Purchase Cards - Archive

The historical documents below have been archived for reference by the Governmentwide Commercial Purchase Card (GPC) Program community. These documents are provided for historical context. Please note that GPC policy continues to evolve, and the most current information is provided in the Department of Defense Government Charge Card Guidebook for Establishing and Managing Purchase, Travel, and Fuel Card Programs. Where the information in these archived documents conflicts with that provided in the guidebook, the latter takes precedence.

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The General Accounting Office (GAO) in report GAO-16-526, Government Purchase Cards: Opportunities Exist to Leverage Buying Power, identified steps to be taken to increase savings to the Department. By following Appendix B of The Office of Management and Budget's Circular A-123's definition of strategic sourcing, the Department will have these increased savings defined as "collaborative and structured process of critically analyzing an organization's spending and using this information to make business decisions about acquiring commodities and services more effectively and efficiently."

Effective Immediately, Defense components using the PCOLS Certifying Officer Appointment workflow are no longer required to process, sign, store, or provide to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service "wet-signature" DD From 577s, "Appointment/Termination Record -Authorized Signature," (for accounts that are set up for electronic certification for payment). "Wet-signature" DD Form 577s are still required for accounts not set up for electronic certification.

This memorandum provides notification of the update to the DAU CLG-001 training required for the initial training requirement. In addition, the memorandum strongly recommends the use of this updated course to fulfill the refresher training requirement.

Federal Register/Vol.80, No.127/Rules and Regulations/Page 38294. This rule amends multiple FAR parts to further implement 41 USC 1908. Section 1908 requires an adjustment every five years of statutory acquisition-related thresholds for inflation. Effective October 1, 2015 the micro-purchase base threshold of $3,000 (FAR 2.101) is increased to $3,500.

This memorandum emphasizes the need for continued efforts to improve the accuracy and reliability of FPDS data. Related policy clarifications are discussed.

This memorandum announces the implementation of new DoD reporting process in support of OMB Circular No. A123 Appendix B (Improving the Management of Government Charge Card Programs) and Public Law 112-194 (Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012).

On October 5, 2012, the President signed into law the Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 (Charge Card Act), Public Law 112-194, which reinforced Administration efforts to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse of Government-wide charge card programs.

This law establishes safeguards and internal controls to prevent the abuse of Government Charge Cards. The Office of Charge Card Management (OCCM) has developed a point by point analysis of S.300 (Crosswalk Document), which outlines each requirement of S.300 and indicates which section of OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B fulfills the requirement.

Policy memo establishing a DOD Standard Line of Accounting (SLOA) and updates the Standard Financial Information Structure (SFIS).

This memo announces the DoD IG’s plans to conduct an “Audit of the Adequacy of DoD Approving/Billing Officials’ Review of At-Risk Transactions Identified by the Purchase Card Online System” in DoD locations where PCOLS is deployed.

DoD preparations for implementation of SAM and transition from legacy applications.

This updated guidance requires all PCOLS deployment reporting to be posted to the DPAP website. Any Defense Agency not compliant with deploying PCOLS by 3rd QTR FY12 will have high risk transactions referred to the DoD Inspector General.

Recommends attendance for all A/OPCs at the 14th Annual GSA SmartPay 2 Conference scheduled for July 31 - August 2, 2012 in Nashville, TN. The conference is recommended for Approving Officials, Billing Officials, Inspector General Staff, and Financial, Resource or Budget personnel.

Delegates ASA(AT&L) authority to designate "a single contracting activity inside the United States" to act as the lead contracting activity with authority to use the overseas increased micro-purchase threshold (currently $25 ,000) and increased simplified acquisition threshold (currently $1 million), when awarding a contract inside the United States for performance in the Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation New Dawn theater of operations.

A series of initiatives designed to reduce duplication, overhead, and excess, and instill a culture of savings and cost accountability across the Department of Defense.

