Credit card spending for state government now online

Columbia, SC - COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) - Expenditures made with state government charge cards are now available on the internet.

Comptroller Richard Eckstrom announced Wednesday that he has begun posting the monthly charge card spending by state agencies online at as an enhancement to the state's spending transparency efforts. Eckstrom first began posting individual expenditures by state agencies in 2008.

The reports, beginning with each agency's monthly charge card purchases for February and March 2010, will be updated monthly.

Most state agencies, particularly colleges and universities, use the cards, which are also known as "procurement cards." During the month of March alone, state agencies and colleges and universities spent more than $16.3 million using the charge cards.

The cards are issued under a state contract with Bank of America.

"Citizens deserve as much information as possible about how their hard-earned tax dollars are spent, and this is just one more way to give them easy access to that information," Eckstrom said.. "This is, after all, the people's money. Letting them see how public funds are spent is important under ordinary circumstances, but maybe even more important during times of steep revenue shortfalls, when every dollar should be stretched to meet the demands placed on it."

Eckstrom said that putting charge card spending on the internet helps to reduce the risk of waste, unauthorized spending and fraud.

"Abuse of government charge cards has been a major problem in other states," he said. "Without proper oversight and transparency, there are simply too many opportunities for misuse. We need to limit those risks here in South Carolina."

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