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«June 2008 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR INTEGRATED CHARGE CARD POLICY MANUAL This page intentionally leftblank. Table of Contents, 1.2 CREDITW ...»

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United States Department of the Interior

June 2008

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

INTEGRATED CHARGE CARD POLICY MANUAL

This page intentionally leftblank.

Table of Contents

,

1.2 CREDITW ORTHINESS,,

Credit Scores

1.4 ROL AND RESPONSiBILITIES

1.4.5 Office of Inspector General (O

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The Department of the Interior's integrated charge card for travel, purchase, and fleet is Bank of America's MasterCard. This card is specifically designed with the "United States ofAmerica" printed next to the seal and the words "For Official Govemment Use Only, U.S. Department of the Interior, Tax Exempt 10 140001849" printed on the card to avoid being mistaken for a personal credit card.

Use of the card is subject to Federal and Department of the Interior regulations as described in this manual and any Bureau/Office supplemental policy. Cardholder accounts are not private; they are subject to review. The policies and procedures prescribed in this manual are designed to ensure sound program management and management controls, and to define allowable use and limitations for charge cards and convenience checks.

The term "charge card" rather than "credit card" is used because the cardholder is required to pay their individually billed balance in full upon receipt of the statement of account. Credit is not being provided to spread payments over a period of time.

The goal of the Integrated Charge Card Program is to improve mission support, streamline and standardize operations, increase card use by maximizing card acceptance for all types of transactions, reduce administrative costs, and outsource transaction processing.

This manual establishes policy and procedures for using the Department of the Interior integrated charge card for official travel, purchase, and/or fleet transactions. The Office ofAcquisition and Property Management (PAM), in cooperation with the Office of Financial Management (PFM), is responsible for issuing this policy manual. Please address policy comments orquestions to 001 Integrated Charge Card Program Manager, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street N.W., MS 2607, Washington, D.C. 20240. Additional information on the 001 Integrated Charge Card Program is available on the internet athttp://www.doi.gov/pam/chargecard/.

The MasterCard issued for the government by Bank of America is the only charge card that may be used for Department of the Interior travel, purchase, and fleet requirements. There are limited exceptions applicable only to fleet; e.g., vehicles in the GSA Interagency Fleet Management System, selected vehicles and aircraft in Canada during the summer field season, and law enforcement.

An account may be established injust one business line or in a combination of the travel, purchase, and fleet business lines. See Exhibit 1-1, General Guideline to Charge Card Use By Business Line.

General contact information for Bank ofAmerica is:

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Toll-Free Overseas Calling: Contact the AT&T Direct Access Number for the country you are in and follow the instructions below. For a complete listing of all access numbers worldwide, please refer to www.consumer.atLcom/global/english/accesscodes.html.

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1. Make sure you have an outside line.

2. Enter the AT&T Direct Access Number for the country you are in; e.g., in Germany, it is 0800-225-5288.

3. An English-language voice prompt or an AT&T Operator will ask you for the 800, 877, or 888 number you are cafling. Please provide the operator with 800-472-1424.

4. You may also need to enter the toll-free (800-472-1424) number you wish to reach using the telephone key pad (there is no need to dial "1" before the toll-free number).

RELATED INFORMATION AND REFERENCES

Additional guidance is contained in the following documents:

• OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B, Improving the Management of Government Charge Card Programs • The Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) for the SmartPay Program and the GSA Fleet, Travel, and Purchase Payment System Program Guideline • The MasterCard Government Card Guide to Benefits • Treasury Financial Manual (TFM) 4-4500 • Federal Travel Regulation (41 CFR 300-304) • Part 347 Departmental Manual- Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) Implementing Instructions • Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 • Department of the Interior Financial Administration Memoranda • Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Parts 4,8, 13 and 32 • Department of the Interior Acquisition Regulation (DIAR) Parts 1401 and 1413 • Bureau/Office Supplements • Department of the Interior Contracting Officers Certificate of Appointment Program • Federal Property Management Regulation, 41 CFR, Chapter 101 • Government Printing and Binding Regulation, Government Printing Office • Agreement Between the 001 Employee and Bank of America • 001 Handbook on Charges and Penalty Selection for Disciplinary Actions and Adverse Actions

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SECTION 1- GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE





1.1 Eligibility Issuance of the Government charge card is limited to individuals who are employees of an executive agency or members of the Armed Forces of the United States. See FAR 1.603-3 Appointment. The purchase of travel and transportation tickets for contraelors is prohibited (with orwithout the charge card). See FAM 98-023 (1I.G.1).

Employees may only have one active charge card account unless an exception has been granted;

e.g., corporate accounts, the uniform card (BLM and BOR), and certain employees who pilot Aviation Management aircraft,

1.2 Credit Worthiness In accordance with OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B, "Improving the Management of Government Charge Card Programs" effeelive August 7J 2007, all new charge card applicants, with certain exceptions as noted herein, are required to have a credit check prior to being issued an integrated charge card. A 001 employee who has a card in good standing at the time he/she changes Bureaus is not considered a new applicant for the purpose of credit worthiness.

During the initial implementation period, current charge cardholders who were issued a charge card prior to Oelober 2005 have been grandfathered in and are not subject to this requirement. Those issued a charge card between Oelober 2005 and August 2006 who had a card with reduced spending limits may contact their agency/organization program coordinator (NOPC) to request a change to the standard spending limits,

1.2.1 Credit Scores

Bank of America will, with the applicant's consent, obtain the credit score and issue a charge card with spending limits as established by 001. The applicant's consent will be authorized byinitialing the appropriate line on the Account Setup/Applicatfon Form. The numerical score indicates the credit risk level associated with a specific credit applicant.

