Would Releasing Agency Charge Card Records Aid Criminals?

Garry L./Shutterstock.com

The nonprofit Project on Government Oversight on Friday reported that it was denied the full access to agency credit card records it sought under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Office of Management and Budget refused the investigative group’s February request for full access to charge-card management plans from all agencies that OMB oversees, POGO said. The group wanted to see 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.

POGO cited the stepped up agency reporting requirements under the 2012 Government Credit Card Abuse Prevention Act.

OMB, however, said the information was “related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency” and hence qualified as an exception to FOIA rules. The information might be “exploited for criminal purposes,” OMB told POGO.

The nonprofit plans an appeal 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,” watchdog officials said in a blogpost.

(Image via Garry L./Shutterstock.com)

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