Mandatory for DoD A/OPCs (March 29, 2011) Directs mandatory attendance for all A/OPCs at the 13th Annual GSA SmartPay 2 Conference scheduled for August 16-18, 2011 in Las Vegas, NV. The conference is recommended for Approving Officials, Billing Officials, Inspector General Staff, and Financial, Resource or Budget personnel.

Indicates the reporting requirements of actions conducted with the GPC to the FPDS. The following requirements are effective immediately: 1) All contracts/orders where GPC is used solely as payment must be reported to FPDS regardless of dollar value. 2)Open-market actions paid for with the GPC shall not be reported to FPDS. 3) For actions under federally awarded contracts Components shall report all actions using the GPC to FPDS.

Policy guidance regarding Government Purchase Card (GPC) program surveillance and management at joint bases.

Mandatory for DoD A/OPCs (March 17, 2010) Directs mandatory attendance for all A/OPCs at the 12th Annual GSA SmartPay 2 Conference scheduled for August 10-12, 2010 in Atlanta, GA. The conference is recommended for Approving Officials, Billing Officials, Inspector General Staff, and Financial, Resource or Budget personnel.

Mr. Assad congratulates Air Force, Defense Logistics Agency, Defense Commissary Agency, Defense Contract Management Agency and the Washington Headquarters Service for their progress in the implementation of PCOLS as per directed on the November 19, 2009 memorandum directing full PCOLS deployment by January 1, 2010. All activities not noted above are to provide a new implementation plan for PCOLS within 30 days from the date of this memorandum.

The attached draft document describes the DoD strategy for information/data flow, transmission and storage of DoD Purchase Card data. The document also solicits input to improve its accuracy and to determine possibility of eliminating "paper documentation" in any associated Purchase Card business process.

The 2009 Defense Authorization Act directed a plan to enable capture of acceptance data for items bought with a purchase card by modifying WAWF to enable receiving reports for card transactions.

Establishes a new paradigm and business rules to the historical practice of contract documents containing a financial line of accounting. New contract awards no longer will be reliant on carrying line of accounting data, it will carry the AAI attribute to route contract transactions to the appropriate accounting system.

Mandatory for DoD A/OPCs (2009) Directs mandatory attendance for all A/OPCs at the 13th Annual GSA SmartPay 2 Conference scheduled for July 28-30, 2009 in Phoenix, AZ. The conference is recommended for Approving Officials, Billing Officials, Inspector General Staff, and Financial, Resource or Budget personnel.

PCOLS a web based system capability was designed to address weaknesses in the charge card program. AIM, a workflow tool that identifies questionable purchase card transactions. Data mining algorithms identify purchases that could be fraudulent. A Risk Assessment application will allow both auditors to asses the "health" of local card programs. All Component Procurement Executives are required to develop a plan to implement this capability that should be submitted by January 9, 2009.

In accordance with the Certifying Officer Legislation, Section 3528 of title 31 United States Code, a certifying officer is pecuniarily liable for illegal, improper or incorrect payments resulting from improper certification.

Mandatory for DoD AOPCs (June 10, 2008) This memorandum announces the importance of the annual training for Department of Defense Agency Program Coordinators conducted at the General Services Administration (GSA) Smart Pay Conference. This years training will be held July 22-24 2008 in Denver, Colorado.All purchase cards will be cancelled effective 30 November 2008 and reissued under the SmartPay 2 contract that starts effective 1 December 2008. This, in addition to the on-going deployment of the Purchase Card On-Line System (PCOLS), makes attendance at the event for all A/OPCs critical. Further details are provided within the memorandum.

Supplemental Guidance to 1/22/2008 Deputy Secretary of Defense initial guidance for implementing BRAC recommendation # 6, Joint Basing, which directed the development and issuance of supplemental guidance in key areas.

This memorandum revises previous policy issued on March 7, 2005 on this subject. In that memorandum we stated that the use of a third party payment merchant was not allowed under any circumstances. Since the issuance of the subject memorandum, we have received persuasive feedback which sites numerous situations where the use of a third party payment merchant is unavoidable. Therefore, we are revising the existing policy to state that where it is identified that the purchase will be processed via a third party merchant, the cardholder should make every attempt to choose another merchant with whom to procure the goods and/or services.

