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403.7 - Commercial Purchase Cards (Bankcards)

4/29/96

OPR: Acquisition and Federal Assistance

1. Purpose. This chapter contains Bureau-wide policy for management of the commercial purchase card program. Under the program, commercial credit cards are provided to Government employees under the terms and conditions of a U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) contract with a competitively selected commercial banking institution (presently Rocky Mountain BankCard System (RMBCS)), for use in the acquisition of goods or services needed to fill official small requirements.

2. Authority. Policy authorizing and governing commercial purchase card usage is set forth in the GSA Contract Guide GS-23F-94031, Governmentwide Commerical Credit Card Service. Additional guidance documents include the Treasury Financial Manual 4-4500, and the RMBCS Cardholder Instructions and Approving Official Instructions. USGS procedures for obtaining and using bank purchase cards are contained in the U.S. Geological Charge Card Guide located at: https://insight.usgs.gov/aei/offices/oa/oag/AOP/chargecard-guide.pdf.

3. Definitions. Definitions pertaining to the commercial credit card program are provided in the USGS handbook. Other definitions are as follows:

A. Agency Program Coordinator is an individual in the Office of Acquisition and Federal Assistance who oversees operation of the program and is designated related responsibilities or authorities in the RMBCS Instructions. This coordinator is authorized to issue purchase card delegations to individual cardholders.

B. Warranted Contracting Officer (CO) is an employee who has been delegated procurement authority pursuant to the warrant procedures in Survey Manual (SM) 205.4.

4. Scope. This chapter applies to use of the commercial purchase card within the USGS. It does not apply to use of the gasoline credit card (SM 403.10) nor to the travel card (SM 340.18).

5. Policy.

A. Whenever possible, official purchase requirements under the micropurchase threshold ($2,500) should be acquired by the end user or within the end user's office by use of the commercial purchase card. Use of the commerical purchase card is the preferred method of filling requirements under the micropurchase threshold for commodities not subject to restrictions on the Government-wide program or in the USGS handbook.

B. USGS managers should minimize internal approval processes required before a cardholder can make a purchase with the card, but should maintain procedures sufficient to safeguard against waste, fraud, abuse, and violations of the Anti-Deficiency Act.

6. Responsibilities.

A. The Office of Acquisition and Federal Assistance is responsible for the administration and management of the USGS's participation in the Government-wide credit card program.

B. The Office of Financial Management, Accounts Payable Branch is responsible for reconciling accounts and making payments to the bank for the goods and services charged against USGS employees' credit card accounts. When remote data entry is used, approving officials and their administrative offices are responsible for reconciling statements and initiating payments.

C. Managers and supervisors throughout USGS are responsible for designating employees to serve as cardholders and approving officials, for determining appropriate cardholder individual and monthly call limits and office (approving official) monthly card use limit, and for the effective and proper use of the cards within their units. Responsibilities of cardholders and approving officials are described in the Handbook.

7. Selection and Appointment of Participants

A. Offices designate candidate cardholders and indicate the needed individual call and monthly limits based on the employee's need for purchase authority and ability to properly use the card. Individual call limits may not exceed $2,500. No employee should be forced to have the card. Cards may be issued only to permanent, regular (career or career conditional) employees. Employees need not be a warranted Contracting Officer to be issued a card. Candidate cardholders should be employees who:

- will have a regular or recurring need to make purchases using the card, either in the office or in the field;

- will conscientiously follow the rules and procedures for use of the card;

- will be willing and able to perform the administrative paperwork and record keeping necessary for timely and accurate processing of statements; and

- have no previous (or recent) instances of poor judgement or abuse of the purchase card or other purchase or credit instruments (such as imprest fund, travel cards, etc.).

Supervisors should not nominate an employee for a bankcard and should consider requesting suspension or cancellation of a card if they have knowledge of personal financial difficulties that may pose undue temptation to the employee to abuse the card for personal purchases.

B. Cardholders are considered "procurement officials" within the meaning of the Procurement Integrity Act (SM 401.11), unless their cumulative monthly purchase limit does not exceed $2,000. Before applying for a purchase card, cardholders requesting monthly limits greater than $2,000 must have signed and submitted the Optional Form 333, Procurement Integrity Certification for Procurement Officials, to their servicing personnel office.

C. Each new approving official and/or cardholder must complete the applicable certification shown in Figure 1.

D. Delegations to individual cardholders will be made in writing.

8. Cancellation of Cards

The purchase card must be cancelled before a cardholder resigns, retires, or transfers from USGS employment. The purchase card may be cancelled at any time at the request of the Cardholder's management and/or approving official. The Chief, Office of Acquisition and Federal Assistance, may also revoke the bankcard for reasons such as misuse, abuse, or failure to comply with the administrative procedures set forth in the USGS handbook.

Figure 1

Chapter 403, Part 7

PURCHASE CARD PROGRAM PARTICIPANT CERTIFICATIONS

NEW CARDHOLDER CERTIFICATION. I hereby certify the following:

1. I have read the instructions for use of the Government-backed credit cards issued under the Rocky Mountain BankCard program.

2. I understand the instructions for use of the BankCard and the limitations associated with its use.

3. I will use the BankCard only for official purchases, within the dollar thresholds designated for my card, and only when certain that adequate funds are available.

4. I will protect my BankCard from unauthorized use by others.

5. I understand that any willful misuse of the BankCard will be cause for immediate revocation of the BankCard, and may result in disciplinary action against me.

CARDHOLDER SIGNATURE:

NAME (Typed):

DATE:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------

NEW APPROVING OFFICIAL CERTIFICATION. I certify that I will examine all documentation related to purchases made by cardholders for whom I am the Approving Official, and that I will diligently seek to determine the following:

1. Whether or not the purchases made were official in nature;

2. Whether or not the goods or services were received by the cardholder;

3. Whether or not the invoice is correct and appropriate for payment by the Government.

I will immediately report any findings of impropriety or fraudulent actions to the USGS Administrative Contact Point.

APPROVING OFFICIAL SIGNATURE:

NAME (Typed):

DATE:


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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, USA
URL: http://www.usgs.gov/usgs-manual/400/403-7.html
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