«June 2008 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR INTEGRATED CHARGE CARD POLICY MANUAL This page intentionally leftblank. Table of Contents, 1.2 CREDITW ...»
Accounts will be cancelled when an account with an undisputed individually billed balance remains unpaid 96 calendar days after the date of the statement of account on which the charge first appeared. If an account balance is not satisfactorily resolved, the National Business Center may begin salary offset after 120 calendar days.
Employees with a delinquent account will besubject todisciplinary action in accordance with the Department of the Interior's Personnel Handbook on Charges and Penalty Selection for Disciplinary and Adverse Actions for disregard ofdirectives or regulations.
In addition to the above, and in accordance with the terms of the Bank ofAmerica Cardholder Agreement, an account may be cancelled if the account has been suspended twice during a 12month period for non-payment of undisputed principal amounts and becomes past due again.
The Department's NBC Payroll Operations Division will notify the employee in writing of the contractor's request for collection assistance, inform the employee of his or her due process rights related to the contractor's claim, and indicate that if the account is not satisfactorily resolved within the next 60 days (e.g., no sooner than 120lh calendar day following the date of the statement of account), salary offset will automatically begin.
NOTE: With regard to travel, salary offset actions will not be initiated when an employee has notified the Payroll Operations Division in writing that they have not been reimbursed for a properly filed travel voucher for expenses/charges causing the offset action request. The Payroll Operations Division will confirm this with the employee's immediate supervisor or travel approving official.
2.14 Credit Bureau Reporting In accordance with the GSA SmartPay contract, any cardholder whose past due account has been cancelled and is not in a Bank of America approved payment plan may be reported to the credit bureau for having a past due account.
All Government charge card accounts reported to the credit bureau will beidentified as a business account issued tothe cardholder based on employment, not as consumer credit cards. Accounts
reported tothe credit bureau will include the following information:
• Masked account number (An account number using only enough of the account number for verification purposes. Other segments of the account number are deleted for security purposes.);
• Balance upon reporting event (e.g., cancellation or charge off);
• Credit limit;
• Current balance;
• Business Account Type (Account issued based on employment, not personal credit; creditors will take this into account when reviewing an individual's credit history and look at the balance upon reporting event more than the credit limit.); and
• Current status 2,15 Traveling When Card Has Been Suspended or Cancelled Employees who lose their charge card privileges due to misuse or account delinquency must use their personal funds to finance travel expenses, with the exception of transportation tickets, which must be purchased using a corporate account. When personal funds are used, employees will be reimbursed through the travel voucher process. No travel advances (by either cash orcheck) will be authorized except under hardship conditions approved bythe program Assistant Secretary.
2.16 Card Reinstatement
The following steps must be followed to reinstate a cancelled charge card :
• The cancelled account must be paid in full.
• The cardholder must reapply for a charge card.
• The cardholders supervisor must approve the reinstatement bysigning the application.
• The cardholder will only be eligible for a limited use or limited line card without purchase authority.
2.17 Limited Use and/or Restricted Use Cards If the cardholder's account was cancelled, the cardholder may apply for a new account once the cancelled account is paid in full. The new account will beestablished aseither a limited use or restricted card. A limited use card may beactivated only for periods of official travel. Restricted use cards have specific restrictions such as reduced spending limits, nocash access, or no individually billed activity, as appropriate for the individual circumstances. Refer to Bureau/Office policy for further information on limited use and restricted use cards, if applicable. The cardholder may apply for an unlimited no special restriction card after maintaining their account in good standing for at least 12 months.
Limited use and restricted use cards may be issued with the following stipulations:
• All previously cancelled accounts must bepaid in full.
• Only the travelfleet business line will beauthorized.
• In the event of previous cash abuse, the cash advance privilege may not be restored.
• The AfOPC must specify activation and deactivation dates on a per trip basis forlimited use cards.
• The cardholders supervisor is responsible for notifying the AfOPC when to activate/deactivate the limited use card.
• The account may be established with lower spending limits.
• Accounts established with no individually billed activity will only be authorized to use for airline flckets, rental cars, rental car fuel, shuttles, and airport parking associated with official travel. All other costs associated with official travel must be paid with personal funds, which can be reimbursed through the travel voucher process.
SECTION 3 - PURCHASE This section is generally directed to non-warranted cardholders whose use is restricted to micropurchases. The purchase card is to be used as a payment mechanism not a contracting mechanism.
The use of the charge card is not a substitute for the acquisition process. All the applicable requirements of the Competition in Contracting Act, other statutes and Executive Orders, and the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) apply to purchases made using the charge card for payment (see FAR 13.301). Above the micro-purchase threshold, the card may be used as a payment tool.
The purchase business line of the 001 integrated charge card may beused to:
• Make a micro-purchase;
• Place a task ordelivery order (if authorized in the basic contract, basic ordering agreement, or blanket purchase agreement); or,
• Make payments when the contractor agrees to accept payment by the card.
Purchase business line transactions are billed centrally to bepaid by the Government. Transactions under the purchase business line must comply with all applicable regulations, including the Federal Acquisition Regulation. Cardholders delegated purchase authority are responsible for observing the "prudent person" rule; that is, they are expected to use the card practically and sensibly and to exercise good judgment in its use at all times.
