«June 2008 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR INTEGRATED CHARGE CARD POLICY MANUAL This page intentionally leftblank. Table of Contents, 1.2 CREDITW ...»
• Travel accommodation orexpenses for someone other than the cardholder and family members performing relocation travel. If reserving a block of sleeping rooms or meeting rooms, equipment, and related services, the reservation must be made using the purchase business line or through your supporting procurement office. Individual lodging may not be paid with the purchase business line.
• Local travel. (Charge card may beused for transportation and local travel connected to approved temporary duty travel).
• Consultant travel. (If applicable, travel provisions should be included in the consultant's contract).
Government travel arrangements such as transportation, lodging, or car rentals must be made through the 001 Travel Management Center at www.govtrip.com.
Note: The FTS MCIW telephone calling card must beused for all business and authorized personal calls while on official Government travel. The MasterCard should be used only if the calling card is not available.
2.5 Travel Management Centers (TMCs) The 001 Travel Management Center must be used for transportation tickets, lodging reservations (unless for a conference where it is pre-established), and rental vehicle reservations, which will ensure that traveler receives the Government rates when available.
Do not arrange transportation, lodging, or car rentals through web sites other than "GovTrip".
2.6 Permanent Change of Duty Station (PCS) The charge card should be used for intra-Bureau house hunting and en-route travel and may be used where possible for other portions of relocation expenses, with Bureau consent. The employee will be expected to pay the charge card bill on time. Reminder: PCS travel vouchers generally take longer to process for reimbursement. Additional information can be found at http://www.doi.gov/pfrn/travel.html.
Overseas Tour Renewal Agreement Travel. This refers totravel for the employee and his/her immediate family returning home between overseas tours of duty and is set out at 41 CFR 302-3.209 through 302-3.224. Consistent with Bureau policy, the charge card may be used for authorized transportation and employee M&IE allowance. Additional information can be found at http://www.doi.aov/pfrnltravel.html.
2.7 ATMfTravel Advances
Cardholders with ATM privileges may obtain limited cash advances for official travel expenses via ATM only within five calendar days prior to the beginning date of the official travel orwhile in actual travel status. Travel advances are limited to the expected allowance for M&IE and reimbursable out
of pocket expenses. ATM withdrawal limits vary depending on your authority. Contact your AJOPC toget maximum ATM cash limits.
If an ATM advance cannot be issued, a Government advance may be requested, A deposit may be made electronically (DO/EFT) into an employee's checking, savings, or other designated account (see Section 2,15 if employee has lost ATM privileges), Convenience checks shall not beused to provide travel advances (see Section 3.12).
2.7.1 Hardship Cases
In cases of extreme hardship, cardholders who have lost charge card privileges may request written approval for a travel advance on a per trip basis from their Program Assistant Secretary or equivalent, who may re-delegate this authority not lower than the Bureau Assistant Director for Administration or equivalent level. Consideration of such requests will bemade on a per case basis, and approval should not be assumed. The approving office will maintain a written record of all such approvals, as well as the basis for each approval, and forward a copy to the Office of Financial Management. The Assistant Secretary - Policy, Management, and Budget, will regularly review this record,
Bank of America ATM terminals do not charge an ATM terminal or access fee when using their card, nor do some credit unions. Other banks usually charge a terminal fee. These fees may be claimed for reimbursement on the travel voucher, Bank of America ATMs may belocated by calling 1-800-472-1424, or on the internet at https:/Iwww.gov-eaqls.bankofamerica.com. The ATM locator is located in the lower right hand corner and is called "ATM & Banking Centers', Fill in the information requested and click on "Go'.
The contract with Bank of America provides for 1.9% cash advance fee. This fee may be claimed for reimbursement on the travel voucher. Reminder, this 1,9% fee will be applied to the cash advance amount plus any terminal or access fee.
2.8 Documentation and Record Retention Originals of all statements of account signed and dated byboth the cardholder and approving official must be centrally filed. For the travel business line, receipts and supporting documentation will be filed with the travel voucher in accordance with rules and regulations for submitting the voucher, Originals of receipts for centrally billed items (listed as "M" item on the charge card statement) such as car rentals, lodging (where allowed), etc., should besubmitted with the travel voucher but not claimed as a reimbursable expense on the voucher.
2,9 Reconciling the Statement of Account 2.9.1 Individual and Central Billing ofTransactions Travel is the only business line where some expenses - airline tickets. lodging. rental cars. some shuttles, airport parking, and fuel are centrally billed. while other items such as ATM withdrawals and fees, and meals are individually billed, The centrally billed items will be listed below the ' Notice Memo Items Listed Below" line on the cardholder statement of account and will be shown with an "Mil printed before the dollar amount; they will not be included in the balance due, The cardholder must review and verify the accuracy of all 'Mil billing items just as carefully as if these items were billed for individual payment. Individually billed transactions will appear first on the statement of account. Any incorrect charges must bepromptly disputed by seeking credit from the merchant and by contacting Bank of America, or reported as fraud with the Bank ofAmerica Fraud Department. All charges that are centrally billed to the finance office will include the identity of the employee who incurred the charge.
