The General Services Administration announced yesterday that it was cracking down on government drivers who abuse GSA credit cards meant to be used to pay for gasoline, oil and emergency repairs needed by government vehicles.

The crackdown was prompted by GSA estimates that as much as 10 percent of the $200 million charged on the cards each year is fraudulent.

Using a new record-keeping method, GSA will be able to tell how much is being charged for each of the agency's 420,000 cars and trucks, according to GSA administrator Jay Solomon.

"Suspicious purchase patterns will be referred to the (GSA) Office of Investigation," Solomon said. Employes found abusing the cards will face immediate disciplinary action which could include dismissal from employment or referral to federal prosecutors, he said.

At least 25 alleged instances of credit card misuse are being investigated by GSA in the Washington area alone, sources familiar with the probes have told The Washington Post.

In addition to these investigations, the Washington and Baltimore U.S. Attorney's offices are conducting parallel probes into the methods used by GSA to purchase office supplies and award contracts to maintain federal buildings.

GSA, the federal agency responsible for providing government workers with office space and supplies, issues the credit cars so that drivers of the government's cars can obtain from most service stations what they need to operate their vehicles.