By Joe Irizarry 11:16am, October 5, 2013
Chip FlowersDelaware State Treasurer Chip Flowers issues a final report on the state credit card program including the misuse of a state-issued credit card by former Deputy State Treasurer Erika Benner.
The report includes a chronology of $2,341.58 in non-business-related charges on Benner's state credit card between October 6, 2011 and February 25, 2013. The report notes Benner reimbursed the state for all improper charges during that period.
Flowers also notes the Treasury were aware of the improper charges and reimbursements, but failed to take substantive actions and notify him.
Flowers is taking disciplinary action against employees in Treasury and Accounting who violated, failed to enforce and failed to report violations of credit card policies.
The Treasury's credit card coordinator and reconciler has been replaced, and the number of credit cards issued to Treasury employees has been reduced to four from 15.
The report makes 12 recommendations for the Treasury and the Department of Finance, including the following (some of which were completed earlier this year):
Taking disciplinary action against employees in Treasury who violated, failed to enforce and failed to report violations of credit card policies;
Taking disciplinary action against employees in Accounting who did not follow the requirements of state law and the policies of the credit card program;
Replacing Treasury’s credit card coordinator and reconciler and dividing those responsibilities between two employees (completed);
Reducing the number of credit cards issued to Treasury employees from 15 to four (completed);
Requiring that Accounting document any violation of state credit card policy in writing to the credit card coordinator in the appropriate agency, with copies of the report sent to the appropriate department head and the employee believed to have violated the policy and the Attorney General;
Clarifying reimbursement rules associated with travel expenses paid with state credit cards;
Recommending that the Department of Finance and Accounting develop a warning system to notify agencies and employees when reimbursements for personal charges are made;
Changing Treasury’s credit card authorization and review process to require multiple reviews, including a final review by the Treasurer or a top aide; and
Increasing communication among Treasury, Finance and Accounting on financial matters involving potential violations of state policies and developing a standing interagency working committee to handle future violations and coordinating responses.
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