1.35.4 Purchase Card Program

Manual Transmittal

August 25, 2017

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.35.4, Purchase Card Program.

Material Changes

(1) As of January 1, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) instituted a requirement that the IRM address relevant internal controls. This will inform employees about the importance of and context for internal controls by describing the program objectives and officials charged with program management and oversight. Internal controls are the program’s policies and procedures which ensure:

  1. Mission and program objectives are clearly delineated and key terms defined.

  2. Program goals are established and performance is measured to assess the efficient and effective mission and objective accomplishment.

  3. Program and resources are protected against waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement and misappropriation.

  4. Program operations are in conformance with applicable laws and regulations.

  5. Financial reporting is complete, current and accurate.

  6. Reliable information is obtained and used for decision making and quality assurance.

(2) Updated signature authority from Chief, Employee Support Services to Chief, Agency-Wide Shared Services (AWSS).

(3) Updated Chief, Procurement titles and removed references to Employee Support Services.

(4) Added individual Delegation of Procurement Authority (DPA).

(5) Added Purchase Card Electronic Documentation Retention requirements (PCEDR).

(6) Changed documentation retention period from three years 30 days to six years.

(7) Changed single transaction limit from $3,000 to $3,500.

(8) Changed convenience check limit from $3,000 to $2,500.

(9) Added convenience check limitation for safety, security and enforcement only.

(10) Added Chip and Personal Identification Number (PIN) enabled card information.

(11) Removed and replaced references to Purchase Card Module with Procurement for Public Sector (PPS) Purchase Card (PC) Module.

(12) Removed Disabled Employees Support Acquisition Contract (DESAC) Purchase Card from Terminology section.

(13) Removed Disabled Employees Support Acquisition Contract (DESAC) Purchase Card section.

(14) Removed Action Type from Terminology section.

(15) Replaced Integrated Procurement System with PPS PC Module and revised the definition.

(16) Revised Single Transaction Limit definition.

(17) Removed the use of OPROC action type to route requisitions to Procurement.

(18) Updated where to provide order log item receive date.

(19) Incorporated AWSS-01-0716-0001, Interim Guidance on Purchase Card Program, issued on August 2, 2016 which updated policy found in Material Changes items (4), (5), (7) and (8).

Effect on Other Documents

This IRM supersedes IRM 1.35.4 dated September 4, 2014.

Audience

Servicewide

Effective Date

(08-25-2017)

Ginger Bardol
Director
Credit Card Services
Agency-Wide Shared Services

Program Scope

  1. Purpose: This IRM provides information relating to the use of the Government PC. The Government PC is an element of the General Services Administration (GSA) SmartPay Program. As a participant in the GSA SmartPay Program, the Department of the Treasury is responsible for selecting the Government Credit Card Contractor for PC services for all Treasury bureaus.

    1. The PC is for official use only. Purchases must be approved and funded in advance.

    2. The PC criteria has been established to ensure that the PC is issued to responsible IRS employees who will adhere to all PC policies and procedures.

  2. The procedures in the Purchase Card Guide apply servicewide. Individual Business Organizations may supplement the "Purchase Card Guide" with additional restrictions on use of the PC by their employees. Convenience Check guidelines must be followed by those cardholders authorized to use convenience checks. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 13, Simplified Acquisition Procedures must be followed for purchases of goods over $3,500 ($2,500 for services; $2,000 for construction). Procurement Convenience Check Program participants can make payments to a Vendor who does not accept the PC for purchases of $2,500 or less.

  3. Audience: Servicewide.

  4. Policy Owner: Chief, AWSS.

  5. Program Owner: Director, Credit Card Services (CCS)

  6. Primary Stakeholders: All Purchase Cardholders who are responsible for purchasing goods and/or services for official government use and PC Approving Officials with oversight responsibility for the activities of Purchase Cardholders.

Background

  1. This IRM provides information on the Government Purchase Credit Card Program. This section is primarily for IRS employees who use the PC to purchase goods and/or services for official government business. It is also for supervisory and administrative personnel who authorize, direct, or review the activities of Purchase Cardholders.

Authority

  1. FAR Part 13, Simplified Acquisition Procedures

  2. FAR Part 8, Required Sources of Supplies and Services.

Responsibilities

  1. PC Program responsibilities are shared by several offices. The Department of the Treasury directs the program for all Treasury bureaus. AWSS, CCS has oversight responsibility and trains new Purchase Cardholders and PC Approving Officials. The Office of Procurement Policy provides guidance for the PC Program as it relates to the FAR, Treasury Regulations and the IRS guidelines. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Beckley Finance Center (BFC) is responsible for payment of PC charges.

