1.32.6  Purchase Card Program Handbook (Cont. 1) 
Purchase Card Program Guidance  (01-21-2010)
Authorized Purchase Card Use

  1. The Purchase Card can only be used to purchase goods and services for official IRS use.

    1. The purchase must be allowable within IRS and Business Organization guidelines.

    2. The Purchase Cardholder must receive approval (if required by the Business Organization) to make the purchase.

    3. Funding must be obtained and documented in the Purchase Card Order Log prior to making the purchase. Please refer to the Financial Code Handbook, Financial Operating Guidelines, and the Year-End Guidelines for appropriate use of funding codes.

    4. The dollar amount of the transaction must be within the Purchase Cardholder's assigned single transaction and monthly card limits.  (01-21-2010)
Unauthorized Purchase Card Use

  1. The Purchase Card cannot be used to purchase:

    1. Items for personal use

    2. Prohibited and/or restricted items (See Restricted Purchase List).

    3. Official travel related expenses (see Travel Card).

    4. Fuel for IRS owned vehicles (Fleet Card)

    5. Vehicle Repairs/Maintenance (Fleet Card)

    6. Fuel for GSA vehicles (GSA fuel card)

    7. Items without prior funding and approval

    8. Items that exceed the micro-purchase threshold unless otherwise authorized by the Delegation of Procurement Authority

    9. Business phone calls (Phonecard)

    10. Personal phone calls  (08-01-2006)
Purchase Card Restrictions

  1. Restrictions are assigned to each Purchase Card account. If the Purchase Card is declined by a merchant because of a restriction, see: Problems: Card Declined. For additional information on card restrictions, see:

    1. Merchant Category Codes (MCCs)

    2. Single Transaction Limit

    3. Monthly Card Limit  (08-28-2007)
Split Procurements

  1. A split procurement or purchase occurs when a Purchase Cardholder intentionally divides or appears to divide a single purchase requirement into two or more separate purchases to avoid exceeding the single transaction limit assigned to the Purchase Cardholder's account. For most Purchase Cardholders, the single transaction limit is $3,000 ($2,500 for services; $2,000 for construction). Purchase Cardholders are prohibited from splitting a purchase in order to use the Purchase Card. Purchase requirements exceeding $3,000 ($2,500 for services; $2,000 for construction) must be forwarded to Procurement.

  2. For additional guidance on avoiding split procurements and examples of common scenarios where there is potential for a split procurement, see Inappropriate Use of Purchase Card: Split Procurements.  (01-21-2010)
Inappropriate Use

  1. The Purchase Cardholders and their PC Approving Officials must be aware of the potential for inappropriate use of the Purchase Card. Inappropriate use can be summarized in several general categories as follows:

    1. Purchase of items for personal use.

    2. Prohibited purchases. See the Restricted Purchase List.

    3. Using the incorrect card (i.e., using the Purchase Card to make an official travel purchase or make official travel purchases).

    4. Purchases made without prior funding and required approvals.

    5. Altered orders: purchases that do not match the approved request.

    6. Purchases exceeding the Purchase Cardholder's single transaction limit.

    7. Purchases made by someone other than the Purchase Cardholder.

    8. Split procurements. See Split Procurements .

      Inappropriate use of Purchase Card is a conduct issue that could result in disciplinary action. The Inappropriate Use Guide contains specific instances of misuse of the Purchase Card and their resolutions. The Credit Card Misuse Penalty Guide provides Labor Relations guidance for penalty determinations for the misuse of the Purchase Card.  (08-01-2006)
Separation of Duties

  1. IRS acquisition policy requires separation of duties associated with approval, funding, procurement, and acceptance to minimize opportunities for unauthorized, fraudulent or otherwise improper acts. Separation of duties of Purchase Cardholders, PC Approving Officials, and Funding Officials is necessary to avoid situations where one employee or a small group of employees performs more than one step in the process. However, Purchase Cardholders are allowed to conduct the purchase and receive supplies or services. Separation of duties guidance for participants in the Purchase Card program is illustrated in a matrix. See Separation of Duties.  (08-01-2006)
Purchase Card Guide

  1. The IRS Purchase Card Guide summarizes IRS policies and procedures relating to use of the Purchase Card. The procedures outlined in this guide apply to all IRS Business Organizations. The procedures may be supplemented by Operating Guidelines issued within a Business Organization. The Purchase Card Guide is maintained as an electronic reference document on the ERC website. The current revision of the Purchase Card Guide may be viewed by clicking here: Purchase Card Guide .  (01-21-2010)
Restricted Purchase List

  1. The Director, Office of Procurement Policy, provides guidance on restricted goods and services that Purchase Cardholders are prohibited from buying or that can only be purchased with the appropriate approvals. Purchase Cardholders must be alert to these restrictions and check the Restricted Purchase List before making a purchase.  (01-21-2010)
Electronic and Information Technology Buys

  1. All Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) purchases made with the government Purchase Card must be in compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

  2. Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use EIT, they must ensure that the EIT is accessible to persons with disabilities, including employees and members of the public.