First time applicants with a credit score of 660 or higher will receive a charge card with standard spending limits. Credit scoring information is available at www.myfico.com.

For the first time travel business line applicant with a credit score of less than 660, the bank may issue a card, but restrictions that are more stringent will apply.

In order for a first time applicant to receive a card to which standard agency restrielions apply, a credit score must be obtained for that employee. That score must be 660 or higher, Employee must indicate their consent in the appropriate place on the revised 001 integrated charge card application, dated September 5, 2007, or the most current application. The revised application form is available

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on the internet at hltp:/Iwww.gcsuthd.bankofamerica.com/formslapplications.asp as well as at http://www.doi.gov/pam/chargecard. Older versions of the application will not be accepted.

For the applicant with a credit score of less than 660, a card with more stringent restrictions will be issued; e.g., reduced spending authority; restricted ATM use, if applicable; limited time a card remains active, such as for the length of time in travel status only; etc.

Cardholders transferring from other Bureaus or agencies who can show that they had a standard Government charge card in good standing at the time of their departure are not subject to this requirement.

1.2.2 Alternative to credit scores If obtaining a credit score is not possible; e.g., the applicant refuses to provide consent ordoes not have a credit history, the OMB Circular allows a card with the most stringent restrictions to be issued after an alternative credit worthiness assessment is conducted to determine whether the individual possesses a satisfactory history. An Alternate Credit Worthiness Determination Form, 01-3450, dated August 2007, is available for this purpose and is available on the internet at hltp://www.doi.gov/pam/chargecard. Employees who decline toconsent to a credit check and the alternate credit worthiness assessment form will not be issued a Government charge card.

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The AfOPC will benotified by Bank of America if the applicant is not eligible for a card, or if a restricted card will be issued. The NOPC will notify both the cardholder and their supervisor.

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If a restricted card is issued, or no card, the employee may request a free copy of their credit report bycontacting Equifax Credit Information Services at 1-800-685-1111. General credit scoring information is available on-line at www.equifax.com.

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A credit worthiness assessment must be conducted for restricted cardholders before the cardholder is issued a renewed card. The re-assessment of credit worthiness may be conducted byobtaining a credit score, or at the Bureau's discretion, may be made byreviewing the restricted cardholder's most recent 12-month card usage history.

A cardholder may request a new credit check after 60 days has elapsed since their last credit check.

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1.2.2.4 Circumstances in which credit worthiness restrictions may be temporarily lifted Credit worthiness restrictions may be temporarily lifted atthe discretion of the Bureau Director or Office Director, in order toensure the safety of American citizens and/or property; e.g., during times of national emergency, contingency, peacekeeping or humanitarian missions.

1.2.2.5 Will mv Government charge card spending line affect my personal credit?

The Government charge card spending line will not be included in a personal credit report unless the cardholder becomes 180 days delinquent. Atthat time, the delinquency may bereported as a bad debt.

1.3 Charge Card Delivery For standard delivery, a new cardholder will receive:

• A card transmittal mailing that includes the new card and the Agreement between the Department of the Interior employee and Bank of America, N.A. (USA);

• An activation sticker located on the front of the card that explains how to activate the card;

• An ATM personnel identification number (PIN) letter with the initial PIN and explanation of how to customize the PIN (travel business line); and, • An EAGLS user ID and password.

The average processing time between submitting a properly prepared application and receiving a card is approximately ten business days. Cards needed sooner in a mission-related emergency (fire, flood, hurricane response, etc.), can be shipped via FedEx second-day delivery. Any application with the appropriate emergency flag received prior to 3:00 PM Eastern Time will beprocessed that same day, unless it is a Friday and then it will be processed the following Monday. If the application is received after that time, it will beprocessed the following business day. The cardholder will still receive the same mailings, but they will receive the charge card transmittal first.

1.3.1 New Employees New employees who are expected to travel on official business are required to apply for a charge card in the travel business line within 30calendar days of their appointment. Employees who have delinquent account balances from a previous Govemment charge card will be required tosatisfy their existing obligation before a new card can be issued.

Note: Vacancy announcements should indicate that employees must obtain a charge card if required to travel.

1.4 Roles and Responsibilities 1.4.1 Assistant Secretary - Policy, Management. and Budget (AS-PMB) has overall responsibility for managing the program, ensuring that the program complies with Federal and Departmental laws and/or regulations, and monitoring program effectiveness.

1.4.2 Director, Office ofAcquisition and Property Management (PAM) has oversight and policy responsibility for purchase and fleet business lines and serves as the point of contact for GSA,

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OMB, and GAO. PAM will provide leadership for the program, establish management reports for the purchase and fleet programs, and assistance toAJOPCs.

1.4.3 Director, Office of Financial Management (PFM) has policy responsibility for the travel business line. PFM shall develop Departmental policy regarding delinquency management for the travel business line use, establish management reports for the travel program, confer with AJOPCs and finance offices regarding the travel business line issues, and support PAM in overseeing the charge card program bydeveloping and issuing guidance regarding management controls and financial aspects.

1.4.4 National Business Center (I\J BC), Charge Card Support Center (CSC) has the operational responsibility to carry out the policies issued by PAM and PFM. NBC is the primary point of contact for providing support services to 001 Bureaus and other Federal agencies on a cross servicing or tag-along basis. NBC activities may include contract administration activity, Bureau implementation support, system interfaces to finance and property systems, Departmental reporting and data administration, development and delivery of training classes, management control reviews, program development and operations refinement, security administration, payroll offset administration, and help desk support.



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