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Special Report: IG-0644

April 12, 2004

Los Alamos National Laboratory's Purchase Card Program Corrective Actions

The University of California operates the Los Alamos National Laboratory (Laboratory) for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). Among its many vital missions, the Laboratory ensures the safety, security, and reliability of the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile. To carry out its various missions, the Laboratory spends nearly $2 billions annually in Federal funds of which approximately $15 million is expended on low cost items using purchase cards. The use of purchase cards permits Laboratorty employees to make small purchases in an efficient and timely manner. Whie convenient, programs of this type and scale are inherently vulnerable to misues and thus require close and continuting management attent to protect against potential fraudulent or abusive purchases.