Gov't Credit Cards Used Inappropriately

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A new report says federal employees have charged millions of dollars of personal expenses to their government credit cards.

They've charged everything from Internet dating accounts to tailor made suits.

Who foots the bill? You do.

Reports of credit card abuse in more than a dozen departments sparked the investigation by the General Accounting Office.

What the GAO found was startling.

Rumors of lavish dinners by postal workers and high-end manicures proved to be true.

The review looked at spending for 2005-2006.

Nearly 41 percent of roughly $14 billion in credit card purchases - whether legitimate or questionable - did not follow procedure.

For purchases over $2,500, nearly half were not authorized.

"If you don't watch the pennies, they become millions and if you don't watch the hundreds and thousands, they become billions," said Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minnesota.

In one of the worst abuses, no one seemed to notice when an Oregon Forest Service employee used her federal account to write checks to her live-in boyfriend.

Over six years, she paid out more than half a million dollars.

"It took a whistle blower to find out that she had written 180 checks to her boyfriend," said Tom Schatz, with Citizens Against Government Waste.

One senator says the report shows the government has a long way to go to stop the abuse of federal credit cards.

Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minnesota, said the "government should not be held to a lesser standard, if anything, the same or higher standard because it's not our money, it's your money."

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