By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Officials of the Guam Power Authority and the Guam Waterworks Authority charged their corporate credit cards for personal travel expenses and other unauthorized procurements, resulting in $71,000 questioned costs.
In an audit report released Tuesday, the Office of Public Accountability noted that the GPA and the GWA’s credit card use policies listed authorized and unauthorized uses of the corporate credit card and requirements for certain purchases.
OPA said its audit found the GPA and the GWA made credit card purchases contrary to their policies.
Based on their respective policies that mirror each other, corporate credit cards cannot be used for purchases of personal items.
However, the OPA found a $2,000 purchase by the GPA for an additional flight from Houston to Las Vegas, which was not covered in the approved travel authorization.
“The additional flight was for a personal trip that the traveler was to pay directly to the travel agency. However, the quote for a direct flight was not on file. Hence, the GPA was unable to distinguish the traveler’s personal cost from the total airfare cost,” the OPA said.
The audit also found violations of the GPA and GWA credit card regulations that prohibit on-island purchases.
“Based on the credit card statements, transactions with on-island vendors were made by the GPA totaling $35,000 for 68 transactions; and by the GWA totaling $2,000 for 12 transactions,” the OPA said. “While nearly all the purchases were reasonable and for the entity, a $1,000 purchase was made by GWA to
reserve a room at a local hotel for a consultant.”
The OPA also noted the late submissions of the travel expenses report.
“Within 10 days following the return from official travel, an employee may submit an itemized statement of travel expenses incurred during official travel,” the audit report said.
“Travel clearances were submitted as late as 28 days for 12 GPA purchases subtotaling $24,000. Meanwhile, clearances were submitted as late as 53 days, were incomplete, or were not submitted for six GWA purchases subtotaling $9,000."
The OPA's review of the GPA and GWA travel records also revealed that the government travel law billed "Sen. Edward J. Cruz Medical Referral and Education Mileage Program" was not fully implemented.
The law requires GPA and the GWA to use 100 percent of their accrued mileage
account to send eligible students to off-island sports competitions.
"However, the GPA opted not to have a credit card that earned miles due to
the associated costs," the report said.
"The GWA’s corporate credit card earns miles, but the miles have yet to be transferred or used. Since rules and regulations were not established for the mileage program, the GPA and the GWA were not given the means to comply
with the law and rewards or points earned from corporate credit card use continue to accumulate," the OPA added.