-- A Pentagon audit has found that Defense Department personnel misused their government travel credit cards to spend more than $1 million at casinos and adult entertainment venues last year.
The misuse of the cards has resulted in disciplinary action in several hundred cases, but there is no loss to taxpayers as the cardholders must pay the cost of unauthorized or personal use transactions themselves.
The Defense Department’s Inspector General is slated to release an audit later this month entitled, “Government Travel Charge Card Transactions Made at Casinos or Adult Entertainment Establishments.”
The audit looked at whether Defense Department employees used their government travel credit cards for personal use at casinos or adult entertainment establishments.
A defense official told ABC News that auditors found that during the period from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014, DoD cardholders improperly used those government credit cards to spend $952,258 at casinos and $96,576 at adult entertainment establishments.
The report did not determine how many Pentagon employees had improperly used their cards, which are supposed to be used solely for travel expenses.
However, the audit found 4,437 transactions at casinos and 900 additional transactions at adult entertainment establishments during that timeframe.
"Clearly, the behavior displayed by these individuals neither comports with our values nor represents the good service of the vast majority of or service members or DOD Civilians,” said the official.
Disciplinary action has already been taken for 364 cases and 79 are pending action, the official said.
The defense official described the improper spending at casinos and adult establishments as “miniscule” because it amounted to 0.0307% of the total card spending of $3.4 billion dollars on individually billed accounts during the period of the audit.
“While any misuse of the card is taken seriously, the amount of this misuse is extremely small given the size and scope of the DoD travel charge card program,” said the official.
Some 1.6 million employees have the travel cards.
As with any other misuse of the cards for unauthorized personal use, the government does not reimburse or pay for the charges. It is the card holder who ends up paying the cost of the unauthorized or personal use transactions "out of pocket."