  2. The Department of the Treasury, Office of the Procurement Executive (OPE), is responsible for selecting the Government Credit Card Contractor for all Treasury Bureaus. The Department of the Treasury also directs the PC Program for all Bureaus, serves as liaison for problems experienced by the Treasury Bureaus, and coordinates the renewal process at the conclusion of the credit card performance period.

  3. The Office of Procurement Policy, IRS, provides policy guidance for the PC Program as it relates to the FAR, Department of Treasury Acquisition Regulation (DTAR), and IRS Procurement Procedures.

  4. CCS is the Agency Organization Program Coordinator (AOPC) for the IRS. CCS is responsible for:

    1. oversight of the IRS PC Program.

    2. processing new account applications.

    3. training and certifying new Purchase Cardholders and PC Approving Officials.

    4. providing refresher training every two years for existing Purchase Cardholders and PC Approving Officials.

    5. processing PC account maintenance issues such as cancellations, name and address changes, PC limit changes, and acceptance issues in the PPS PC Module.

    6. issuing program guidance for the PC Program.

    7. conducting periodic program reviews to monitor compliance with established procedures.

    8. issuing and monitoring individual DPA for micro-Purchase Cardholders.

  5. The CFO, BFC is the central paying office for all invoices received by the IRS, including the invoices from the Government Credit Card Contractor for purchases made using the PC.

  6. PC Approving Officials monitor and review the activities of their assigned Purchase Cardholders. The PC Approving Officials are responsible for:

    1. reviewing the PC Order Log, interfaced transactions, and the supporting documentation to ensure appropriate approvals, funding, and timely processing of transactions.

    2. reviewing PC transactions to ensure the Purchase Cardholder is adhering to all PC guidelines.

    3. approving all Purchase Cardholder posted transactions within 10 business days of the transaction download date.

    4. associating and approving all transactions in the PPS PC Module within 10 business days of the posted transaction date (in the absence of the Purchase Cardholder).

    5. completing PC Approving Official Refresher Training every two years.

  7. Purchase Cardholders must meet all PC Program responsibilities by:

    1. adhering to all PC criteria as described in the "Purchase Card Guide" .

    2. safeguarding the PC and account number at all times to prevent theft or unauthorized use.

    3. ensuring the purchase is allowable by checking the Restricted PC List and any Business Organization restrictions.

    4. forwarding receipts to the PC Approving Official for review and approval immediately after reconciliation.

    5. initiating action to obtain a credit for any disputed item (duplicate, erroneous, or over charges).

      Note:

      The IRS is required to pay for all posted transactions pending resolution of the dispute.

    6. uploading all documentation relating to activity on the PC into the PCEDR SharePoint site. Criminal Investigation (CI)I, Procurement Warranted Contracting Officers and Procurement Convenience Check Cardholders must follow Business Organization guidelines. All documentation for PC buys must be retained for six years from the billing cycle end date.

    7. reporting a lost or stolen PC promptly to the Government Credit Card Contractor Customer Service, the PC Approving Official, CCS, and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) (if appropriate).

    8. notifying CCS of any necessary corrections to account information, such as name and/or address change, or new PC Approving Official.

  8. The Convenience Check Program Manager is a member of the CCS, AWSS and is the Official responsible for all Convenience Check Purchase Cardholders established servicewide.

  9. The Convenience Check Program Coordinator is a member of CCS, AWSS who assists the Convenience Check Program Manager in the daily operation of the Convenience Check Program by:

    1. coordinating the establishment of new Convenience Check Purchase Cardholder accounts.

    2. providing training for new users.

    3. providing support for convenience check issues.

    4. serving as liaison with the Government Credit Card Contractor and the BFC.

    5. coordinating the check ordering process.

Terms/Definitions/Acronyms

  1. The following terms are associated with the PC Program:

    1. Authorization - The process undertaken by a Merchant to verify that a purchase is allowable on a particular Purchase Cardholder account. Merchants or Vendors sometimes seek authorization if a purchase exceeds certain dollar limits (e.g., $25 or $50). When a Merchant seeks authorization for a purchase, the MasterCard authorization system will compare the proposed transaction with the limitations placed on the Purchase Cardholder’s account.

    2. Beckley Finance Center (BFC) - The central paying office for all invoices received by the IRS, including the invoices from the Government Credit Card Contractor for purchases made using the PC.

    3. Billing Cycle - The period of time commencing on the 4th of each month and ending on the 3rd of the following month. All transactions that post to an account during a billing cycle are summarized on a Statement of Account.

