1.35.4 Purchase Card Program

Manual Transmittal

December 13, 2019

Purpose

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

Material Changes

(1) IRM 1.35.4.1.2, Authorities, added additional authorities.

(2) IRM 1.35.4.1.8, Acronyms, updated acronyms.

(3) IRM 1.35.4.2, Types of Purchase Card Accounts, updated Purchase Card Guide name.

(4) Previous IRM 1.35.4.3.11, Green Products: Environmentally Preferable Products, removed section because Procurement no longer maintains Policy and Procedures Memorandum No. 23.1.

(5) IRM 1.35.4.4, Purchase Card Compliance Reviews, section added to provide information on reviews performed by Credit Card Services.

(6) This revision includes changes throughout this document for the following:

  1. Updated office responsibilities due to the CFO Financial Management realignment

  2. Updated to include internal control requirements as described in IRM 1.11.2, Internal Revenue Process

  3. Added minor editorial changes

  4. Streamlined sections to reduce redundancies within the IRM

  5. Revised verbiage for clarity

  6. Updated single transaction limit from $3,500 to $10,000

  7. Updated Beckley Finance Center (BFC) paying office references to Credit Card Services

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 1.35.4, dated August 25, 2017, is superseded.

Audience

All business units

Effective Date

(12-13-2019)

Ursula S. Gillis
Chief Financial Officer
 

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Purpose: This IRM provides guidance on the use of the government purchase card (PC).

  2. The procedures in the electronic Purchase Card Guide apply Servicewide. Individual business units may supplement the electronic 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. Relevant Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) provisions, such as FAR Part 13 Simplified Acquisition procedures, must be followed for purchases of goods over $10,000 ($2,500 for services; $2,000 for construction). Convenience check program participants can make payments to a vendor who does not accept the PC for purchases of $2,500 or less for safety, security and enforcement.

  3. Audience: Servicewide

  4. Policy Owner: CFO

  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.

  7. Program Goals: To deliver efficient card programs that enable IRS employees to obtain needed supplies and services to carry out their tax administration duties.

Background

  1. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Subpart 13.2 states that the purchase card is the preferred method of making and paying for micro purchases.

  2. The purchase credit card program is for IRS employees who are authorized 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.

Authorities

  1. The authorities for this IRM include:

    1. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-123, Appendix B: Improving the Management of Government Charge Card Programs

    2. FAR Part 13, Simplified Acquisition Procedures

    3. The Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012

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

Responsibilities

  1. This section provides responsibilities for:

    1. CFO, deputy CFO (DCFO) and Associate CFO for Financial Management (ACFO-FM)

    2. director, Office of Procurement Policy

    3. director, Credit Card Services Office

    4. Purchase card approving officials

    5. Purchase cardholders

    6. Convenience check program manager

    7. Convenience check program coordinator

CFO, Deputy CFO (DCFO) and Associate CFO for Financial Management (ACFO-FM)
  1. The CFO, DCFO and ACFO-FM are responsible for the government purchase card program.

Director, Office of Procurement Policy
  1. The director, Office of Procurement Policy is responsible for providing PC program policy for the Department of Treasury Acquisition Regulation (DTAR). The Office of Procurement Program policy is also responsible for the Restricted Purchase List (RPL) and responding to inquiries related to the PC program.

Director, Credit Card Services
  1. The director, CCS, is responsible for:

    1. Overseeing the IRS PC program.

    2. Issuing program guidance for the PC program.

    3. Overseeing periodic program reviews to monitor compliance with established procedures.

    4. Issuing and monitoring individual Delegation of Procurement Authority (DPA) for micro-purchase cardholders.

    5. Paying all invoices from the government credit card contractor for purchases made using the PC.

Purchase Card Approving Officials
  1. Purchase card approving officials are responsible for:

    1. Reviewing the PC order log 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 as of the transaction download date.

    4. Associating and approving all transactions in the PPS Purchase Card Module within ten days of the posted transaction date in the absence of the purchase cardholder.

