The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

August 27, 2009
It's noon: Know who has your agency's charge cards? Really?

Auditors at the Department of General Services discovered a funny thing as they did routine checks on state credit cards issued to Secretary of State's office employees.

Checking logs in the agency's business services unit in 2008 to see if the state's elections boss is following all laws, auditors found trouble with the records.

The logs are a financial control tool. They list and keep track of who has one of the 150 or so credit cards in the office, which card, and when they received it.

Two of five employees listed as having state credit cards in the control logs were spot checked. They did not actually have the card in their possession.

Worse, DGS audit chief Rick Gillam and his team couldn't find four of 20 additional cards which control logs recorded as being unissued.

DGS advised Secretary of State Debra Bowen's office, citing its obvious failure to follow state business management policies and law.

Bowen's people said they took immediate action, citing Bowen's "tone-at-the-top culture" to ensure her staff comply with all laws - and then some.

More than a year later, everything is fixed. A full agency-wide reconciliation of the 150 cards has been done, according to a letter written by Janice Lumsden, Bowen's deputy of operations.

Lumsden's July 6 letter to the DGS auditor, and the DGS audit, which describes other problems, were obtained by The State Worker.

To read both, click here.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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