Policy: Environment & Energy

EPA workers used tax dollars to buy gym memberships, gift cards

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Watchdog,EPA,Kelly Cohen,Inspectors General,Waste and Fraud,Follow the Money,Energy and Environment,Credit Cards

Environmental Protection Agency employees spent thousands of federal tax dollars in 2012 on things like gym memberships and gift cards, according to a government watchdog.

Of $152,000 worth of sampled transactions employees made using government credit cards, the EPA's inspector general found almost $80,000 that were "prohibited, improper and erroneous."

Officials failed to follow EPA rules on using government credit cards, allowing employees to make the purchases, which included $17,235 on gym memberships, $8,163 on gift cards and $7,129 on hotel rooms.

Failing to get prior approval for a purchase and not having a receipt verified by a third party were among the most frequent reasons the IG considered the purchases as improper.

"Improved purchase card oversight could save the government money, which would be especially helpful in the EPA's current budget environment," the IG said.

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Kelly Cohen

Staff Writer
The Washington Examiner