Institutes a new policy on documenting and reporting training by: 1) sunsetting the DDForm 1556, Request, Authorization, Agreement, Certification of Training and Reimbursement and replacing it with the SF 182, Authorization, Agreement, Certification of Training 2) requiring that all instances of completed civilian employee training be input to the DCPDS 3) Requiring that all LMSs be capable of reporting data elements required by OPM.

On December 19, 2005 the Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy (DPAP) Office and the OUSD (Comptroller) issued a joint memorandum entitled "Internal Controls for the Purchase Card Program." This posted memorandum and guidance implement a revision to the certificaiton process to comply with the requirements in the Department of Defense Financial Management Regulation Volume 5, "Disbursing Policy and Procedures".

DPAP and the Comptroller developed the first edition of the Miscellaneous Payment Guidebook. It serves as a baseline to standardize the miscellaneous payment process and enable future automation. WAWF plans to provide a link to the miscellaneous payment categories section within the guidebook.

This memo requires each senior procurement executive to brief the Director, DPAP on the programs they are using to address purchase card misuse.

Requires that all cardholders, approving officials, certifying officials and A/OPCs to take a refresher GPC training every two years after completing basic training. Departments may develop a course or use the DAU online course.

The guidance "Release of Purchase Card Data to the Public Domain authorized DoD Purchase Card Program Offices to only release the following specific transactional data in response to FOIA requests: merchant category code, transaction amount, merchant name, merchant, city, state, zip, phone, transaction date.

Enclosed listing of convenience checks that violated the $2,500 threshold written between June 2005 to November 2005. The document requests the immediate audit and cancellation of the check accounts and a report of the findings to be forwarded to the Purchase Card Program Office no later than 30 days after receipt of this memorandum.

The Comptroller and the Joint Purchase Card Program Management Office have developed Internal Controls to manage risk associated with the use of the Government Purchase Card. This memo also issues guidance on nominating electronic solutions other than the use of the existing bank systems for validation of invoices. Military Departments and Defense Agencies should ensure that their purchase card guidance and instructions are consistent with these controls.

The purpose of this memorandum is to re-emphasize Department policy governing the use of convenience checks.

The Joint Purchase Card Program Management Office has issued the following guidance on the Use of the Government Purchase Card (GPC) in Support of Hurricane Katrina Rescue and Relief Operations.

This memorandum limits the release of information on DoD personnel at the office director level or above to names, official titles, organizations, and telephone numbers.

Guidance from the Director, Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy concerning the release of purchase card data to the public, authorizing a limited amount of purchase card transactional data at the installation, base, or activity level for non-classified accounts.

This memorandum states that the use of the purchase card through a third party merchant is not allowed under any circumstances due to associated risks.

The GSA Purchase Card training was reviewed in response to the Navy's request to consider the GSA training as the mandatory source of training for NAF Purchase Card Program participants in lieu of the training currently mandated at DAU. It was determined that the GSA training meets all of the salient requirements for a general overview of the program. The Air Force, however, prefers to continue use of the DAU training.

The FY 2003 Defense Appropriations Act required the Secretary of Defense to evaluate the creditworthiness of individuals before issuing them purchase or travel charge cards and stated that an individual may not be issued a card if found not credit worthy.

The proposed directive establishes policy, assigns responsibilities and prescribes procedures for initiating and managing DoD Charge Card Programs, to include the Aviation-Into-Plane Reimbursement Card, the Fleet Card, the Purchase Card and the Travel Card.

This is in response your memorandum of April 29, 2004, requesting a proposed response to GAO with regard to the subject final report. DoD's overall position on the report has not changed, and there are no additional comments to the report.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires cardholder permission before a formal credit check can be conducted. If sufficient numbers of cardholders refuse to give permission, the effectiveness of the Government Purchase Card Program in the future could be limited.

