Clark County's purchase cards program receives positive audit

Credit cards used to make small purchases; expansion of effort recommended

By Erik Hidle, Columbian staff writer

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Audit of Clark County's purchasing card program

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An audit of a Clark County purchasing card program found that county staff has mostly done a good job of utilizing the cards appropriately for small purchases.

The audit did find potential for misuse, and discovered one instance of a noncompliant purchase, but recommended Clark County commissioners expand the program while tightening review processes.

The credit cards were introduced in 2009 and are used for county transactions of less than $2,500. The intent is to save the county time on simple transactions.

"We were all very leery of it for a number of years but these purchase credit cards are really a good idea for small items, or vendors who aren't set up to take purchase orders from the county," said Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey. "To issue a purchase order and a warrant for a $6.75 gasket is kind of silly. And we think the commissioners should expand the program."

The auditor's office evaluated 2,346 transactions made from the nine cards in 2012.

The single noncompliant purchase was made for gift cards that were intended for county business.

The issue with the purchase was that gift cards are not considered a permissible purchase as per county policy.

Still, the findings are being considered good news. According to a county press release, the audit found the program has been "generally used appropriately."

The report also offers recommendations to help strengthen controls and monitoring, update policies and procedures, and I the use of the program.