«June 2008 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR INTEGRATED CHARGE CARD POLICY MANUAL This page intentionally leftblank. Table of Contents, 1.2 CREDITW ...»
3.8 Central Billing of Transactions Transactions should bill centrally to the Government. However, cardholders with both the travel and purchase business lines on their card may have some transactions individually billed that should have been centrally billed. In those cases, the cardholder should request through the Approving Official and AfOPC the transaction betransferred to centrally billed. See Section 1.8.2.
3.9 Documentation and Record Retention
Purchase business line cardholders must attach to the cardholder statement of account all original receipts and supporting documentation, as applicable, to include but not limited to, requisitions, receipts, packing slips, internet confirmation, special approvals, purchase log, and receiving reports for a period of three years; and may only bedestroyed when Bureau review/audit requirements have been met and documented (see FAR 4.805(b) (4)). All original receipts and original statements of account must becentrally filed in accordance with Bureau/Office policy and be made available for audit or review.
3.10 Property Accountabilftv
All non-expendable personal and sensitive property purchased and paid forusing the charge card or convenience checks must bereported to the appropriate Bureau/Office Property Office for appropriate Government identification and, asappropriate, inclusion in the property accountability system, in accordance with Bureau/Office property reporting requirements. The statement of account must beannotated with the date the action was taken.
When a cardholder takes possession of property at the time of purchase, the cardholder may be held liable for loss, damage, or destruction in the amount of such loss of property. Cardholders should take all reasonable and prudent precautions to protect property and must ensure that an accountable officer, custodial officer, or other authorized recipient signs a property receipt.
3.11 Reconciling the Statement of Account
The cardholder must dothe following:
• Verify that each transaction is legitimate and correct.
• Determine if any transaction(s) need to be transferred from individually billed to centrally billed or vice versa. Request this transfer through the Approving Official and AfOPC.
• Determine if any transaction(s) need to bedisputed. The dispute must be initiated within 60 days of the date of the statement of account showing the transaction.
• Determine if any transaction(s) should bereported asfraud.
• Include a concise, detailed description foreach line item.
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INTEGRATED CHARGE CARD POLICY MANUAL
• Sign and date on the approval line, which is usually located on the last page of the statement.
• Give the signed and dated statement to the Approving Official with 30 calendar days of the statement date.
• Pay individually billed items.
• Follow any additional local policy or procedures,
• Centrally file original statements of account and original supporting documentation in accordance with Bureau/Office policy.
• If the transaction included the purchase of reportable property, enter the date that the property office was notified.
The Approving Official must:
• Review reconciled statements of account and receipts.
• Ensure that centrally billed items have not also been included on a travel voucher for reimbursement.
• Assure that cardholders reconcile their account within 30 calendar days of the statement date,
• Validate cardholder statements within 30 calendar days of the statement date.
• Take appropriate corrective action if a cardholder misuses their convenience checks,
• Review exception reports; take action as needed.
• Ensure the purchase is entered in the property system, if applicable,
• Ensure the original statements of account and original supporting documentation is centrally filed in accordance with Bureau/Office policy.
3.12 Convenience Checks
Convenience checks are available only under the purchase business line, Convenience checks are personalized with the cardholder's name, the agency, office address, and the single-purchase limit.
Aswith the card, this authority is not transferable, When checks are received, all information should be verified and the quantity received checked, The check supply must be secured and periodically inventoried by the check writer.
3,12,1 Eligibility Convenience checks are available, at Bureau discretion, in the purchase business line only.
However, they are not automatically available to everyone with an account in the purchase business line. This feature will be available only to select cardholders. All regulations, policies, special requirements, and approvals that apply to purchasing must be followed when using convenience checks. In addition to purchase business line training, cardholders must complete training on convenience checks prior to being authorized to issue checks.
Because of the fees associated with convenience check use, as well as Federal (41 CFR 208) and Departmental policy, convenience checks may be used only where charge cards are not accepted by a merchant, for emergency incident response, and for other approved purposes that comply with the Debt Collection Improvement Action (see 001 Acquisition Policy Release 1999-7, dated May 18,
1999. and Department of the Interior Financial Administration Memorandum No. 98-034, dated December 17,1998).
These limitations on using convenience checks are necessary because the Department of Treasury has ruled that convenience checks (like other checks) are not Electronic Funds Transfer compliant;
e.g., the Debt Collection Improvement Act requires, with limited exceptions, that Federal payments be made through electronic means.
Convenience checks may be issued to:
• Vendors who do not accept the card ;
• Volunteers for reimbursement of expenses;
• When responding toemergency incidents where the card is not accepted; e.g., fire and rescue;
• Crew chiefs to pay for meals and lodging for their crew when responding to an emergency.
3,12.3 Restrictions and Limitations
The following are the maximum amounts checks may be issued for without a written waiver:
• Supplies - $3,000;
• Services - $2,500;
• Construction - $2,000;
• Emergency incidents to $10,000, within the limits of contracting officer authority;
• Alaska fire crew chiefs to purchase lodging for themselves and their crew - $25,000.
A written waiver must beobtained from the Director, Office ofAcquisition and Property Management for any checks exceeding these limits.
