The Department of Defense Office of Inspector General today released Report # 2017-001, "Report of Investigation: Ronald F. Lewis Major General, U.S. Army." The inspector general investigated allegations that the major general, who was the senior military assistant to the Secretary of Defense, misused his government travel charge card for personal expenses; made false official statements regarding his government travel card misuse; and engaged in other inappropriate behavior. Sen. Chuck Grassley has a long history of exposing the abuse of government charge cards and working to fix the abuses. In 2012, a bill he drafted called the Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act became law. The law required federal agencies to beef up oversight of purchases on government-issued credit cards. One resulting high profile audit found that a number of Pentagon employees used their government charge cards at casinos and strip clubs. The Defense Department inspector general’s office said it performed the audit because of Grassley’s law. Grassley is the co-sponsor with Sen. Tom Carper of legislation that would require the General Services Administration to use its database of purchases to look for patterns of misuse and opportunities to save money by leveraging the government’s purchasing power. Grassley made the following comment on today’s report.
“Oversight of expenses is important so government-issued charge cards aren’t misused. Catching abuse requires vigilance at all levels, including from the person processing travel paperwork who flags problems, which happened in the latest incident. The reforms I already was able to get on the books are helping to trigger audits and other ways to make sure oversight is consistent and ongoing. The pending legislation I co-wrote would help further by requiring analysis of data from all government charge cards to look for suspicions patterns and venues. For instance, places with names like ‘Candy Bar’ and ‘Cica Cica Boom’ as in the latest report should raise red flags as venues where government charge cards shouldn’t be used.”