    5. Completing PC approving official refresher training every two years.

Purchase Cardholders
  1. Purchase cardholders are responsible for:

    1. Adhering to all PC criteria as described in the electronic 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 Purchase List and any business unit 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).

    6. Uploading all documentation relating to activity on the PC into the Purchase Card Electronic Documentation Retention (PCEDR) SharePoint site. Procurement warranted contracting officers, CI and Procurement convenience check cardholders must follow business unit 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, the PC approving official, CCS and TIGTA (if appropriate).

    8. Notifying CCS of any necessary corrections to account information.

Convenience Check Program Manager
  1. The convenience check program manager is responsible for:

    1. Oversight of the convenience check purchase card program Servicewide.

    2. Providing program guidance to customers.

Convenience Check Program Coordinator
  1. The convenience check program coordinator is responsible for:

    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. Liaising with the government credit card contractor.

    5. Coordinating the check ordering process.

Program Management and Review

  1. Program reports to Treasury and TIGTA: CCS prepares reports quarterly and semi-annually. Some of these reports are used to monitor policy compliance with the Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 requirements.

  2. The following chart lists the reports and their reporting frequency:

    Report Reporting Frequency
    OMB - Purchase Charge Card Report Quarterly
    Purchase Card Violations Report Semi-annually
  3. Program effectiveness is measured through a series of transaction reviews:

    1. CCS conducts monthly and quarterly transaction reviews to determine cardholder compliance with current guidelines and program effectiveness.

    2. TIGTA conducts a semi-annual audit to assess IRS’s implementation and compliance with the Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 requirements and provides a final report.

Program Controls

  1. Appendix B to OMB Circular A-123, Improving the Management of Government Charge Card Programs, 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.

    Controls Control Method
    Delegation of Procurement Authority (DPA)/Card Limits Purchase card limit and scope of authority delegated to purchase cardholders: Accounts are established with a single transaction limit of $10,000 and a monthly limit of $25,000.
    Separation of Duties Separate roles are established for purchase cardholders, PC approving officials and funding officials to avoid situations where one employee or a small group of employees performs more than one step at time.
    Merchant Category Codes (MCC) Template A grouping of codes that are assigned to a purchase cardholder’s account based on their anticipated purchasing activity to help reduce the potential of inappropriate use of the PC.
    Training Required prior to issuance of card.
    Refresher Training Required every two years.
    Required card usage Purchase cardholder must use the card four times per year to retain purchase card process skills.

Terms/Definitions

  1. The following terms and definitions apply to this 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. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    5. Chip and personal identification number (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.

    6. 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.

    7. Delegation of Procurement Authority (DPA) - An individual DPA issued to micro-purchase cardholders through the Integrated Talent Management (ITM) providing their card limits and scope of purchasing authority. Purchase cardholders are required to acknowledge their individual DPA through the ITM system.

    8. 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 Purchase Card Module.

    9. 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.

    10. 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.

    11. 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 is an element of the system of internal controls for the credit card program, helping to reduce the potential for inappropriate use of a PC.

    12. Micro-purchase - An acquisition of supplies with an aggregate (total cost of purchase determined by total need) purchase amount that does not exceed $10,000 ($2,500 for services; $2,000 for construction).

    13. PPS Purchase Card Module - A module developed within PPS/IFS to enhance the purchase card process, improve internal controls and ensure timely posting of obligations and payments to the financial system. Identified purchase cardholders and PC approving officials are required to electronically track, associate, reconcile, approve and monitor purchase card transactions in the Purchase Card Module.

    14. Purchase card (PC) - The credit card used to purchase goods and services for IRS official government use only.

    15. Purchase card (PC) approving official - An individual with oversight and approval responsibility for PC activity of the purchase cardholders under his or her purview.

    16. Purchase card (PC) approving official designee - A PC approving official who is designated to approve another PC approving official's cardholders’ transactions in the PPS Purchase Card Module. Designation as an acting manager does not confer authority to act as PC approving official. The designee must be from the same business unit as the PC approving official and must be a PC approving official for a group of purchase cardholders.

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

    18. PC reference document - The PC reference document is a tool which assists purchase cardholders with determining if a PC may be used to make support-type purchases.

