Bergman Introduces New Legislation to Prevent VA Purchase Card Misuse

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Washington, March 8, 2018 | comments

Today, 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, the Veterans Affairs Purchase Card Misuse Mitigation Act, is an appropriate and necessary next step to ensure that VA is properly using the resources they have been allocated.

"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. I'm proud to introduce this bipartisan bill with Reps. Bost, Dunn and Rice.”

“This vitally important legislation not only punishes bad actors at the VA who misuse funds, but also will prevent future misuse of taxpayer dollars,” said Bost. “We can’t always predict bad behavior, but we can put in place systems that lessen taxpayer exposer to it.”

“Purchase card misuse has been an ongoing issue at the VA for years,” said Dunn. “They have wasted millions of taxpayer dollars on overpriced and sometimes unauthorized supplies. Our veterans deserve better. By increasing accountability and enforcing current rules at the VA, this legislation will ensure that VA employees are spending taxpayer dollars efficiently for the benefit of our veterans.”  

The Veterans Affairs Purchase Card Misuse Mitigation Act

The Veterans Affairs Purchase Card Misuse Mitigation Act, introduced by O&I Chairman Bergman, Rep. Bost, Rep. Dunn and Rep. Rice, 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. Click here for more information. Read the bill here.

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