Bergman introduces legislation to prevent VA purchase card misuse

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Jack Bergman (R-Mich.), along with House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs members Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.), Rep. Neal Dunn (R-Fla.) and Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.), introduced legislation to prevent misuse of VA’s purchase cards.

“When it comes to the care and treatment of our Veterans, accountability is my top concern,” said Bergman. “We must ensure every penny of taxpayer money is being used appropriately. Many federal entities have operated without proper oversight for far too long, leaving room for fraud, abuse, and most commonly, misuse of taxpayer dollars.

“H.R. 5215 will require the Secretary of VA to revoke a purchase card from any VA employee who is found to have misused their card. Credit card limits for VA purchase cards more than doubled as a result of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This change allows flexibility and versatility while caring for our Veterans but also increases the risk for credit card misuse. With that in mind, establishing this oversight on the front end is key to mitigating waste, fraud, and misuse within VA.”

The Veterans Affairs Purchase Card Misuse Mitigation Act would prevent misuse of purchase card spending by requiring the VA Secretary to revoke the purchase card from any employee who is found to have knowingly misused their card or approval authority. This safeguard would prevent further misuse of government funds while existing penalties, ranging from suspension to demotion to removal, are considered for the wrongdoer.

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Posted by Michelle Graves

Michelle is the managing editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3106 or mgraves@pioneergroup.com.

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