Obama signs new government charge card rules

Ri.Ch/Shutterstock.com

President Obama signed a bill into law Friday that creates stricter rules for federal employees using government charge cards, Federal News Radio reported.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, introduced the 2012 Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act  in February 2011, and it cleared Congress during the final minutes of lawmakers’ session in late September. Grassley worked on the legislation with Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine. In a statement, Grassley said the legislation was created to restore the public’s trust in government spending.

“This bill is about accountability,” he said.  “The public trust has been violated by abusive use of government charge cards.  By putting some common-sense controls into the law, we can make certain the federal bureaucracy improves the way it responsibly manages the use of these cards.”

The law tasks federal agencies with ensuring that individuals with travel cards are creditworthy and with issuing restricted cards to those with poor or no credit history. It also specifies that agency directors add internal controls and audits to reduce wasteful spending, and it creates penalties for violators.

“American taxpayers get the bill for these federal credit cards and they deserve complete assurance that their money is going to legitimate business purposes," Collins said.

(Image via Ri.Ch/Shutterstock.com)

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