    4. Bulk (or "Block" ) Funding - A method of setting aside funds for multiple purchases that may be shared by multiple Purchase Cardholders. Bulk funding eliminates the requirement for a separate requisition for each purchase. Funds for a general type expense, such as basic desktop office supplies, are approved and funded for purchase in advance. Bulk funding does not eliminate the requirement that purchases must be approved prior to using the PC.

    5. Card Limit - The maximum cumulative amount that can be charged to a PC in any one billing cycle. The PC limits are used to strengthen internal controls by establishing the appropriate amount a Purchase Cardholder can spend in a billing cycle to accomplish their program responsibilities.

    6. Chip and PIN Enabled Cards - Chip and PIN is the next generation of payment card technology adopted by banking industries for Europay, MasterCard and Visa. "Chip" refers to a computer chip embedded in the card, and "PIN" refers to a Personal Identification Number that the Customer must supply.

    7. Convenience Check - An alternative form of payment associated with a PC account limited to $2,500 for goods/services and $2,000 for construction/alterations. Convenience checks can only be used where the Merchant does not accept the PC or other methods of payment cannot be used and the request is for safety, security, and/or enforcement.

    8. Delegation of Procurement Authority (DPA) - An individual DPA issued to micro-Purchase Cardholders through the Enterprise Learning Management System (ELMS) providing their card limits and scope of purchasing authority. Purchase Cardholders are required to acknowledge their individual DPA through the ELMS system.

    9. Disputed Item - An erroneous, duplicate, or over charge that appears as a transaction on an individually billed government Purchase Cardholder's Statement of Account or on the transaction screen in the PPS PC Module.

    10. Merchant - The source of goods or services purchased. The "Merchant" , or "Vendor" , can be an individual or any type of business entity. Merchant and Vendor are used interchangeably in this IRM.

    11. Merchant Category Code (MCC) - A standard code assigned to every Merchant that accepts a credit card that identifies the category of goods, services, or activity they are involved with. The accuracy of the assigned MCC is the function of the Vendor and MasterCard.

    12. Merchant Category Code (MCC) Template - A grouping of codes that are assigned to each Purchase Cardholder's account based on their anticipated purchasing activity. An MCC template are an element of the system of internal controls for the Credit Card Program, helping to reduce the potential for inappropriate use of a PC.

    13. Micro-Purchase - An acquisition of supplies with an aggregate (total cost of purchase determined by total need) purchase amount that does not exceed $3,500 ($2,500 for services; $2,000 for construction).

    14. PPS Purchase Card Module - A web-based application within the Integrated Financial System (IFS) that employee’s icons, drop-down menus, and fill-in data screens to automate the processing of requests for goods and services.

    15. Purchase Card (PC) - The credit card used to purchase goods and services for IRS official government use only. Funding and approvals must be secured to cover the cost of a purchase before the PC is used to make a purchase.

    16. Purchase Card (PC) Approving Official - A trained individual with oversight and approval responsibility for PC activity of the Purchase Cardholders under his or her purview. The PC Approving Official does not have to be the Purchase Cardholder's Supervisor.

    17. Purchase Card (PC) Approving Official Designee - A trained PC Approving Official who may be designated to approve another PC Approving Official's Cardholder's transactions in the PPS PC Module. Designation as an Acting Manager does not confer authority to act as PC Approving Official. The Designee must be from the same Business Organization as the PC Approving Official and must be a PC Approving Official for a group of Purchase Cardholders.

    18. Purchase Card Electronic Documentation Retention (PCEDR) - A SharePoint site established to share and maintain PC documentation.

    19. PC Reference Document - The PC Reference Document is a tool which provides assistance to Purchase Cardholders in determining if a PC may be used to make support-type purchases.

    20. Purchase Cardholder - The individual IRS employee who has been trained and authorized to use the PC. The Purchase Cardholder is the only user of the PC and is responsible for safeguarding the PC and account number to minimize the opportunity for theft or unauthorized use.

    21. Required Sources - Purchase Cardholders must use prioritized required sources for supplies and services and document the requisition and PPS PC Module Order Log description for exceptions to using a required source.

      Note:

      For additional information, see FAR Part 8 - Required Sources of Supplies and Services.

    22. Restricted Purchase List - Written guidance with a list of goods and services that IRS employees are prohibited from purchasing or items that can only be purchased with the appropriate approvals. The Restricted Purchase List is maintained by the Office of Procurement Policy.

    23. Single Transaction Limit - The PC dollar limit for any one transaction. The maximum allowable micro-purchase single transaction limit is $3,500 ($2,500 for services; $2,000 for construction/alterations). The maximum allowable single transaction limit applies to all Purchase Cardholders except those with contracting warrants.

