By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority’s credit card program questioned $34,000 in charges that were not in compliance with local and federal law as well as the agency's internal policy, according to the Office of Public Accountability.
OPA said the questioned cost accounted for 29 percent of the $117,000 total credit card expenditures made from October 2019 to September 2022.
"Our audit did not identify any indications of fraud, however, there were 11 audit findings, most of which were repeat findings from our first audit on GHURA’s credit card program issued in October 2006," OPA said.
OPA found purchases that breached GHURA’s credit card policies and procedures resulting in:
$4,000 in unauthorized and prohibited charges on a 25 percent deposit for GHURA’s 60th-anniversary brunch venue and meals;
$5,000 in charges for contract services explicitly prohibited by its credit card policy;
Untimely approval of purchase orders one to 512 days after the credit card was charged totaling $24,000;
Lack of monitoring and oversight over credit card charges, causing unnecessary finance and interest charges incurred and paid totaling $1K; and
Incomplete and missing supporting documentation for charges totaling $27,000.
The Office of Public Accountability (OPA) has released a compliance audit of the Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority’s (GHURA) use of corporate credit cards. This audit was included in OPA’s 2023 annual audit plan due to the inherent risk of using credit and debit cards as a convenient payment method. This is the third in a series of reports related to credit card use in the Government of Guam.
Our audit found that GHURA was not in compliance with their use of their credit cards, specifically with certain provisions of its Credit Card Policies and Procedures, Guam and Federal Procurement Laws and Regulations, and its Procurement Policy. We questioned $34 thousand (K) (or 29%) of the $117K in total credit card expenditures from October 2019 to September 2022. We did not identify any indications of fraud, however, there were 11 audit findings, most of which were repeat findings from our first audit on GHURA’s credit card program issued in October 2006.
The GHURA audit was the latest in the OPA's series of credit card reviews government-wide.
“GHURA’s Credit Card Policies and Procedures guide its credit card use and should not contradict governing procurement laws, regulations, and policies," Public Auditor Benjamin Cruz said.
"In areas where we found noncompliance, we recommended corrective actions to improve and strengthen GHURA’s internal controls for its credit card program and help bring them into compliance, such as reviewing, updating, and enforcing its policies and training personnel involved in the credit card and procurement processes," he added.