    19. Purchase cardholder - An IRS employee who has been given a Delegation of Procurement Authority (DPA) and is authorized to make purchases using 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.

    20. Required sources - Vendors deemed by FAR Part 8 as prioritized required sources for supplies and services.

    21. 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.

    22. Single transaction limit - The PC dollar limit for any one transaction. The maximum allowable micro-purchase single transaction limit is $10,000 ($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.

    23. Split purchase - A series of purchases from the same merchant on the same day in a total amount that exceeds his/her single transaction limit ($10,000 goods, $2,500 for services and $2,000 for construction). A purchase cardholder may not make a split purchase under any circumstances.

    24. Statement of account - A summary of transactions (debits and credits) posted to the purchase cardholder's account during the billing cycle.

    25. 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 the tax exemption letter for states and commonwealths prior to conducting official business.

    26. 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.

Acronyms

  1. The following acronyms apply to this program:

    Acronym Definition
    CCS Credit Card Services
    DPA Delegation of Procurement Authority
    FAR Federal Acquisition Regulation
    GSA General Services Administration
    MCC Merchant Category Code
    NHQ National Headquarters
    OMB Office of Management and Budget
    PC Purchase Card
    PCEDR PC Electronic Documentation Retention
    PIN Personal Identification Number
    PPS Procurement for Public Sector

Related Resources

  1. Related resources for this IRM include:

    1. IRM 1.32.4, Travel Card Program

Purchase Card Criteria

  1. Criteria have been established to ensure that each PC is issued to responsible IRS employees who have a need and 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. Purchase cardholders must:

    1. Have a business need for the PC by making an average of four purchases per fiscal year.

    2. Create a PC order log in the PPS Purchase Card Module for the items to be purchased and must associate a proper, fully funded requisition prior to placing an order.

    3. Associate with fully funded requisition and reconcile posted transactions in the PPS Purchase Card Module within 10 business days of the transaction download date.

    4. Document receipt of goods/services for all posted transactions and input the receipt date in the PPS Purchase Card Module.

    5. Use PCEDR SharePoint site to maintain the appropriate documentation to support each purchase.

  2. CI and Procurement must follow their respective business unit procedures for maintaining documentation and must timely provide copies of documentation when requested by officials performing reviews and audits.

Purchase Card Criteria for PC Approving Officials
  1. PC approving officials must:

    1. Have a minimum of one assigned purchase cardholder.

    2. Not be a purchase cardholder or plan manager.

    3. Be in the same business unit as the purchase cardholder unless an agreement for one business unit to perform PC approving official duties of another business unit is established.

    4. Be the same or higher grade and not subordinate organizationally to the assigned purchase cardholder(s).

    5. Review downloaded transactions in the PPS Purchase Card Module and purchase cardholder documentation to ensure adherence to guidelines and that the appropriate approvals, funding and documentation exist to support each purchase.

    6. Review and approve all assigned purchase cardholder(s) posted transactions in the PPS Purchase Card Module within 10 business days of the transaction download date.

    7. Provide copies of documentation timely for inactive purchase cardholders when requested by officials performing reviews and audits unless maintained in the PCDER SharePoint site.

    8. Complete PC Approving Official Refresher Training every two years.

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 electronic 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 $10,000 ($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 technology adopted by banking industries for Europay, MasterCard and enabled 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 (CI)

  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.

  2. 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 or enforcement.

Types of Convenience Check Purchase Cardholders
  1. The use of convenience checks has been authorized for purchase cardholders in the following organizations:

    1. CFO, CCS

    2. SB/SE, property appraisal & liquidation specialists

    3. National Headquarters (NHQ), Procurement

  2. Convenience check purchase cardholders cannot use their convenience checks to purchase routine office supplies and 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 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.

CFO, CCS Convenience Check Program
  1. The CFO convenience check program provides services for micro-purchases when the vendor will not accept the government PC and no other vendor can provide the goods or 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. Total purchase cannot be split into smaller parts in an attempt to circumvent the $2,500 limit. See IRM 1.35.4.3.4, Split Purchases.