This is the Department of Defense (DoD) response to the GAO draft report, "CONTRACT MANAGEMENT: Agencies Could Achieve Significant Savings on Purchase Card Buys," dated February 9, 2003 (GAO Code 192082/GAO-04-430). Enclosed are DoD's detailed comments regarding the three recommendations on pages 25 and 26 of your draft report.

This is the Department of Defense (DoD) response to the General Accounting Office (GAO) final report, GAO-04- 156, "PURCHASE CARDS: Steps Taken to Improve DoD Program Management, but Actions Needed to Address Misuse," dated December 2,2003 (GAO Code 192090). It provides additional comments.

This memorandum implements 10 U.S.C. 2784a, as amended by section 1009 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2004, Public Law 108-136. Additionally, it is a follow-up to memorandum dated April 21, 2003, implementing the "Government Charge Disciplinary Guide for Civilian Employees.”

Following reports of government charge card misuse within the Department, the DoD Charge Card Task Force identified personal accountability as essential to DoD's efforts to strengthen the Department's purchase and travel charge card programs. It shall be DoD policy that in each case of improper, fraudulent, abusive, or negligent use of a government purchase or travel charge card by military personnel, including any use at establishments or for purposes that are inconsistent with the official business of DoD or with applicable standards of conduct, the commander or supervisor of the responsible individual or parties will be informed in a timely manner in order that appropriate corrective or disciplinary action may be taken.

Management Initiative Decision (MID) 904, Recommendation PC-13 requires all Components to review FY 2002 purchase card transactions for strategic sourcing intelligence and to determine if they could optimize purchasing power through Component-wide contracts. The enclosed memorandum acknowledges and commends the Components for taking the initiative to achieve this objective.

The FY03 Appropriations Act requires that procedures be established for dealing with improper, fraudulent or abusive use of government purchase cards and government travel charge cards by DoD civilian employees. The FY03 NDAA requires that DoD issue regulations providing for appropriate corrective actions for employees who are negligent or who engage in misuse, abuse, or fraud with respect to a purchase card. Existing Component disciplinary policies satisfy these new requirements; however, we developed a sample range of suggested penalties included in the report guidance attached, so that us of these policies reflect consistent application. DoD Components must take appropriate action to implement this guidance as necessary and furnish this office a report by May 15, summarizing how Component policy meets statutory requirements. This data will be used to satisfy congressional reporting requirements as outlined in Subsection 8149(d) of the FY03.

This is in response to your memorandum of March 4, 2003, requesting waiver authority to purchase gift certificates with the DoD Purchase Card. The request for waiver is denied.

The Department must ensure the proper stewardship of public funds and sustain the momentum initiated by the Government Charge Card Task Force. To this end, a Special Focus Group for Charge Cards is being established, under the aegis of the Acquisition Governance Board, to ensure that an appropriate balance is established between streamlining business processes and proper use of charge cards. This group will also ensure successful implementation of Management Initiative Decision 904 and establish a strategic vision for the Department's future.

To provide stronger internal controls for the purchase card program all Military Departments, Defense Agencies, and DoD Field Activities must accelerate fielding of online certification and bill payment tools at ever DoD installation.

When a government purchase or travel charge cardholder comes under investigation for charge card misuse or abuse, the commander or head of the organization shall take immediate action upon receipt of information that raises serious questions as to the individual's ability or intent to protect classified information or execute sensitive duties.

When a purchase card or travel card holder comes under investigation for misconduct associated with the use of charge cards, supervisors and security managers must be notified.

Reminder of the DoD policy of restricting purchases of items/services from merchants coded in certain categories. The memo lists merchant codes who have identified themselves within these categories.

Describes the purpose of Operation Mongoose and the need to expand the program to formally include purchase card transactions and associated dollars. Specifically, the data mining or data query efforts by the Air Force Audit Agency and the DoDIG should be considered for program inclusion.