In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, lists of cardholders with purchase authority are public information. Only the cardholder's office address may be used as the address of record forthe bank's system.
Employees must have their supervisor's approval and meet all training requirements before being authorized to make purchase transactions. Periodic refresher training will be required. Termination of purchasing authority may bemade for cause; e.g., no longer have a need, splitting orders, etc.
Cancellation of travel privileges due to failure topay the bank and/or misuse will result in the cancellation of purchase authority as well.
3.2 Purchase Authority Reinstatement
The following steps must be followed to reinstate the purchase business line:
• The cancelled account must bepaid in full.
• The cardholder must reapply for the charge card.
• The cardholder's supervisor must approve the reinstatement.
• Any limited use card issued must have been in good standing for at least one year.
• Written request stating the need for the reinstatement including background on why purchase authority was lost.
• A recommendation to reinstate the purchase authority from the Bureau Procurement Chief and the Bureau lead AJOPC.
Requests for reinstatement of the purchase business line shall be submitted to the Director, Office of Acquisition and Property Management for approval.
When delegated purchase authority, the cardholder may use the card to charge supplies, equipment, short-term rental of equipment, some services, and repairs.
3.4 Procedural Requirements
Cardholders shall :
• Distribute repeat buys equitably among qualified vendors, using small businesses whenever possible.
• Verify the quantity, quality, and prices of items on sales agreemenUreceipt.
• Notify the vendor that the purchase is tax exempt.
Cardholders should purchase recycled products and energy efficient products to make efficient use
of natural resources. Whenever practicable, cardholders must use products that:
• Are made with recycled content;
• Have less packaging (no shrink wrap);
• Are energy efficient;
• Do not create hazardous waste;
• Incorporate other environmentally preferable attributes.
See EPA website: http://www.energystar.gov/products for "green" recycled/energy efficient product sources.
Energy Efficient Standby Power Devices: Executive Order 13221 of July 31,2001, directs agencies to purchase products that consume nomore than one watt when they are in "standby power" mode.
The order applies to commercially available, off-the-shelf devices that use either external standby power, or contain an internal standby power function, such as cell phones and computer equipment.
3.5 Purchase Limits
For non-warranted cardholders, the maximum single-purchase spending limit is as follows: $3,000 for supplies, $2,500 for services, and $2,000 for construction, Transactions must not be split into smaller purchases so that each order falls within the single-purchase limit. Purposely splitting a purchase may result in the cancellation of purchasing authority and disciplinary action. Repeated purchases over short periods of time may be considered splitting requirements. Contact your supporting purchasing office for guidance. Only warranted cardholders may make purchases over $3,000, 3,6 Prohibited Uses Transactions must comply with the Federal Acquisition Regulation as well as other Departmental/Bureau policies and procedures. It is important tonote that many items may require special approval or may beprohibited, Contact your purchasing office for details.
The card must notbe used to purchase:
• Firearms and weapons;
• Major telecommunications systems; e.g., PBX;
• Long-term rental or lease of buildings (12 months or more);
• Repairs for GSA vehicles;
• Supplies or services from commercial sources when the same products are available from the required sources above;
• Travel expenses when a card is authorized with only the purchase business line;
• Additionally, official Government expenses must be charged to the travel business line; e.q., common carrier transportation tickets, ATM withdrawals, telephone calls, vehicle rental for an individual on travel status, meals, etc.
Copying/Printing It is important to note that the Government Printing Office (GPO) is the mandatory source for all printing and/or copying requirements, except eligible Indian enterprises may be utilized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Use of a vendor other than GPO, that is not an eligible Indian enterprise, requires that a waiver be obtained from GPO. In any case, the charge card is the preferred method of payment. The Department of the Interior Copying Policy is available at http://www.doi.gov/pam/dpr2004-06.html. The policy defines the difference between copying and other types of printing and specifies the circumstances under which these services may be obtained from commercial sources without requesting and obtaining a wavier from GPO.
3.7 Using the Card Over the Internet Internet shopping on "required source" and commercial websites is rapidly expanding. Cardholders may use the card to transact official business over the internet. However, in doing so, cardholders
must keep the following guidance in mind:
• Know who you are dealing with. Cardholders may check unknown vendors through the Better Business Bureau or the Office of the State Attorney General.
• Do not arrange transportation, lodging, orcar rentals through websites other than the 001 Travel Management Center site.
• Protect Privacy. Provide personal information only if it is known who iscollecting it,why, and how it is going tobeused.
• Guard Passwords. Use different passwords when making a purchase than you use to log on to your computer or network.
• Order only on a secure server. Look for an unbroken key or closed padlock picture atthe bottom of the browser window, or the letters https in the website's URL, toensure your transmission is protected. Buy only from web vendors that protect your charge card information when you order on-line.
• Check shipping and handling fees. Do not forget to factor these into the cost of the order.
Choose the delivery option that best meets your needs and track your purchases. Keep printouts of the web pages with details about the transaction, including return policies if you are not satisfied. Buyer Beware: Some vendors have different return policies for items purchased over the internet versus items purchased on-site atstore locations. Make sure that the vendor's return policy is favorable.