  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 PALS issues and the payment of enforcement fees. CCS issues procedures for the use of convenience checks.

NHQ, Procurement Convenience Check Program
  1. The convenience check program manager in CCS is responsible for the Procurement convenience check program and provides guidance and administrative oversight to Procurement convenience check purchase cardholders and PC approving officials.

  2. The Office of the Chief Procurement Officer has identified purchase cardholders within Procurement who are authorized to use convenience checks for payments to vendors who do not accept the PC, or purchase order, or no other reasonable alternative vendor is available who accepts the PC.

  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, is exempted from the 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 $10,000 ($2,500 for services; $2,000 for construction) must comply with all procurement laws and regulations, including competition, small business requirements and all instructions contained in the electronic 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. Purchase card program 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 and:

    1. Must follow IRS and business unit guidelines.

    2. Be approved in advance of the purchase.

    3. Be funded and documented in the PC Module order log prior to making the purchase.

    4. Are 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

    3. Official travel related expenses

    4. Fuel for IRS owned or GSA vehicles

    5. Vehicle repairs/maintenance

    6. Items without prior funding and approval

    7. Items that exceed the micro-purchase threshold unless otherwise granted DPA as evidenced by a contracting officer's warrant

    8. Business and personal phone calls

  2. See the Restricted Purchase List and IRM 1.32.4, Travel Card Program, for additional guidance.

Purchase Card Restrictions

  1. PC accounts are restricted by MCC and monthly and single transaction/dollar limits. 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 $10,000 ($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 and is a conduct issue that could result in disciplinary action.

Inappropriate Use

  1. Inappropriate use can be summarized in several general categories as follows:

    1. Personal use items

    2. Prohibited or restricted purchases

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

    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

  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. Personal 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.

  4. See the Restricted Purchase List and IRM 1.35.4.3.4, Split Purchases, for additional guidance.

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 OMB Circular A-123, Improving the Management of Government Charge Card Programs for PC approving officials and is based on the number of transactions approved per billing cycle.

Electronic Purchase Card Guide

  1. The electronic Purchase Card Guide summarizes IRS policies and procedures relating to use of the PC. The procedures outlined in the guide apply to all IRS business units. The procedures may be supplemented by operating guidelines issued within a business unit. The electronic Purchase Card Guide is maintained as an electronic reference document.

  2. See the electronic Purchase Card Guide for additional guidance.

Restricted Purchase List

  1. The 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 familiar with these restrictions and review the Restricted Purchase List before making a purchase. Business units may further limit what can be purchased with the PC. These restrictions can be found in the operating guidelines issued by the business unit.

Required Sources for Micro-Purchases

  1. Office supplies must be purchased from mandatory supply schedules on the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative, Office Supplies (FSSI OS4) Program. Purchases must be made according to the priority listing chart located in the electronic Purchase Card Guide and the IRS FSSI Office Supply Program for IRS desk guide.

  2. For approved purchases other than office supplies, see FAR Part 8, Required Sources of Supplies and Services, for the priority of sources.

  3. See the electronic Purchase Card Guide and the Office Supply Program for IRS Desk Guide for additional guidance.

Electronic and Information Technology Buys

  1. All Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) purchases made with the government PC must comply 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:

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

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

  3. Requesters or purchase cardholders must perform market research to find a product that conforms to Section 508, if applicable. Proper supporting documentation for the PC transaction is required.

  4. For EIT purchases $10,000 or less, Section 508 requires the completion of the Micro-Purchase Determination Form, signed by the requestor and maintained as part of the supporting documentation.

  5. For EIT purchases that are $10,000 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.

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. See the General Records Schedule 1.1 PDF for additional guidance.

  2. Purchase cardholders and convenience check cardholders must use PCEDR to forward receipts to the PC approving official for review and approval immediately after reconciliation. Documentation prior to the implementation of PCEDR must be maintained manually from the cycle ending date of the purchase.

  3. 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.

Purchase Card Compliance Reviews

  1. CCS ensures appropriate use of the purchase card and convenience checks through several reviews:

    1. Purchase card charges are selected by a random sample and reviewed to assess compliance with purchase card regulations.