Highlights the need to ensure proper oversight of DoD's purchase card program at all levels, but especially at the post/camp/station level. Encourages approving officials to perform frequent spot checks of internal controls, including the using the audit activities and inspector's general assigned to the organizations.

Announces the establishment of an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Response Cell in support of US Bank Government Purchase Card customers and Standard Operation Procedure (SOP). Errors surrounding the digital flow of obligations and invoices generated by U.S. Bank to the DoD's financial management systems should be reported to this Response Cell. The Response Cell indentifies where in the process the digital flow was interrupted and to assign corrective action.

Stresses the need for a system of internal and management controls to minimize losses. Appropriate allocation of resources to allow officials to perform their dutis accurately is essential. Billing officials should have no more than 5-7 cardholders assigned to them for oversight and program coordinators must be given the resources to complete annual or semi-annual compliance review and training.

The commercial bank program contracts for the Purchase Card, Travel Card and PowerTrack include rebates based on early payment of the billings. Based on the attached table illustrating CVF rebate discount points, payments for the US Bank Purchase Card, Citibank Purchase Card and Bank of America Travel Card are to be paid as soon as they are ready for payment. in contrast, payments for the US Bank PowerTrack will be paid and the end of the payment cycle.

This memorandum delegates to commanders, activity directors and other personnel the authority to appoint certifying officers. Certifying officers are accountable to ensure payments are legal, proper and correct by their certification on vouchers prior to payment. Sample for the appointment and acknowledgement of appointment of certifying officers is enclosed.

Workforce members who attend the GSA SmartPay conference on August 29-31, 2000, can earn Continuous Learning Points. The training is mandatory for APCs.

This memorandum asks for support in ensuring only properly authorized individuals certify purchase card invoices for payment. DoD is implementing a web based, electronic review, approval and certification process, the payment office will assume that electronic certification was made by authorized individuals.

GSA guidelines to minimize overall Government expenses associated with conferences

Identified theDoD commitment, for fiscal year 2000, to fund interagency initiatives using charge card rebates. DoD Purchase Card Program and the Travel Card PMO are directed to remit up to $3.312 million to these initiatives for fiscal year 2000.

Section 637 of the fiscal year 2000 Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, states that the Administrator of General Services may provide up to $7 million from government wide credit card rebates to support Government-wide financial, information technology, procurement, and other management innovations.

US Bank and Citibank will suspend any billing account that goes 60 days delinquent. If any of those accounts go 180 days delinquent, the entire activity will be suspended. The banks will lift the suspension once they are paid.

Agencies shall not report imprest fund transactions, SF 44 purchases, training authorizations, and micro purchases (valued at $2,500 or less) obtained through the government purchase card.

All ECAT contracts are pre-priced, these contracts offer multiple payment methods, which include Interfund Filling and GPC. The use of purchase cards against existing contracts generates internal savings that warrant the use of purchase cards for payment.

Requests assistance in ensuring purchase card billing accounts are established in such a way that cross disbursements do not occur. It is essential that billing officials forward certified invoices to his/her appropriate accounting office. When a billing office is procuring for customers that are supported by different payment offices, the billing official must establish separate accounts, thereby ensuring invoices are sent to the correct office.

The JWOD Program is a mandatory source of supply for all entities of the Federal Government, with any payment method (including purchase cards) and at any dollar value.

DoD was delinquent by over $10 million to US Bank. Ms. Eleanor Spector, Director of Defense Procurement, directed that all accounts be paid in full no later than September 30, 1998. Charts depicting delinquencies are attached.

Attached to this memorandum is a complete revision of the Purchase Card Reengineering Memorandum #1 that implements a tiered approach to payment certification in accordance with Chapter 33, "Accountable Officials and Certifying Officers," of Volume 5, "Disbursing Policy and Procedures," of the DoD FMR.

A written determination by a member of the Senior Executive Service, Flag Officer, or General Officer is required for any type of award/order valued at or below $2,000 that does not use the purchase card on a stand alone basis or as the method payment.

