Purchasing & Small Business

Government Purchase Card Program

The Government Purchase Card (GPC) Program (also known as the GSA SmartPay Program) provides charge cards to agencies/departments throughout the U.S. Government. The GPC Program is intended to streamline the small purchase and the payment process, minimize paperwork, eliminate imprest fund transactions, and generally simplify the administrative effort associated with procuring goods and services under the micro-purchase threshold. [1]

The Purchase Card is for Official Government Use Only, Not for Private Use.

Key participants in the GPC Program are: [1]

  • Supervisor: Recommends individuals for their assigned roles, spending limits, and expected purchasing activity.
  • Agency/Organization Program Coordinator (A/OPC): Provides oversight of the local GPC program; prepares program policy and guidance.
  • Approving Official (AO): Approves the spending of one or more cardholders. The AO is usually the Cardholder’s direct supervisor.
  • Certifying Official (CO): Approves the purchase card invoice to be legal and proper for payment. The CO is typically also the AO.
  • Cardholder: The individual issued the purchase card and authorized to make purchases.

Each organization has specific policies and procedures on use of the card, eligible purchases, receipt of purchased items, and payment. The cardholder should perform the following for each purchase: [1]

  1. Have a valid procurement/purchase request that authorizes the cardholder to purchase the particular supply or service.
  2. Ensure that proper and sufficient funding are available to procure the required supply or service.
  3. Make the purchase with the vendor at one all-inclusive price (including delivery). The price must fall within the available funding, the micro-purchase limit, and the cardholder’s single purchase and monthly limits.
  4. Document all purchase card transactions on a purchase card log. This facilitates detection of unauthorized transactions or errors on the monthly electronic statement of account (e-statement).
  5. Verify receipt of the item or service when the transaction appears on the e-statement.
  6. Maintain all documents, receipts, and packing slips, per agency procedures.

Each month the cardholder shall reallocate and submit the monthly e-statement to the AO within his/her agency’s required timeframe. The cardholder shall forward all transaction documentation to the AO for his review and approval concurrent with forwarding the monthly e-statement. The AO then reviews and approves the e-statement within the agency’s required timeframes. All transaction documentation must be kept for three years after the statement end date. [1]

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