November 3, 2014 – How much is a “micro-purchase?” To one of the 9,700 Department of Homeland Security agents, it’s anything charged to a special government credit not exceeding $3,000. That card, however, was used to swipe over $30,000 of taxpayer money for Starbucks in 2013.
From the article at Washington Post:
Anne Richards, assistant inspector general for audits at the Homeland Security Department’s Office of the Inspector General, said they would review those Starbucks transactions to determine if they were appropriate use of the government credit card.
S.Y. Lee, DHS spokesman, told the Loop that the Starbucks purchases “were made for various reasons, following standard purchase card policy and guidance.”
Richards suggested at the hearing that the California Starbucks purchases were to stock dining pantries on Coast Guard ships. A DHS official tells us they were for the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton, “one of the largest cutters in the Coast Guard with a crew of more than 100 personnel, in preparation for an extended deployment.”
The credit card has also been used for online dating and iPods, but that was back in 2008, so these official assurances should receive the highest deference.
What should the Congress do about this runaway spending at DHS? Give your advice in the comments.