    24. Split Purchase or Procurement - A Purchase Cardholder may not make a series of purchases from the same merchant on the same day in a total amount that exceeds his/her single transaction limit ($3,500 goods, $2,500 for services, and $2,000 for construction). This is true even if the Purchase Cardholder is ordering from the mandated Federal Supply Schedule contract. The split purchase rules also apply to the maximum allowable of $2,500 for convenience checks, see IRM 1.35.4.2.4, Convenience Check PC subsection for information.

    25. Statement of Account - A summary of transactions (debits and credits) posted to the Purchase Cardholder's account during the billing cycle.

    26. Tax Exemption - PC purchases made and paid directly by the federal government are tax exempt where the government is responsible for the payment. Purchase Cardholders can access tax exemption letter for states and commonwealths prior to conducting official business.

    27. Vendor - The source of goods or services purchased. The "Vendor" , or "Merchant" , can be an individual or any type of business entity. Vendor and Merchant are used interchangeably in this IRM.

  2. Acronyms

    Acronym Definition
    AWSS Agency-Wide Shared Services
    AOPC Agency Organization Program Coordinator
    BFC Beckley Finance Center
    CCS Credit Card Services
    CFO Chief Financial Officer
    CI Criminal Investigation
    DPA Delegation of Procurement Authority
    DTAR Department of Treasury Acquisition Regulation
    EIT Electronic and Information Technology
    FAR Federal Acquisition Regulation
    FSSI OS3 Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative - Office Supplies
    GSA General Services Administration
    MCC Merchant Category Code
    OMB Office of Management and Budget
    OPE Office of Procurement Executive
    NHQ National Headquarters
    PALS Property Appraisal and Liquidation Specialists
    PC Purchase Card
    PCEDR PC Electronic Documentation Retention
    PIN Personal Identification Number
    PPS Procurement for Public Sector
    SAM System for Award Management
    SB/SE Small Business/Self-Employed
    TIGTA Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration


Related Resources

  1. IRM 1.32.4, Travel Card Program

Types of Purchase Card Accounts

  1. Different types of PC accounts are used to support various functions within the IRS. Detailed information on the types of PC accounts is included in the "Purchase Card Guide" .

Micro-Purchase Card

  1. The Micro-Purchase Card is a MasterCard issued to authorized individuals for their use in purchasing goods and services for official IRS government use. Purchases must be less than or equal to the single purchase transaction limit for the Purchase Cardholder's account. Transaction limits are based on the business needs of the Purchase Cardholder. The maximum single purchase transaction limit for micro-purchases is $3,500 ($2,500 for services, $2,000 for construction/alterations). All prospective Purchase Cardholders, regardless of the card type, must complete formal training before a PC is issued. (See Micro-Purchase Cardholder Training.)

  2. Each PC issued contains Chip and PIN Enabled technology adopted by banking industries for Europay, MasterCard and Visa. Chip and PIN technology enhances security.

Enforcement Purchase Card (SB/SE)

  1. Revenue Officers directly involved with enforcement activity are issued a micro-Purchase Card that is restricted to enforcement related buys. Enforcement Purchase Cardholders cannot use their PC to purchase office supplies or routine services. SB/SE Collection Territory Management Assistants who have been issued a micro-Purchase Card for supplies and services may have enforcement purchase authority added to the card. New Enforcement Purchase Cardholders must complete specialized training before an Enforcement PC is issued.

Enforcement Purchase Card (Criminal Investigators)

  1. Criminal Investigators directly involved with enforcement activity are issued a PC that is restricted to enforcement related buys. CI Enforcement Purchase Cardholders cannot use their card to purchase routine office supplies and services. Prospective CI Enforcement Purchase Cardholders must complete specialized training before the CI Enforcement PC is issued.

Convenience Check Purchase Card

  1. Convenience Checks are an alternative form of payment for specific programs where other methods of payment cannot be used. Convenience Checks are associated with a PC account established with the Government Credit Card Contractor. Convenience Checks should be used as a payment method of last resort only when no reasonable alternative Vendor is available who accepts the PC and can only be used when the request is for safety, security, and/or enforcement.

Types of Convenience Check Purchase Cardholders
  1. The use of Convenience Checks has been authorized for Purchase Cardholders in the following programs only:

    1. CCS, AWSS

    2. SB/SE, Property Appraisal & Liquidation Specialists

    3. NHQ, Procurement

  2. Convenience Check Purchase Cardholders cannot use their Convenience Checks to purchase routine office supplies and or services outside their authorized program guidelines.

