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OMB Refuses to Provide Charge Card Policies and Reports

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The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently refused a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the Project On Government Oversight asking for government charge card policies and records. OMB refused the request in its entirety, claiming that the information was “related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency,” an exception from FOIA.

The OMB oversees executive agencies, providing oversight and management, including review of the programs agencies have in place to monitor charge card abuses. The Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 required government agencies to report instances of charge card abuse and the procedures the agency had in place to prevent future misconduct. In February, POGO submitted a FOIA request to OMB, asking for multiple types of documents that are required by law: charge-card management plans from all agencies OMB oversees, Joint Purchase Reports, Integrated Card Violation Reports, and supporting documents for both reports including summaries of charge card misuse and any personnel actions taken as a result.

OMB denied POGO’s request for the records because they claimed that the documents were “related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency” and that the information might be “exploited for criminal purposes.” POGO will be appealing that decision because we feel strongly that the public deserves to know about misuse of government funds and what is being done to prevent further abuses, especially in the purchase card program, which is prone to fraudulent spending.

POGO is not the only entity having difficulty getting information from the government. We have discussed how the press has been having difficulty obtaining information through FOIA and through other avenues, and how, when responses are received, they are often delayed or heavily redacted. POGO encourages the Administration and all federal agencies to improve public access to government information, and to stop frustrating the purposes of FOIA. 

Image by Flickr user Joel Kramer.

By: Emily Binkow
Legal Intern, POGO

Emily Binkow is a legal intern at the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: Government Accountability

Related Content: Open Government, FOIA, Videos

Authors: Emily Binkow

Submitted by Dfens at: April 7, 2014
The Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle program was cancelled after 25 years of "research and development" and at least $3 billion US taxpayer dollars were spent and what did the US taxpayer get for all that money? Absolutely nothing. $300,000,000 went directly to General Dynamics pocket and yet they produced not a single operational vehicle, and no one is accountable for that waste. Is POGO on this? Hell no! They are on a fishing expedition for the credit card records of the people who work for OMB. They will find perhaps as much as $1,000 in questionable charges to these cards which will amount to nothing and they'll beat their collective chests and sing their own praises for protecting the US taxpayer from the vilest kind of fraud, that apparently being the kind that wastes little to none of our money, and move on to some other non-problem. And all the while General Dynamics executives will be living the high life laughing at how stupid the US taxpayer really is.
Submitted by elfin 42 at: April 5, 2014
shocking that no responsibility is being taken to protect consumers against an obvious exploitation?
Submitted by Dfens at: April 4, 2014
Our Navy has glorified PT boats that cost more than the largest battleship ever built domestically. Our Air Force struggles with a trillion dollar fighter program where they've spent $340 billion in development, of which $34 billion has gone into the bank account of Lockheed Martin so they can pay their CEO and his goon squad of "executives" millions of dollars a year. Who does POGO go after? They go after the middle class "thousandaire" working for the OMB. It's another great day to be part of the 1%.

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