longtime champion of transparency in government, cosponsored legislation that would:

  • Establish federal-wide charge card analysis and oversight. The legislation directs the General Services Administration (GSA) to review its existing database of charge card purchases of federal agencies for patterns of potential misuse. Under existing law, individual agencies must establish certain types of control and oversight over charge card usage, but only the GSA has government-wide data that can reveal patterns agencies might miss on their own. Under this bill, GSA would assist agencies by conducting sophisticated, federal-wide analysis of the data to identify potential waste and fraud.
  • Help agencies share information and utilize best practices. Federal agencies do not routinely share information about the use and abuse of charge cards. As a result, agencies might not learn and/or establish best practices to address spending issues. Under the bill, agencies would share with each other information about fraud schemes, high-risk sellers, and other information that might help prevent charge card abuse and fraud.
  • Support strategic sourcing. The sharing and analysis of charge card data helps agencies better leverage federal purchasing power through what is often called “strategic sourcing.” This analysis helps to determine when agencies are purchasing numerous amounts of an item with purchase cards that could be bought in a more cost-effective manner, such as with negotiated discounts. 

Full text of the bill can be found HERE.