  3. Convenience Check Purchase Cardholders are required to satisfy training requirements prior to receiving authorization to issue Convenience Checks.

  4. Program specific Approving Officials and Program specific coordinators responsible for the activities of Convenience Check Purchase Cardholders must satisfy the training requirements for PC Approving Officials as well as program specific training for Convenience Check Purchase Cardholders.

AWSS Convenience Check Program
  1. AWSS Convenience Check Program provides Convenience Check services for micro-purchases when the Vendor will not accept the government PC and no other Vendor can provide the goods/services.

  2. Convenience Checks cannot be used to circumvent restrictions on a PC account. If the total need for the purchase exceeds $2,500 for goods and services, or $2,000 for construction, the Convenience Check Program cannot be used. Furthermore, total needs cannot be split into smaller parts in an attempt to circumvent the $2,500 limit.

  3. Non-Purchase Cardholders must route their requests to Procurement.

SB/SE, Property Appraisal and Liquidation Program
  1. SB/SE Property Appraisal and Liquidation Specialists (PALS) who use the government PC for enforcement related expenses are authorized to use convenience checks to issue payments to vendors who do not accept the PC.

  2. SB/SE Finance Research and Strategy is responsible for establishing procedures specific to the payment of enforcement fees and PALS issues. Procedures for the use of Convenience Checks are the responsibility of CCS.

Procurement Convenience Check Program
  1. The Office of Chief Procurement Officer has identified Purchase Cardholders within the Procurement organization who are authorized to use Convenience Checks for payments to Vendors who do not accept the PC or any other procurement vehicle (i.e., purchase order) and no reasonable alternative Vendor is available who accepts the PC.

  2. The Convenience Check Program Manager in CCS has program administrator responsibility for the Procurement Convenience Check Program and provides guidance and administrative oversight to Procurement Convenience Check Purchase Cardholders and PC Approving Officials.

  3. Procurement Convenience Check Purchase Cardholders may issue a convenience check for purchases of $2,500 or less as a payment vehicle against a valid Government Contractual Instrument when the Vendor will not accept the PC, and is exempted from System for Award Management (SAM) and it is determined that no other SAM Vendor can provide the product or service.

Warranted Contracting Officers - Purchases Greater than the Micro-Purchase Thresholds

  1. Purchase Cardholders procuring supplies or services greater than $3,500 ($2,500 for services; $2,000 for construction) must comply with all procurement laws and regulations, including competition and small business requirements, and all instructions contained in the "Purchase Card Guide" . Purchase Cardholders must also comply with the limitations of their Delegation of Procurement Authority and Contracting Officer's warrant.

Purchase Card Program Guidance

  1. CCS has established program policies and guidance for the use of the government PC.

Authorized Purchase Card Use

  1. The PC can only be used to purchase goods and services for official government use.

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

    2. The Purchase Cardholder must receive approval to make the purchase.

    3. Funding must be obtained and documented in the PC Order Log prior to making the purchase.

    4. The dollar amount of the transaction must be within the Purchase Cardholder's assigned single transaction and monthly card limits as established in their individual DPA.

Unauthorized Purchase Card Use

  1. The PC cannot be used to purchase:

    1. Items for personal use

    2. Prohibited and/or restricted items

      Note:

      For additional information, see the Restricted Purchase List

    3. Official travel related expenses

      Note:

      For additional information, see IRM 1.32.4, Travel Card Program

    4. Fuel for IRS owned vehicles

    5. Vehicle repairs/maintenance

    6. Fuel for GSA vehicles

    7. Items without prior funding and approval

    8. Items that exceed the micro-purchase threshold unless otherwise granted DPA as evidenced by a Contracting Officer's warrant

    9. Business phone calls

    10. Personal phone calls

Purchase Card Restrictions

  1. Restrictions on PC accounts are MCC and monthly and single transaction card limits. These restrictions may cause a transaction to decline. If the PC is declined by a Merchant because of a restriction, contact CCS through OS GetServices.

Split Purchases

  1. A Purchase Cardholder may not make a series of purchases from the same Vendor on the same day in a total amount that exceeds his/her single transaction limit. This is true even if the Purchase Cardholder is ordering from the Federal Supply Schedule contract.

  2. For most Purchase Cardholders, the single transaction limit is $3,500 ($2,500 for services, $2,000 for construction/alterations). Purchase requirements exceeding the single transaction limit must be processed by Procurement. The split purchase rules also apply to the maximum allowable of $2,500 for convenience checks.

