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7/29/2013

Performance audit finds opportunities for Purchasing Card Program

Contact

Greg Kimsey, Auditor
Phone: (360) 397-2078
greg.kimsey@clark.wa.gov

Larry Stafford, Audit Services
Phone: (360) 397-2310, ext. 4795
larry.stafford@clark.wa.gov

Vancouver, WA — The Clark County Auditor’s Office has released an audit of the county’s Purchasing Card (p-card) Program. The audit was designed to evaluate if the program is fulfilling its purpose and to determine if the controls in place are adequate and effective.

Created in 2009, the purpose of the p-card program is to establish the use of p-cards for small dollar transactions, immediate needs, or when purchase orders are not accepted by vendors. Using a p-card for these transactions instead of a purchase order can be more efficient and reduce costs.

The audit found a conservative approach was taken in implementing the program and that several best practices are being used. By the end of 2012, nine p-cards had been issued and generally used appropriately. P-card users and their supervisors reported that the program has had a positive impact on their operations, providing more flexibility while making processes simpler.

While the audit found that controls designed to detect problems have been effective, controls meant to prevent them could be more effective. Also, aspects of the program are not being fully monitored and county policy could be updated to better accommodate operational needs.

The audit also found significant opportunities for the program to expand, increasing the efficiencies and savings it provides across the county. In 2012, only about 25 percent of eligible purchases were made on a p-card.

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

County Auditor Greg Kimsey stated: “Increasing the efficiency of operations and reducing risk are key responsibilities of those in public service. Implementing the recommendations of this report addresses both of these subjects.”

The full report can be viewed at www.clark.wa.gov/auditor/audit/audreports.html or obtained by calling (360) 397-2310. The public is invited to attend a presentation of the audit results Wednesday July 31st at 10:30AM in the Training Room on the 6th floor of the Public Service Center in Vancouver.

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