  3. In addition to following the guidance provided in the Restricted Purchase List, guidelines for determining Section 508 relevance to the requirements must also be followed. If Section 508 applies to the purchase, the requester/Purchase Cardholder will need to perform market research to find a product that conforms to Section 508. The research must be documented and attached to the supporting documentation for the Purchase Card transaction.

  4. For EIT purchases that exceed $3,000, Section 508 requires that a Determination and Findings or an Undue Burden Exception Form be completed and signed by the Division Director. A copy of a Determination and Findings or Undue Burden Exception Form, along with the approval confirmation, must be printed and maintained as part of the supporting documentation for each Purchase Card transaction.

  5. Requesters/Purchase Cardholders should contact the Employee Resource Center (ERC) for assistance.  (08-01-2006)
Supply Program, Supply Ordering Coordinators

  1. Real Estate and Facilities Management has overall responsibility for managing the IRS Supply Program. See Supply Program, Supply Ordering Coordinators to find information about the Supply Program, a Supply Program Desk Guide, a Supply Contract Responsibility List, and Supply Contract Vendor Pricing Information and Order Forms. Contact the appropriate Office Supply Sub-Contracting Officer Technical Representative (COTR) for assistance in establishing or maintaining an Order Point.  (08-01-2006)
Green Products: Environmentally Preferable Products

  1. The Director, Office of Procurement Policy, has issued guidance on purchasing "green" products with the Purchase Card.

  2. Policy and Procedures Memorandum No. 23.1 establishes guidance for "buying green" which means the purchase of products or services that will reduce environmental impact. It also includes required environmental provisions to be considered when acquiring certain goods and services. See Buying Green.  (08-01-2006)
Small Business Sources

  1. The Purchase Card newsletter is an on-line listing of small business concerns who accept the government Purchase Card. The newsletter is divided for ease of use into areas of the country, Northeast, Southeast, Midstates, and Western. The newsletter is updated on a quarterly basis to add new vendors interested in doing business with the IRS. When choosing a source, Purchase Cardholders are encouraged to seek a small business vendor.  (01-21-2010)
Record Retention for Purchase Card Documentation

  1. Purchase Cardholders and Convenience Check Cardholders must maintain Purchase Card and Convenience Check documentation for three years from the payment date. The payment date is considered to be 30 days after the billing cycle end date. After three years, the records may be destroyed in accordance with the guidelines for record retention and disposition. For further information, see Record Retention Guidance for Purchase Card Documentation.  (01-21-2010)
Purchase Card Criteria

  1. On January 15, 2009, OMB issued revised Appendix B to OMB Circular A-123, "Improving the Management of Government Charge Card Programs" which mandates agencies to have internal controls that include standard minimum requirements for the issuance and retention of Purchase Cards to reduce the administrative costs associated with the government Purchase Card.

  2. Criteria have been established to ensure that Purchase Cards are issued to responsible IRS employees who will adhere to all Purchase Card policies and procedures. These guidelines also address requirements for PC Approving Officials who likewise must adhere to established Purchase Card policies and procedures and must ensure that their Purchase Cardholders properly follow all policies and procedures.  (01-21-2010)
PC Criteria for Purchase Cardholders - webRTS Purchase Card Module Users

  1. PC Criteria for Purchase Cardholders on the webRTS Purchase Card Module is listed in the responsibilities section of this IRM. See IRM  (01-21-2010)
PC Criteria for Purchase Cardholders - Non-webRTS Purchase Card Module Users

  1. PC Criteria for Purchase Cardholders exempt from the webRTS Purchase Card Module is listed in the responsibilities section of this IRM. See IRM  (01-21-2010)
PC Criteria for PC Approving Officials - webRTS Purchase Card Module Users

  1. PC Criteria for PC Approving Officials on the webRTS Purchase Card Module is listed in the responsibilities section of this IRM. See IRM  (01-21-2010)
PC Criteria for PC Approving Officials - Non-webRTS Purchase Card Module Users

  1. PC Criteria for Purchase Card Approving Officials exempt from the webRTS Purchase Card Module is listed in the responsibilities section of this IRM. See IRM  (08-01-2006)
Requesting a Purchase Card

  1. There are specific procedures that must be followed when requesting a government Purchase Card.  (01-21-2010)
Application/Training Process

  1. Training is a prerequisite for obtaining a Purchase Card. All prospective Purchase Cardholders must complete the required training for their assigned program before a Purchase Card will be issued.

