We determined whether U.S. Southern
Command’s (USSOUTHCOM’s) use of
Government purchase cards (GPCs)
complied with applicable la ws and
regulations. Section 2784, title 10,
United States Code, requires the DoD
Office of the Inspect or General to
periodically audit the DoD GPC Program.
USSOUTHCOM cardholders did not
complete purchases in accor dance with
GPC Program guidance. Specifically,
cardholders did not:
- provide sufficient supporting documentation for their purchases,
- use mandatory sources of supply, or
- have proper written authority to use the GPC.
This occurred because the Agency/
Organization Program Coordinator in place at
the time the transactions were made did not
effectively oversee GPC use.
As a result, USSOUTHCOM cardholders made
5,907 improper purchases (40.0 percent
of the purchases we reviewed), valued
at $5.1 million, from April 2012 through
March 2013. Improper purchases made by
an unauthorized cardholder may result in
Antideficiency Act violations.
USSOUTHCOM Headquarters and U.S. Army South (USARSOUTH)
Protocol Office personnel wasted $158,144 by making unnecessary
GPC purchases using Official Representation Funds (ORFs) and Latin
American Cooperation (LATAM COOP) funds to purchase gifts.
This occurred because the USSOUTHCOM Headquarters and
USARSOUTH Protocol Officers initiated, reviewed, and forwarded
for approval ORF requests for gifts without validating the
appropriateness of the expense and ensuring that the command had
a valid requirement for the purchase in the same fiscal year as the
purchase was made.
Using ORFs and LATAM COOP funds for unnecessary gifts resulted
in potential Antideficiency Act violations at USSOUTHCOM
Headquarters and USARSOUTH. The wasteful expenditures could
have been put to use in other operational areas and are considered
abusive use of the GPC.
The Deputy to the Commander, 410th Contracting Support Brigade
(CSB), in coordination with the Chief, Acquisition Support Division
at USSOUTHCOM, implemented corrective actions in response to
problems identified during the audit.
We made several recommendations to address these problems.
See the recommendations sections of the findings in the report.
Management Comments and Our Response
We request that the Director, Joint Staff; Assistant Secretary of
the Army (Financial Management and Comptroller); Commander,
USSOUTHCOM; and Commander, 410th CSB provide additional
This report is a result of Project No. D2013-D000DC-0143.000.