  3. Splitting purchases is considered inappropriate use. Inappropriate use is a conduct issue that could result in disciplinary action.

Inappropriate Use

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

    1. Purchase of items for personal use.

    2. Prohibited or restricted purchases.

      Note:

      For additional information, see the Restricted Purchase List.

    3. Using the incorrect PC (i.e., using the PC to make an official travel purchases).

    4. Purchases made without prior funding or 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 purchases.

      Note:

      For additional information, see Split Purchases.

  2. Inappropriate use of the PC is a conduct issue that could result in disciplinary action. The Inappropriate Use Guide contains specific instances of misuse of the PC and their resolutions. The IRS Manager's Guide to Penalty Determinations provides Labor Relations guidance for penalty determinations for the misuse of the PC.

  3. Inappropriate use of the PC may require the IRS to take steps to recover the cost of any illegal, improper, or erroneous purchase that results in loss to the government made with a PC or Convenience Check. Per the Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012, this may require reimbursement to the IRS by the responsible Employee. A debt will be established and collected through salary offset, if necessary.

Separation of Duties and PC Approving Official Span of Control

  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.

  2. Purchase Cardholders are allowed to conduct the purchase and receive supplies or services. Separation of duties guidance for participants in the PC Program is as follows:

    1. A PC Approving Official cannot be a cardholder.

    2. A cardholder cannot be a PC Approving Official.

    3. A cardholder or a PC Approving Official cannot be a plan manager.

    4. A PC Approving Official cannot be subordinate (organizationally) to a cardholder.

  3. Span of control is required by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-123 for PC Approving Officials and is based on the number of transactions approved per billing cycle.

Purchase Card Guide

  1. The "Purchase Card Guide" summarizes IRS policies and procedures relating to use of the PC. 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.

    Note:

    For additional information, see the current revision of the Purchase Card Guide.

Restricted Purchase List

  1. The Chief Procurement Officer, 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. Business Organizations may further limit what can be purchased with the PC. These restrictions can be found in the operating guidelines issued by the Business Organization.

Required Sources for Micro-Purchases

  1. Office supplies must be purchased from Mandatory Supply Schedules of the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative, Office Supplies (FSSI OS3) Program. Purchases must be made according to the Priority Listing chart located in the "Purchase Card Guide" and the IRS FSSI Office Supply Program Desk Guide.

  2. For purchases other than office supplies, provided that they are not on the Restricted Purchase List, please refer to FAR Part 8, Required Sources of Supplies and Services, for the priority of sources.

    Note:

    For additional information, see the Purchase Card Guide and the IRS FSSI Office Supply Program Desk Guide.

Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) Buys

  1. All EIT purchases made with the government PC 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 allows:

    1. Federal employees with disabilities to have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that by federal employees who are not individuals with disabilities unless an undue burden would be imposed on the Agency, and

    2. Individuals with disabilities, who are members of the public seeking information or services from the Agency, to have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to the public who are not individuals with disabilities.

  3. If Section 508 applies to the purchase, the Requester or Purchase Cardholder must 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 PC transaction.

  4. For EIT purchases $3,500 or less, Section 508 requires the completion for the Micro-Purchase Determination Form, signed by the Requestor and maintained as part of the supporting documentation.

  5. For EIT purchases that are $3,500 or greater, 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 PC transaction.

  6. For additional guidance, see Use of the Government Micro-PC for Electronic & Information Technology Buys.

Green Products: Environmentally Preferable Products

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

  2. Policy and Procedures Memorandum No. 23.1, Buying Green, establishes guidance for 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.

Record Retention for Purchase Card Documentation

  1. The required retention period for all PC documentation is six years from the cycle ending date of the purchase. Purchase Cardholders and Convenience Check Cardholders must use PCEDR to forward receipts to the PC Approving Official for review and approval immediately after reconciliation except as noted in IRM 1.35.4.7.12 (2).

  2. CI, Procurement Warranted Contracting Officers, and Procurement Convenience Check Cardholders do not use PCDER and must maintain their documentation for six years from cycle ending date of the purchase.

    Note:

    For additional information, see General Records Schedule 1.1.

  3. Documentation prior to the implementation of PCEDR should continue to be maintained manually for 6 years from the cycle ending date of the purchase.

  4. If the Purchase Cardholder departs from the Service or is no longer a Cardholder, any documentation still maintained manually (prior to PCEDR implementation) should be forwarded to their PC Approving Official. When the PC Approving Official departs from the Service or is no longer a PC Approving Official, the PC Approving Official should prepare an OS GetServices ticket to receive information on where to mail any documentation still being maintained manually.