  2. Upon completion of training, the prospective Purchase Cardholder will receive assistance in completing a Citibank account application and training certification. Prospective Purchase Cardholders who are webRTS Purchase Card Module users must also complete the webRTS Purchase Card Module CBT and complete an On-Line 5081 to obtain access to the webRTS Purchase Card Module within two weeks of completion of required Purchase Card training. Upon verification of all requirements, Credit Card Services will process properly completed applications within seven business days. Credit Card Services will notify the applicant via e-mail when the application has been forwarded to Citibank. The Purchase Cardholder will receive the Purchase Card from the Citibank within two weeks of the notification.  (08-01-2006)
Activating the Purchase Card

  1. Purchase Cardholders must activate the Purchase Card upon receipt. Purchase Cardholders should verify the accuracy of the information on the transmittal document that comes with the Purchase Card. If there is an error, the Purchase Cardholder should contact the Employee Resource Center (ERC).

  2. Information regarding activating the Purchase Card is available on the ERC website. See Activating Your Card.  (08-28-2007)
Ordering a Replacement Card

  1. The Purchase Cardholder can order a replacement Purchase Card if the card becomes worn out, damaged or defective in any way, by contacting the Government Credit Card Contractor at the telephone number listed on the reverse side of the card.  (01-21-2010)
Purchase Card Renewal Process

  1. When the expiration date listed on the Purchase Card draws near, the Government Credit Card Contractor will automatically send the Purchase Cardholder a renewal card. Generally, this will occur within two to four weeks prior to the expiration date. The renewal card will require activation. Follow the instructions on the face of the Purchase Card to activate. Activating your renewal card will automatically cancel the expiring card. Dispose of the expiring card by cutting it up. If the Purchase Cardholder does not receive a renewal card by the expiration date, the Purchase Cardholder should contact the Employee Resource Center (ERC) and provide the following:

    1. Specify the problem (card expired; new card not received)

    2. Provide the Purchase Cardholder's name as it appears on the credit card

    3. Provide the last six digits of the account number  (01-21-2010)
Purchase Card Refresher Training

  1. Purchase Cardholders are required to complete refresher training every two years. The objectives of refresher training are:

    1. Strengthen internal controls of the IRS Purchase Card Program

    2. Serve as a tool to ensure all Purchase Cardholders are made aware of current program rules, regulations, guidelines, and changes

    Purchase Cardholders will be notified via e-mail with detailed instructions when they are required to complete the course. See Instructions for Accessing Refresher Training for Purchase Cardholders for additional information.  (01-21-2010)
Documentation Requirements for Purchases

  1. Each transaction made by a Purchase Cardholder or Convenience Check Cardholder must be documented. Documentation includes:

    1. A timely kept Purchase Card Log or webRTS Purchase Card Module Order Log

    2. Documentation that reflects the Purchase Cardholder's interaction with the vendor, such as an order form, confirmation of receipt, and sales receipts (for over-the counter purchases)

    3. Upon receipt of the goods or services, webRTS Purchase Card Module users must enter the received date in the electronic Purchase Card Order Log. Non-webRTS Purchase Card Module users must ensure documentation is signed and dated upon receipt of the goods or services.

    4. For non-webRTS Purchase Card Module users, the signed Statement of Account showing account activity for the billing cycle

  2. For additional information on using the Purchase Card and documenting transactions, see the Purchase Card Guide .  (01-21-2010)
Monthly Statement of Account

  1. Monthly Statements of Account received from the Government Credit Card Contractor by Purchase Cardholders who are exempt from using the webRTS Purchase Card Module require reconciliation and approval.  (01-21-2010)
Statement of Account Explanation - Non-webRTS Purchase Card Module

  1. Each month, Purchase Cardholders who are exempt from the webRTS Purchase Card Module receive a Statement of Account from Citibank if there is activity on the account. The Statement of Account is mailed to the business mailing street address provided by the Purchase Cardholder. The monthly Statement of Account reflects activity on the account for the billing cycle. The billing cycle for Purchase Card ends on the third of each month. Each charge and credit that posts to the Purchase Cardholder's account during the billing cycle will be itemized on the Statement of Account. The Statement of Account will show the total amount due.