To expedite use of the government wide purchase card, purchase cards will be the method of payment for training requests (below $25,000), medical services (below $2,500), and certain purchases made with Nonappropriated Funds (below $2,500).

All existing task orders with US Bank for purchase card services will expire. Task orders for the Department's follow-on requirements were awarded to US Bank and Citibank for performance beginning November 30, 1998. $8,00 million delinquent payments to US Bank must be reconciled no later than April 1, 1999.

Stresses the importance of expanding usage of the purchase card to reduce the costs of financial transactions. Directs the following to broaden use of the purchase card: 1.)Use of the purchase card is required as payment method for all training requests using the DD Form 1556 valued at or below $25,000 and all medical services and Nonappropriated Fund payments valued at or below $2,500. 2.) The use of the purchase card is required to pay for goods and services purchased using standard contracting instruments, such as the Standard Form 1449 and the DD Form 1155, valued at or below $2,500. 3.) The use of the purchase card is required for all Military Interdepartmental Purchase Requests DD Form 448 valued at or below $2,500. 4.) Electronic commerce data interchange systems that result in cost effective payment process must be developed and submitted. 5.) DFAS shall provide monthly reports to PMO of the quantities and sources of commercial invoice payments at or below $2,500.

Memorandum #3 is hereby amended, attached to this memo is a revised policy document. Changes to the issuance of March 27, 1997 are identified by a star preceding each changed paragraph or subparagraph. All other provisions of the Purchase Card Reengineering Implementation Memo #3 continue to apply.

The GSA awarded contracts under a master contract approach to six vendors for its charge card programs. Under this new acquisition strategy the (a)Comptroller will continue to be responsible for travel card policy (b) the Under Secretary of Defense is responsible for purchase card policy and oversight in coordination with the Comptroller (c) The Defense Energy Supply Center, is responsible for policy and program management.

Where activities do not have resident SES member, Flag Officer, or General Officer to make written determinations, the authority may be delegated to the level of the senior local commander or director.

Defense transportation is reengineering the transportation documentation, billing, collection, and payment processes. Three major changes: 1)Fix the transportation account code process 2)Test the potential use IMPAC cards for paying airlift, sealift, domestic freight and express package bills 3)Eliminate the use of government bills of lading for domestic express carrier movements.

DAPS has experienced delays in the past with billings and collections from customers for its printing services. In order to resolve these delays, the DAPS, in August 1996, started accepting the International Merchant Purchase Authorization Card (I.M.P.A.C.) from its DoD customers in payment for goods and services. Effective July 1, 1997, all orders for printing services placed by customers of the DAPS within the Continental United States (CONUS) and Hawaii are to be acquired using the I.M.P.A.C.

The "Joint Report of the Purchase Card Financial Management Team and the Purchase Card Integrated Product Team to the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition and Technology and Comptroller)" proposed new practices for the advance reservations of funds, summary level recording of financial data, use of automated purchase card management and reconciliation systems, delayed dispute and payment certification at the approving official level. The attachment to this memorandum promulgates the policies necessary to establish these practices across the Department of Defense (DoD).

Reminder that the Government commercial purchase card is the preferred method for micro-purchases. Contracts or purchase orders for micro-purchase of commercial items unless : 1)purchase cards are not accepted 2)the nature of the supply necessitates a contract or purchase order.

GSA is to initiate a modification of the RMBCS contract that enables the Department to migrate its card base to the CPS platform (and re-issue its 75,000 + cards) as soon as possible. We anticipate a phase implementation to the new platform--with the Department of the Army in the first wave--commencing no later than April 1, 1997,and ending in September 1997.

Implementation of revised guidance that 1) raises the property accountability dollar threshold from the current level of $300 to a revised level equal to at least the dollar value of micropurchase threshold $2,500 and 2) modifies provisions of the "DoD Financial Management Regulation" related property.

DoD Government Charge Card Guidebook for Establishing and Managing Purchase, Travel, and Fuel Card Programs, Previously Published Versions