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News | Jan. 17, 2024

Press Release: Audit of DoD Use of the Government Purchase Card in Response to the Coronavirus Disease–2019 Pandemic (DODIG-2024-045)

Inspector General Robert P. Storch announced today that the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General released the “Audit of DoD Use of the Government Purchase Card (GPC) in Response to the Coronavirus Disease–2019 Pandemic.”  The report highlights concerns relating to DoD cardholder purchases during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The audit determined that DoD GPC program officials did not conduct the required oversight to identify and correct improper or unsupported purchases by cardholders for the DoD’s response to COVID-19,” said IG Storch.  “Additionally, the report found that 39 percent of the purchases did not align with the DoD's COVID-19 response and 52 percent lacked required documentation.”

Between March 2020 and January 2022, GPC cardholders spent $242.6 million on 110,525 COVID-19 pandemic-related purchases.  However, the DoD OIG found that certain purchases did not consistently align with the DoD's COVID-19 response guidelines and the supporting documentation for purchases did not always follow Federal and DoD policies.

“Without proper oversight, the DoD faces the challenge of ensuring that GPC purchases align with contingency operations, are adequately documented, and adhere to established policies,” added Storch.  “Addressing these issues is crucial to maintaining accountability, transparency, and the effective use of taxpayer resources in the response to COVID-19 and any future pandemics.”

To address these issues and others identified in the audit, the DoD OIG recommended, and the Principal Director for the Defense Pricing and Contracting agreed to take three actions, in coordination with DoD Component Program Managers, that focus on:

  • re-emphasizing the importance of tracking, reviewing and reporting GPC transactions made in support of contingency operations;
  • developing and implementing a process to review each contingency operation; and
  • developing and implementing a plan of action to make program improvements that addresses the oversight deficiencies relating to cardholder retention of the required supporting documentation.

The DoD OIG remains committed to enhancing the oversight of the GPC program, and will continue to track the implementation of the recommendations included in this audit report.