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STATUS OF CORRECTIVE ACTIONS CONFIRMED IN RESPONSE TO INTERNAL REPORT

​Report: WAPA Purchase Card Program reviewed by OIG​

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 16, 2017
CONTACT: Public Affairs, mediarelations@wapa.gov​, 720.962.7411 

LAKEWOOD, Colorado – Department of Energy Office of Inspector General confirmed today that Western Area Power Administration took numerous corrective actions to address issues with Desert Southwest’s use of government purchase cards, or GPCs. The OIG conducted the review in response to 2014 and 2016 internal reviews on Desert Southwest and WAPA-wide use of GPCs, which included steps taken to mitigate and correct issues identified. To see the full OIG report, visit the OIG website. 

"It was important that we took the initial findings concerning the GPC program very seriously," said WAPA Administrator and CEO Mark A. Gabriel. "We owe it to our customers to always be transparent and we owe it to our employees to ensure we are always executing our mission with best business practices WAPA-wide." 

The seriousness of the reported weaknesses within the program prompted WAPA to take corrective actions on how the program is implemented, monitored and managed. As a result, WAPA designated a GPC organizational program coordinator whose primary responsibility is to manage and oversee WAPA’s GPC program. Additionally, corrective actions resulted in a reduction in the overall number of cardholders, providing GPC training to employees and suspending cardholder accounts for failure to comply with policies. 

Desert Southwest in conjunction with WAPA Headquarters appropriately instituted formal disciplinary actions for GPC misuses and improper approval of transactions on two cardholders and one approving official, and subsequently identified the potential need for disciplinary actions on three additional cardholders. 

WAPA’s internal reports included:

  • December 2014 "Internal Control Weaknesses in the Desert Southwest Region’s Purchase Card Program."
  • February 2016 "Internal Control Weaknesses in the Western Area Power Administration Purchase Card Program."

The reviews identified a lack of compliance with policies and procedures and minimum program requirements in the GPC program. It also found weaknesses in the overall control environment, which contributed to potentially fraudulent or improper transactions that required further review. 

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About WAPA: Western Area Power Administration annually markets and transmits more than 25,000 gigawatt hours of clean, renewable power from 56 federal hydroelectric power plants owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 15 western and central states. It is part of the Department of Energy. Follow us on Twitter @WesternAreaPowr or visit the website at www.wapa.gov.

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