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 a PC to reduce the administrative costs associated with the government PC.

  2. Criteria has been established to ensure that each PC is issued to responsible IRS employees who will adhere to all PC policies and procedures. These guidelines also address requirements for PC Approving Officials who likewise must adhere to established PC policies and procedures and must ensure that their Purchase Cardholders properly follow all policies and procedures.

Purchase Card Criteria for Purchase Cardholders
  1. Must have a business need for the PC by making an average of four purchases per fiscal year.

  2. Must create a PC Order Log in the PPS PC Module for the items to be purchased and must associate a proper, fully funded requisition, prior to placing an order.

  3. Must associate and reconcile posted transactions in the PPS PC Module within 10 business days of the transaction download date.

  4. Must document receipt of goods/services for all posted transactions and input the receipt date in the PPS PC Module.

  5. Must use PCEDR SharePoint Site (except CI, Procurement Warranted Contracting Officers and Procurement Convenience Check Cardholders) to maintain the appropriate documentation to support each purchase. CI and Procurement must follow their business organization procedures for maintaining documentation and must timely provide copies of documentation when requested by officials performing reviews and audits.

  6. Must complete Purchase Cardholder Refresher Training every two years.

Purchase Card Criteria for PC Approving Officials
  1. Must have a minimum of one assigned Purchase Cardholder.

  2. Must not be a Purchase Cardholder or Plan Manager.

  3. Must be in the same Business Organization as the Purchase Cardholder unless an agreement for one Business Organization to perform PC Approving Official duties of another Business Organization is established.

  4. Must be the same or higher grade than assigned Purchase Cardholder(s) if the PC Approving Official is within the same Business Organization.

  5. In no instance shall the PC Approving Official be subordinate (organizationally) to a Purchase Cardholder.

  6. Must review downloaded transactions in the PPS PC Module and Purchase Cardholder documentation to ensure adherence to guidelines and that the appropriate approvals, funding and documentation exist to support each purchase.

  7. Must review and approve all assigned Purchase Cardholder(s) posted transactions in the PPS PC Module within 10 business days of the transaction download date.

  8. Must timely provide copies of documentation for inactive Purchase Cardholders when requested by officials performing reviews and audits unless maintained in the PCDER SharePoint site.

  9. Must complete PC Approving Official Refresher Training every two years.

Training

  1. There is specific training that must be completed to become a government Purchase Cardholder or PC Approving Official.

Purchase Cardholder Training

  1. All prospective Purchase Cardholders must complete the Micro-Purchase Card Training Curriculum and, if necessary, the required training for their assigned program before a PC will be issued.

  2. PC training requirements for specific card types are outlined in the Required Training Chart.

  3. Employees are required to complete the on-line Government Credit Card Contractor account application and gain access to the PPS PC Module prior to completion of training.

  4. Refer to the "Purchase Card Guide" for the types of PC accounts.

PC Approving Official Training

  1. Each Business Organization designates employees to be PC Approving Officials. A PC Approving Official must have an understanding of what is expected of Purchase Cardholders in order to monitor and review PC activity.

  2. All prospective PC Approving Officials must complete and submit an eligibility form prior to enrollment in the PC Approving Official Training Curriculum.

  3. For information on the enrollment process, refer to New PC Approving Official Training on the IRWeb employee resource narratives.

Refresher Training

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

    1. Strengthen internal controls of the IRS PC Program.

    2. Ensure all Purchase Cardholders are made aware of current program rules, regulations, guidelines, and changes

  2. Purchase Cardholders and PC Approving Officials will be notified by e-mail with detailed instructions when they are required to complete refresher training.

Activating the Purchase Card

  1. Purchase Cardholders must activate the PC on receipt by calling the number on the face of the PC. Purchase Cardholders should verify the accuracy of the information on the transmittal document that comes with the PC. If there is an error, the Purchase Cardholder should contact CCS by submitting a ticket through OS GetServices.

  2. Information regarding activating the PC is available in the "Purchase Card Guide" .

Ordering a Replacement Card

  1. The Purchase Cardholder can order a replacement PC 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 PC.

  2. A lost or stolen PC will be closed and a new PC/account will be issued.

Purchase Card Renewal Process

  1. When the expiration date listed on the PC draws near, the Government Credit Card Contractor will automatically send the Purchase Cardholder a renewal PC. Generally, this will occur within two to four weeks prior to the expiration date.

  2. The renewal PC will require activation. Follow the instructions on the face of the PC to activate. Activating your renewal PC will automatically cancel the expiring Card. Dispose of the expiring PC by cutting it up.

