Administrator steals $350,000 on P-card

The long and ongoing state audit into the use of procurement cards (P-cards) on college campuses has revealed that a Tech administrator had charged as much as $350,000 to Tech in national grant funds over a six-year period.

Last year, the Technique reported on a similar incident where an employee form the College of Management used P-cards to make around $40,000 worth of fraudulent purchases.

As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, documents released last Friday by the University System of Georgia (USG), updating the ongoing P-card investigation, indicate that 12 cases of fraud occurred at Tech.

The papers do not identify the name of the administrator, who worked in the Parker H. Petit Institute of Bioengineering and Bioscience, involved in the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, they do indicate that the individual submitted fraudulent invoices to conceal personal purchases from 2001 to 2007.

“There is nothing I can say. The prosecutors have asked us to refrain from comment until their investigation is completed,” said Jim Fetig, associate vice president of Institute Communications and Public Affairs.

The final value of the stolen funds will not be known until the investigation is completed, but it is believed to be between $320,000 and $350,000.

Other examples of fraud, indicated in the report, occurring at Tech and also at Georgia Perimeter College include one case where an administrative assistant was given permission to have her Internet service, cable television and pay-per-view paid for by Tech.

A second case involves a tenured professor who made personal purchases with the P-card.

An examination of P-card transactions was ordered by the USG chancellor after a state audit showed that the $350 million dollar a year P-card program had little oversight. Missing receipts, poor documentation and the oversight problems were found to be the norm in many organizations. The P-card program exists in Georgia’s 35 public colleges and universities, with more than 20,000 employees authorized to use the cards for work-related purchases.

The most recent report showed that 12 employees from various colleges and universities have already been fired, resigned or retired as a result of the abuse of P-cards.