IRS improves credit card oversight

IRS improves credit card oversight
© Greg Nash

The IRS has cleaned up its act when it comes to limiting improper purchases on agency credit cards, according to a new federal audit.

Two years ago, the Treasury's Office of the Inspector General found that IRS credit cards were used to buy online pornography, Thomas the Tank Engine wristbands, kazoos and wine for luncheons. 

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But a new report from the watchdog found just around 15 cases of confirmed or potential violations of the rules for using IRS charge cards over the first half of fiscal year 2015. In all, IRS staffers spent about $8.7 million on their cards in those six months, in almost 25,000 transactions.

The 11 confirmed improper purchases that the Office of the Inspector General found totaled around $700, for items ranging from over-the-counter medication to napkins and plastic ware to hand sanitizer. 

In its 2013 audit, the Inspector General also found that the vast majority of purchases on IRS credit cards were legitimate.

The IRS and the Inspector General did disagree on how the agency should proceed on purchases made from non-priority vendors.