  3. If the Purchase Cardholder does not receive a renewal Card by the expiration date, the Purchase Cardholder should contact CCS by submitting an OS GetServices ticket and provide the following:

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

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

    3. Provide the last six digits of the account number

Documenting Purchase Card Transactions

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

  2. At a minimum, Purchase Cardholders must maintain all electronic and or paper documentation substantiating:

    1. Approval to place the order. A requisition or other document with detailed item description and approver's signature.

    2. A statement, for Convenience Check transactions, that no reasonable alternative Vendor is available who accepts the PC.

    3. Item or service ordered matches the approved order. Order confirmation from the Merchant with details or other documents reflecting the order placed and if applicable, interim communications to reflect changes to an original order, including returned items or credits.

    4. Confirmation of items or services received. Received date entered in the PC Order Log, and packing slips, cash register receipts or other documents that support the received date entered in the PC Order Log.

  3. For additional information on using the PC and documenting transactions, see the Purchase Card Guide.

PPS Purchase Card Module

  1. The PPS PC Module enhances the PC process, improves controls and ensures timely posting of obligations to the financial system. All Purchase Cardholder and PC Approving Officials are required to electronically track, reconcile, approve, and monitor PC transactions in the PPS PC Module.

Purchase Card Order Log

  1. Purchase Cardholders must create and add a funded requisition to a PC Order Log prior to making a purchase. The PC Order Log tracks each step of a purchase and documents transaction details.

  2. When goods or services are received, the PC Order Log Item Received Date field must be updated.

  3. Detailed instructions for recording information on the PC Order Log are available in the "Purchase Card User Manual" .

Processing Time Frames

  1. Purchase Cardholders must associate and reconcile and PC Approving Officials must approve transactions within 10 business days of the transaction download date in the PPS PC Module.

  2. In the absence of the Purchase Cardholder, the PC Approving Official must review, associate, and approve transactions. In addition, the PC Approving Official must indicate when the Purchase Cardholder is expected to return in the "comments" area in the PPS PC Module. When the Purchase Cardholder returns to the office, he or she must reconcile the transactions within five business days.

  3. In the absence of the PC Approving Official, the Purchase Cardholder must have another trained, established PC Approving Official in the same Business Organization review and approve transactions. The PC Approving Official Designee should be selected in advance of the projected PC Approving Official's absence date.

  4. An OS GetServices ticket should be submitted if the Purchase Cardholder or PC Approving Official require assistance with the selection of a PC Approving Official Designee.

  5. The overall processing time frame is not extended as a result of the absence of a Purchase Cardholder or PC Approving Official.

Transaction Reconciliation

  1. Purchase Cardholders must:

    1. complete all required actions for reconciliation and send supporting documentation to their PC Approving Official immediately after reconciliation.

    2. modify the existing requisition to increase the amount of funds, or create a new requisition to pay for erroneous charges.

    3. update the PC Order Log Item to reflect full or partial receipt of items.

  2. Detailed information on transaction reconciliation can be found in the "Purchase Card Guide" .

Disputed Items

  1. Occasionally a Purchase Cardholder will receive a transaction that he or she did not make. These transactions fall into one of three categories: duplicate, erroneous and over charges. Collectively, these are commonly referred to as disputed items.

  2. All charges, including any disputed items must be paid in full. This is true even if the Vendor has acknowledged the error and promises to credit the account. Purchase Cardholders are responsible for obtaining funds to pay for the disputed item and seek the appropriate credit from the Vendor.

  3. The Purchase Cardholder should:

    1. record the disputed purchase in the PPS PC Module.

    2. contact the Government Credit Card Contractor.

    3. close the transaction in the PPS PC Module, when the credit posts to the Purchase Cardholder's account.

  4. If the Purchase Cardholder thinks the PC has been lost immediately contact the Government Credit Card Contractor. If the Purchase Cardholder thinks the PC has been stolen and or compromised, contact TIGTA.

Purchase Card Account Changes

  1. Information and procedures regarding account maintenance changes is available in the PC Guide and IRWeb employee resource narratives. Account maintenance changes include:

    1. MCC changes

    2. Name change

    3. Address/Phone change

    4. Requests to change PC limits

    5. Closing a PC account

    6. Reactivating a closed account

    7. Leaving the Service

    8. Position or duty change

    .

Purchase Card Account Problems

  1. Information and procedures regarding PC Account Problems is available in the PC Guide and IRWeb employee resource narratives. PC Account Problems include:

    1. Lost or Stolen PC

    2. PC Declinations

    3. PC Restrictions

    4. Disputed Purchases

    5. Reactivating a PC Account