  2. All charges posted to a Purchase Cardholder's account must be paid in full, even if disputed. The Purchase Cardholder must:

    1. Review the Statement of Account for any duplicate, erroneous, or over charges

    2. Secure funding for unrecognized or questionable charges that appear on the monthly statement

    3. Take prompt action to resolve the dispute. See Cardholder Responsibilities: Dispute Process.

    4. Follow-up on disputed charges and ensure credits are received  (01-21-2010)
Statement of Account Reconciliation and Approval - Non-webRTS Purchase Card Module

  1. The Purchase Cardholder's Statement of Account summarizes all transactions that have posted to the account during the billing cycle. Purchase Cardholders must:

    1. Reconcile the Statement of Account with the Monthly Purchase Card Log and supporting documentation;

    2. Complete the Monthly Statement Reconciliation Worksheet to identify the webRTS document that is to be used to pay or credit each line item on the Purchase Cardholder's Statement of Account;

    3. Take appropriate action to resolve any duplicate, erroneous, or over charges. See Cardholder Responsibilities: Dispute Process.

    4. Sign the Statement of Account; and

    5. The original Statement of Account, original reconciliation worksheet, and copy of the Purchase Cardholder's Purchase Card Log must be forwarded to the PC Approving Official immediately upon completion of reconciliation.

  2. The PC Approving Official must complete a review of the reconciled Statement of Account upon receipt, sign, and forward the original Statement of Account and reconciliation worksheet in accordance with the Business Organization guidelines. Reconciled and approved Statements of Account are due to the Beckley Finance Center by the 21st of each month.
    For additional information, see Statement Reconciliation and Approval.

  3. If a Purchase Cardholder is out of the office when reconciled Statements of Account are due, the PC Approving Official is responsible for completing the reconciliation. The overall processing time-frame is not extended as a result of the absence of a Purchase Cardholder.

  4. PC Approving Officials should ensure their Purchase Cardholders know who to give or send reconciled Statements of Account to for review and approval on those occasions when the PC Approving Official is away from the office. The processing time-frame is not extended because of the absence of a PC Approving Official.

  5. Follow the guidelines of the Business Organization for forwarding reconciled and approved Statements of Account to Beckley Finance Center. For additional information on the Statement of Account reconciliation and approval process, see Accessing CitiDirect.  (08-01-2006)
Dispute Process

  1. Purchase Cardholders are responsible for timely disputing any incorrect or unauthorized charges that may appear on the monthly Statement of Account. Purchase Cardholders must complete, sign, and return to Citibank a Cardholder Dispute Form within 60 days from the date of the Statement of Account on which the disputed charge(s) first appear. Citibank will confirm receipt of the dispute form in writing. See Purchase Cardholder Responsibilities: Dispute Process for additional information.


    The fax number and mailing address are shown on the top of the Dispute Form


  2. All charges posted to a Purchase Cardholder's account must be paid in full, even if disputed. Purchase Cardholders are responsible for obtaining funds to pay for the disputed item(s).

  3. Purchase Cardholders must be proactive in timely securing credits for all disputed charges. The required action depends on whether or not the Purchase Cardholder recognizes the vendor.

  4. The Purchase Cardholder may also use CitiDirect, Citibank's On-Line Account Management System, to dispute a charge. See Accessing CitiDirect.  (01-21-2010)
Purchase Card Account Changes

  1. Information and procedures regarding account maintenance changes are updated frequently and are available on the ERC website. Account maintenance changes include:

    1. Merchant Category Code (MCC) Changes

    2. Name Change

    3. Address Change

    4. Requests to Change Card Limits

    5. Closing a Purchase Card Account

    6. Reactivating a Closed Account

    7. Request to change the Single Transaction Limit

    See Changes to Cardholder Accounts.  (08-01-2006)
Purchase Card Account Problems

  1. Information and procedures regarding Purchase Card Account Problems are available on the ERC website. Purchase Card Account Problems include:

    1. Lost or Stolen Card

    2. Card Declinations

    3. Card Restrictions

    4. Disputed Purchases

    See Problems.

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