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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Inspector General audited HUD’s compliance with the travel card program requirements for fiscal year 2018 based on our risk assessment.Our audit objective was to determine whether HUD travel cards were used for potentially illegal, improper, or erroneous purchases and whether travel cards were used when required.

We found that out of a sample of transactions that we identified as high risk, HUD’s travel cards were used for 166 illegal, improper, or erroneous purchases totaling nearly $23,000. In addition, 19 employees used their personal sources of payment instead of the government travel card in violation of the Federal Travel Regulations.

We recommend that the Office of Chief Financial Officer (1) coordinate with the related program offices, the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer, and the Office of Employee Labor Relations to take appropriate actions against the employees identified in this report; (2) improve controls to ensure the proper use of the travel cards and prevent or detect employees who did not use their government travel cards when required; and (3) provide employees with appropriate training on the issues identified in this report and ensure that all cardholder training is up to date.

Recommendation Status Date Issued Summary
2020-KC-0002-001-A Closed January 31, 2020 Suspend the travel cards for 35 employees who made 166 improper, illegal, or erroneous purchases, if warranted based on the nature of misuse, and coordinate with the related program offices, the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer, and the Office of Employee Labor Relations to take appropriate disciplinary actions against these employees and their supervisors who did not follow up on the monitoring reports.
2020-KC-0002-001-B Closed January 31, 2020 Ensure that ARC has properly updated the monitoring report criteria to include transaction categories that were previously missing from the monitoring reports.
2020-KC-0002-001-C Closed January 31, 2020 Coordinate with the Office of Employee Labor Relations and the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer to update HUD’s travel card policy with the table of penalties and disciplinary actions for travel card misuse and provide the updated policy and tiered instructions for disciplinary actions to administrative officers and approving officials.
2020-KC-0002-001-D Closed January 31, 2020 Require program offices to report all disciplinary actions taken against employees who made improper purchases.
2020-KC-0002-001-E Closed January 31, 2020 Generate a periodic report of travel cards for employees who do not travel and cancel the travel cards if not needed.
2020-KC-0002-001-F Closed January 31, 2020 Inform all travel cardholders and approving officials about specific travel program requirements and repercussions for disregarding these requirements.
2020-KC-0002-001-G Closed January 31, 2020 Verify with ARC on a regular basis that all travel cardholders have completed their training as required.
2020-KC-0002-001-H Closed January 31, 2020 Require justification and approval for selecting a nonrefundable rate in the travel system comments section.
2020-KC-0002-002-A Closed January 31, 2020 Generate a periodic monitoring report that would identify employees who did not use their government travel card when required and send this report to employees’ supervisors and the Assistant Secretary of related program offices for proper action.
2020-KC-0002-002-B Closed January 31, 2020 Require justification and approval in the travel system comments section when requesting lodging expense reimbursement to the traveler’s bank account.
2020-KC-0002-002-C Closed January 31, 2020 Update HUD’s travel card policy to require approving officials’ review of travel documents for appropriate methods of payment and work with the Office of Employee Labor Relations and the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer to prescribe disciplinary actions for not using the government travel card when required.
2020-KC-0002-002-D Closed January 31, 2020 Inform all HUD travel cardholders and approving officials about the mandatory use of the government travel card and disciplinary actions for not using it.
2020-KC-0002-002-E Closed January 31, 2020 Follow up with the 19 employees identified as failing to use their government travel card and coordinate with the related program offices to ensure these employees receive training, counseling or other appropriate disciplinary action, if necessary, on the mandatory use of the government travel card.