The Senate has approved bipartisan oversight legislation to crackdown on wasteful spending, fraud and abusive uses of federal agency travel and purchase cards.

The bill, entitled The Saving Federal Dollars Through Better Use of Government Purchase and Travel Cards Act, asks agencies to strengthen their accountability measures and oversight of purchases employees make with the federal government charge cards.

The legislation, according to Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del, will ”save taxpayer dollars” as well as serving as a ”great example of what Democrats and Republicans can accomplish by working together.”

To do so, the bill asks for three things:

  • For the General Services Administration to establish a federal-wide analysis and oversight of charge card usage looking for any patterns indicating the cards are being misused; 
  • To establish a routine to share information about charge card usage throughout federal agencies to help establish best practices for addressing spending issues. This includes sharing information with other agencies about fraud schemes, high-risk sellers and other information that helps prevent abusive use of charge cards and fraud, and;
  • To support strategic sourcing which helps determine whether large purchases could have been bought through more cost-efficient means such as negotiated discounts. 

”This bill will help us continue down the right path. It’ll make sure we’re looking for similar patterns of misuse across all federal agencies and that agencies are sharing best practices to prevent misuse and identify potential cost savings,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a press release.

The bill passed August 3. It was initially introduced in May by Sens. Carper, Grassley, and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and builds an additional layer of governmentwide oversight atop the “Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012.”

Rachael Kalinyak is an editorial intern with Network Solutions.

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