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Is This How The Government Should Spend Taxpayer Money?

An expose by the Channel News4 I-team has revealed that last year, federal government workers spent $20billion on taxpayer-funded credit card purchases.

The credit cards have been issued for “micropurchases” under $3000. According to Brian Miller, a former Inspector General for the U.S. General Services Administration,

“The micro-purchase authority allows front-line personnel to effectively and efficiently support the mission of the agency by allowing them to quickly acquire relatively low-dollar goods and services without the administrative processing costs, and thereby creating efficiency in the procurement process.”

However, an audit of the purchases shows that many items were bought for personal use, including hotel rooms and spas, gym memberships, Starbucks, and JC Penny clothing. And worse, there is no disclosure requirement..

In my opinion, no level of abuse of taxpayer money should be tolerated. Every dollar should be spent responsibly. It looks as if a strong measure of accountability has to be installed here. Hopefully, a citizen watch the group will pick up the trail. It looks like the government can’t be trusted to monitor itself.

This situation leads me to think about the “anti-money laundering training” we financial representatives have to go through. Decades ago many criminals used life insurance and other products to launder stolen money. Regulations were inactive and charging us to prevent, detect, and report such activity. The federal agencies issuing cards for micropurchases should charge their employees with the same responsibilities.