While millions of hardworking Americans must take pains to keep track of hundreds of receipts each year for their tax filings, the Department of Interior lost track of documentation for $155,575 worth of purchases last year.
When government employees make expenditures with tax dollars, they are required to keep track of receipts. But according to a DOI Inspector General Report, that didn’t happen for 74 of 149 transactions that the inspector general reviewed. That’s about half of all transactions totaling $155,575. Without the proper documentation, there’s no way to know if this money went to legitimate purchases, or if it was spent on wasteful or self-serving pet projects.
The transactions that were reviewed were 149 high-risk pandemic-related card transactions, some of which were funded through the CARES Act.
One major cause of the lax record keeping is that the DOI keeps increasing the amount that employees can charge to government cards. First, there was a $3,500 limit. Then, it was raised to $10,000. Now, that limit has grown to $20,000.
The biggest culprits within the DOI were the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which had $66,731 in questionable costs, and the National Park Service, which had $41,471, the IG report said.
Providing proof that tax dollars are being used properly shouldn’t be too big of an ask.
The #WasteOfTheDay is presented by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com. This article originally appeared on RealClearPolicy.
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