In February 2012 Boise Weekly reported that the city of Boise was seeing increased usage of P-cards (or purchase cards) where city employees use plastic to provide an electronic trail of financial transactions. At the time, a review from the city's Office of Internal Audit found that the city's control over its P-cards was not satisfactory—discovering that a number of cards had not been closed out within a reasonable period after a cardholder was no longer employed by the city. Additionally, the audit discovered that a purchase had been made by a city employee using a prohibited Merchant Category Code.
The most recent review of city of Boise P-card activity, covering the fourth quarter of Fiscal Year 2013 from July 5 through Sept. 27, found that city employees continue to use P-cards with increasing regularity. In fact, more than $2.3 million in purchases were recorded through 7,688 transactions in the three-month period. Overall card-spending increased 11 percent compared to the previous quarter.
The audit continued to identify several issues requiring management followup, including:
-one instance where an employee used a P-card for a personal purchase. When notified, auditors reported that the employee took immediate action and the charge was reversed by the vendor.
-one instance where a P-card remained live for a period of 18 days after the cardholder terminated employment. No fraudulent use of the card occurred.
-three split transactions during the quarter. In each instance, the cardholder was required to re-take P-card training.
City auditors are already beginning to review P-card transactions for the fourth quarter of FY 2013.