    2. All itemized transaction detail reported to the government credit card contractor by certain merchants is reviewed to determine if the charge was allowable per current guidance.

    3. Purchase card charges are reviewed to ensure purchase cardholders comply with the split purchase policy and within their delegated procurement authority.

    4. Convenience checks issued by convenience check cardholders are reviewed to assess compliance with purchase card regulations.

Purchase Card Program Training

  1. All purchase card program participants must complete training relative to their role to support compliance with OMB A-123, Appendix B.

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:

    Types of purchasing User of the card Required training
    Basic supply purchases - monthly card limit - maximum of $25,000 Management assistants, clerks and others as determined by the business unit Purchase card training curriculum XF-15-9
    Convenience check purchases - monthly card limit - maximum of $25,000 Credit Card Services, PALS Purchase Card Convenience Check Writer Training - ELMS Course 57176 - Submit OS GetServices request for additional training requirements
    Enforcement purchases - monthly card limit - maximum of $25,000 CI and SBSE revenue officers with delegated authority to take enforcement action Enforcement card training curriculum XF-15-12
    Other types - monthly card limit exceeds $25,000 (or is a combination of basic and enforcement) As determined by business unit Submit OS GetServices request for assistance with proper enrollment

PC Approving Official Training

  1. Each business unit designates employees to be PC approving officials and complete an eligibility form prior to enrollment in the PC Approving Official Training Curriculum.

  2. Prospective PC approving officials begin the enrollment process by completing the purchase card approving official training request form PDF found on the IRS Source Credit Card Services narratives.

Refresher Training

  1. Purchase cardholders and PC approving officials are required to complete refresher training every two years.

  2. Purchase cardholders and PC approving officials will be notified by email with detailed instructions when they are required to complete refresher training within 60 days of receipt.

Activating the Purchase Card

  1. Purchase cardholders must activate the PC upon receipt. 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. To activate the purchase card, cardholders must follow the instructions on the face of the card. See the electronic Purchase Card Guide for additional information.

Ordering a Replacement Card

  1. The purchase cardholder can order a replacement PC if the card becomes worn out, damaged or defective by contacting the government credit card contractor at the telephone number listed on the reverse side of the PC. Accounts for lost or stolen PC will be closed and a new PC 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 on the 20th of the month prior to the expiration date.

  2. The renewal PC will require activation by calling the number on the face of the PC. 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:

    1. The problem (such as PC expired, new PC not received, etc.)

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

    3. 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 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. The 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. See the electronic Purchase Card Guide for additional guidance.

PPS Purchase Card Module

  1. The PPS Purchase Card Module enhances the PC process, improves controls and ensures timely posting of obligations to the Integrated Financial System (IFS). All purchase cardholder and PC approving officials are required to electronically track, reconcile, approve and monitor PC transactions in the PPS Purchase Card 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.

Processing Time Frames

  1. Purchase cardholders must associate/reconcile and PC approving officials must approve transactions within 10 business days of the transaction download date in the PPS Purchase Card 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 Purchase Card Module. When the purchase cardholder returns to the office, they must reconcile all 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 designee in the same business unit to 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 complete required actions for each purchase:

    1. Reconcile 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.

Disputed Items

  1. Disputed transactions fall into one of three categories: duplicate, erroneous and over charges.

  2. All charges, including any disputed items, must be paid in full even if the vendor has acknowledged the error and intends 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 Purchase Card Module.

    2. Contact the government credit card contractor.

    3. Close the transaction in the PPS Purchase Card Module when the credit posts to the purchase cardholder's account.

  4. If the purchase cardholder thinks the PC has been lost, they must contact the government credit card contractor immediately. If the purchase cardholder thinks the PC has been stolen and/or compromised, they must contact TIGTA.

Purchase Card Account Changes

  1. Information and procedures regarding account maintenance changes are available in the electronic Purchase Card Guide and IRS Source 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 Information

  1. Information and procedures regarding PC accounts are available in the electronic Purchase Card Guide and IRS Source employee resource narratives.