1. Maple Syrup

Government credit cards reportedly used in shopping frenzy; criminal charges laid


By: Steve Rennie, THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA – Government credit cards assigned to the Canadian Border Services Agency were used to go on a $230,000 shopping spree, say newly released documents.

The government documents claim the bills were racked up during a nine-month spending frenzy.

A former employee of the Canadian Border Services Agency faces criminal charges.

The CBSA launched an internal affairs investigation after noticing “irregular purchases” on one of its acquisition cards, according to the documents, which were obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

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2. Apple Pie

GAO: Millions wasted on gov’t cards

By HOPE YEN, Associated Press Writer Tue Apr 8, 7:36 PM ET

WASHINGTON – Federal employees charged millions of dollars for Internet dating, tailor-made suits, lingerie, lavish dinners and other questionable expenses to their government credit cards over a 15-month period, congressional auditors say.

A report by the Government Accountability Office, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, examined spending controls across the federal government following reports of credit-card abuse at departments including Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs.

The review of card spending at more than a dozen departments from 2005 to 2006 found that nearly 41 percent of roughly $14 billion in credit-card purchases, whether legitimate or questionable, did not follow procedure — either because they were not properly authorized or they had not been signed for by an independent third party as called for in federal rules to deter fraud.

For purchases over $2,500, nearly half — or 48 percent — were unauthorized or improperly received.

Out of a sample of purchases totaling $2.7 million, the government could not account for hundreds of laptop computers, iPods and digital cameras worth more than $1.8 million. In one case, the U.S. Army could not say what happened to computer items making up 16 server configurations, each of which cost nearly $100,000.

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