Convenience checks must not be used to pay:
• Vendors who accept the charge card;
• Vendors under other acquisitions (purchase orders, contract, etc.):
• On-line auction sites such aseBay (to preserve dispute rights afforded with use of the card);
• Employee reimbursements;
• Cash advances;
• Salary payments, cash awards, garnishments, or any transaction process through the payroll system;
• Travel-related transportation tickets;
• Meals or lodging related toemployee travel except as related to emergency incidents response;
• Rental or lease of vehicles when in travel status;
• For third party pick up of goods where the charge card is accepted.
Only as a last option with merchants that do not accept the charge card, and in accordance with
Bureau policy, maya convenience check be used for:
• Purchase of telephone services;
• Fuel or oil for vehicles.
3.12.4 Ordering and Safeguarding The initial order must beplaced by the NOPC. The cardholder may place subsequent orders.
Because checks are negotiable forms, they must besafeguarded. Unused checks should periodically be inventoried by the check writer.
Checks must be used in sequential order. Each convenience check must beentered in the check register for tracking purposes to avoid exceeding the spending limit. Charge card transactions should also be tracked to help you avoid exceeding spending limits. A check fee of 1.9 percent of the dollar amount of each check written must also be deducted. The following information must be
entered on the check :
• DATE: Enter the date on which the check is being issued. Spell out the date (e.g., May 5, 2007). Do not predate or postdate a convenience check.
• PAY TO THE ORDER OF: Enter the name of the payee. Under no circumstances may the convenience check be issued to"cash" or the payee line leftblank. Checks may not be issued to "self.
• AMOUNT: Write the amount of the convenience check in the spaces provided in numbers and words; e.g., One hundred twenty-six dollars and 39/100, followed by a horizontal line out to the end of the space provided, and $126.39 in the applicable space.
o Write convenience checks only for the exact amount of the purchase. If a refund is received or the vendor gives change, this refund must be reported immediately to the local collection office for deposit, whether it is given in the form ofcash orcheck.
If the vendor issued a refund check, it should be payable to USDOI and the Bureau name. Refunds must not bedeposited in the Bank ofAmerica checking account or used for another purchase.
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INTEGRATED CHARGE CARD POLICY MANUAL
• MEMO (ADDITIONAL INFORMATION): Information may be entered about the purchase;
e.g., AST project.
• AUTHORIZED SIGNATURE: Sign checks in the space provided. The signature must bein the same format as the name printed, on the convenience check; e.g., if your first, middle, and last names are spelled out in full rather than using initials, your signed name must also be spelled out in full.
The IRS requires that information be collected for reporting income to the IRS when a convenience check is used for purchases with certain budget object classification codes. IRS Form 1099 MISC is used to collect that information. Exhibit 3-1 provides a copy of the form.
3.12.7 Reconciling the Account In addition to the items in Section 3.11 above, the statement of account must be checked against the check register to ensure there are no discrepancies. Any discrepancies must be resolved.
3.12.8 Documentation and Record Retention Convenience checks include an original and carbon copy. A NCR/carbon must be created and retained asan official Government record. Supporting information must be attached. Supporting documentation should bemarked "Paid by Convenience Check", along with the check number.
The carbon check, all original receipts, and original supporting documentation must be centrally filed with the original statement of account in accordance with Bureau/Office retention policy.
Cleared checks are not returned to the account holder. To obtain acopy of a cleared check, call Bank ofAmerica atthe telephone number on the back of the charge card.
In case of an error, orwhen there is a need to void a check, the account holder must write "VOID" on the carbon copy, note that check was voided in the check register, and destroy the original check.
3.12.11 Issuing Replacements If a check has been lost, become stale-dated, oris otherwise in error, a replacement check may be issued. Before a replacement is issued, the account holder must verify that the original check has not been paid. This can be done byexamining the statement of account orbycontacting Bank of America. If the check has been paid, a copy may be requested from the bank. If the check has not been paid and the original check cannot be returned to the account holder, a stop payment must be placed on the initial check before a new check is issued.
To place a stop payment order on a check issued but not yet honored, notify Bank of America by calling the number on the back of the charge card. After it has been determined that the check has not been honored, the carbon copy should be marked "PAYMENT STOPPED".
3.12.13 Destroying an Unused Check Supply If checks become outdated due to form changes or are received with misprinted information; if the employee resigns, retires, etc, or if the checks are nolonger needed, they should be destroyed (shredded). The NOPC, approving official or other employee (if approving official orNOPC are not available) must witness the destruction. The check register should be annotated that the checks were destroyed, the reason, and the name, date, and signature of the witness.
3.12.14 Reporting Lost of Stolen Cards/Checks
Ifcharge cards or convenience checks are lost or stolen, the cardholder must notify:
• Bank of America at 1-800-472-1424;
• Their supervisor as soon aspossible; and
• The NOPC within one working day of the discovery.
The same Federal law that protects your personal credit also applies tothe Government charge card.
If unauthorized use of a lost or stolen card occurs, the liability of the Government will not exceed the lesser of $50 or the amount of related transactions. There is no fee for reporting lost or stolen card/convenience checks or for requesting a replacement card/convenience checks.
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