The cardholder must do the following:
• Verify that each transaction is legitimate and correct;
• Determine if any transactions need to be transferred from individually billed to centrally billed or vice versa (request this transfer through the approving official and the AfOPC) ;
• Determine if any transactions should be disputed. The dispute must be initiated with 60 days of the date of the statement of account showing the transaction;
• Determine if any transactions should be reported as fraud;
• Include a concise, detailed description for each line item; e.q, date(s) of travel and destination(s) or attach the travel voucher;
• Sign and date in the signature block, usually located on the last page of the statement of account;
• Give the signed and dated statement to the approving official within 30 calendar days of the statement date;
• Pay individually billed items by the due date;
• Follow any additional local policy or procedures;
• File original statements of account and original supporting documentation in accordance with Bureau/Office policy,
The approving official must do the following:
• Review reconciled statements and receipts;
• Ensure that centrally billed items have not also been included on the travel voucher for reimbursement;
• Assure that cardholders reconcile their accounts within 30 business days of the statement date;
• Validate cardholder statements within 30 business days of the statement date;
• Sign and date in the signature block, usually located on the last page of the statement of account;
• Review exception reports; take action as needed; and
• Ensure the original statements of account and original supporting documentation is centrally filed in accordance with Bureau/Office policy.
Note: In lieu of the above manual procedures, Bureaus/Offices are encouraged to seek alternative review procedures, preferably electronic, Such alternative procedures must adequately address the issues of verifying the validity of centrally billed items and minimizing improper or unauthorized use of the charge card, Plans to implement alternate procedures must be approve by the Office of Financial Management and the Office of Acquisition and Property Management before implementation.
2,10 Making Payments
There are three ways to make a payment:
• Mail a check with the return portion from your monthly statement. Cardholders are personally responsible for paying postage forpayment of individually billed transactions.
Reimbursement of postage is an incidental expense reimbursed through the M&IE portion of the per diem allowance,
• On-line at Bank of America's MyEasyPayment located athttps://www.myeasypaymenLcom.
There is nocharge for this service, When accessing the payment website, cardholders will enter their account number, the security code on the back of their card, and some personal information. (Itis notnecessary to set up a login or use your EAGLS User 10).
• Bycalling Bank of America at 1-800-472-1424. Cardholders will be assessed a $10.00 fee.
In accordance with the Bank of America Cardholder Agreement, payment must be made in enough time forpayment to bereceived by the date specified on the statement of account.
2.11 Travel Vouchers Employees are reminded that Departmental policy requires travel vouchers besubmitted within five workdays after completion of travel, or no less frequently than once a month in case of extended travel. Relocation claims are to be submitted within five working days after completion of each
DEPARTMENT OFTHE INTERIOR
INTEGRATED CHARGE CARD POLICY MANUALsegment of the relocation (e.q. house hunting trip, en-route travel). The Department must pay travel claims within 30calendar days after receipt of a proper voucher by the designated travel voucher approving official. Any travel voucher submitted to a designated approving official that cannot be approved must be promptly returned to the employee with an explanation as to why the travel voucher could not be approved as submitted.
Employees must correcUcomplete the disapproved travel voucher and resubmit it to their designated approving official with a new current signature. Upon receipt of the corrected/completed voucher in the designated approving official's office, the "clock" for late payment re-sets tozero, The employee's designated approving official must submit the voucher to the finance office for review/audit and payment. Because travelers must be reimbursed for travel within 30 calendar days, designated officials must sign properly completed travel vouchers within one to two days of receipt.
Travelers reimbursed after the 30calendar day period from the date of submission of a proper temporary duty travel voucher orclaim will automatically bepaid a late payment penalty.
2.12 Fees Cardholders should avoid late fees and other assessments by paying all undisputed individually billed transactions when they are due..
Late fees can be assessed against travel related charges that are individually billed, A fee of $20 per month will beassessed if the payment is 120 days past the payment due date, The cardholder must pay these non-reimbursable fees unless they can show that the travel voucher was submitted timely (within five business days after returning from travel where the cardholder incurred the expense) and reimbursement has not been received. The Department is required toreimburse the employee for late fees when it delays payment to the employee causing a late fee to be charged to the employee's individual charge card account.
If Bank of America refers a cardholders account to an attorney for collection, the cardholder will be responsible for attorney's fees, if any, not toexceed 25% of the account balance, plus all other costs of collection and court costs except where prohibited by law,
2.13 Delinquency Cardholders must comply with the terms and conditions of the Bank ofAmerica Cardholder Agreement, including the timely payment of account balances. When cardholders sign, activate, or use their charge card, they agree to comply with the Agreement. Under the terms of the Agreement between the Department of the Interior employee and Bank ofAmerica and the GSA SmartPay contract, payment is due to the bank bythe payment due date specified in the cardholder's statement of account.
2.13.1 Suspension or Cancellation Effect on Other Business Lines
All privileges associated with an account will be deactivated upon suspension orcancellation of a charge account inone business line; e.g., suspension or cancellation of the travel business line in an integrated account will result in suspension or cancellation of any other business line(s) (e.g., fleet and/or purchase) on a cardholder's account.
2.13.2 Suspension and Salary Offset Warning
The cardholder's account will besuspended and further charges prohibited if any undisputed individually billed transactions remain unpaid 61 calendar days after the date of the statement of account on which the charges first appeared. Upon notification from Bank of America of account suspension at 61 calendar days, the NBC Payroll Operations Division will send a letter to the employee and inform him/her of the contractors request for collection assistance and the employee's due process rights, and will indicate that, if the account is not satisfactorily resolved within the next 60 days (by the 120th calendar day following the date of the statement of account), payroll offset can begin.
2.13.3 Cancellation and Salary Offset