Department of Transportation tightens TRANServe unit's debit-card controls

The Office of Transportation Services (TRANServe), a branch of the Department of Transportation, recently added several internal-control mechanisms to its TRANServe debit-card program to achieve consistency with federal standards.

With these controls, federal employees will no longer be able to use their debit cards for purchases that are not related to transit. Now TRANServe can guarantee that all transit purchases that are not related to transit purposes can be identified and rejected.

Between 2011 and 2013, staff with TRANServe tested whether the debit-card controls were adequate. They made purchases that were not related to transit purposes, as well as ones that were related to transit purposes. In most instances, the internal control successfully stopped the debit card nontransit-related purchases.

“Internal control” will now consist of a series of ongoing actions taken throughout TRANServe operations. These steps will safeguard assets, as well as detect and prevent errors and fraud.

The Department of Transportation already has offered evidence that demonstrates the consistency of the TRANServe debit program with the five internal-control standards of the GAO’s Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, including risk assessment, control environment, control activities, information and communication, and monitoring.

TRANServe and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have collaborated to create the debit-card program to ensure it complies with the rules of the IRS for qualified transportation fringe benefits.

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U.S. Department of Transportation

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