FAQ – General
This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section contains those questions and answers selected by your APC's that will likely be of interest/benefit to all account holders. We will continue to add questions of interest as we receive them. If you have a question, it is a good idea to check here first. Chances are the answer is already posted.
Should you have a specific question regarding the Purchase Card Program that you'd like to see posted as a FAQ, please send an e-mail to one of your APC's.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I allowed to buy telecommunications equipment (telephone equipment, cell phones, etc.) at $3,000 and below with the purchase card?
The purchase of telecommunications equipment at $3,000 and below shall be purchased by the individual Cardholders after obtaining approval (e-mail) from the cognizant IT Manager (ITM). A copy of the ITM approval e-mail or DD Form 562 shall be retained in the Cardholder’s Purchase Card files.
If I am unable to rotate vendors because I can't find the supply or service I need anywhere else, what should I do?
Check the internet and the phone book. If you're unable to locate alternative sources, contact a WHS A&PO Contracting Officer. The Contracting Officer can help you locate additional sources or possibly establish a contractual vehicle for repetitive purchases.
Does the requirement to rotate vendors apply to the required sources of supply such as the Virginia Institute for the Blind (VIB) Supply Stores in the Pentagon?
No. If you are shopping from a required source of supply, the requirement to rotate vendors does not apply.
Blackberry’s meet the definition of an Information Technology (IT) item. IT items and related services up to $3,000 shall be purchased by the individual Cardholder only after approval is obtained from the cognizant IT Manager (ITM). This approval shall be documented in the Cardholder’s Purchase Card file by retention of a copy of the ITM’s e-mail or a copy of the DD Form 562.
May I purchase Information Technology (IT) equipment such as laptop computers, computer components, computer software, printers, etc. with my purchase card?Information Technology items and related services up to $3,000 shall be purchased by the individual Cardholder only after approval is obtained from the cognizant IT Manager (ITM). This approval shall be documented in the Cardholder’s Purchase Card file by retention of a copy of the ITM’s e-mail or a copy of the DD Form 562.
Am I allowed to use the purchase card to purchase USB Flash Drives and Memory Sticks for my computer?
Yes. USB Flash Drives or Memory Sticks are considered to be a supply item versus IT equipment, thus, as long as they are needed to support your mission, you may purchase them with your individual purchase card up to the $3,000 micro-purchase limit.
It is highly desirable for the Approving Official to be in the Cardholder’s chain of command; however, we recognize that this is not always possible. If the Approving Official is neither the Cardholder's supervisor nor in the Cardholder's chain of command, then the Approving Official must have input into the Cardholder's performance appraisal.
I'm a Cardholder and my Approving Official is neither my supervisor, in my chain of command, nor has input to my performance appraisal, what should I do?
You should bring this to the attention of your Approving Official. The resolution is for your Approving Official to be given input to your performance appraisal. If necessary, the Agency Program Coordinator can address the issue with the Approving Official to assist in formulating a resolution.
No. These items can only be purchased with a government "Fleet" Card. The Fleet Card is not administered by the OSD/WHS Purchase Card Program Office.
Split purchase means intentionally breaking down a known requirement to stay under the micro-purchase limit (currently $3,000 for supplies and services other than construction). Splitting a purchase is STRICTLY PROHIBITED and is punishable by disciplinary action. If you have a requirement that exceeds your single purchase limit, notify your Agency Program Coordinator to request approval for a temporary limit increase for purchases up to the micro-purchase limit. If the requirement exceeds the micro-purchase limit, send it through normal contracting channels. It cannot be purchased in segments with your purchase card in order to stay under the micro-purchase limit. Do not split by quantity, vendor, time or Cardholder.
Can the purchase card be used by individual Cardholders to purchase systems furniture and to reconfigure systems furniture?
Can the purchase card be used by individual Cardholders to purchase stand-alone furniture at $3,000 and below?
No. The individual Cardholders under the OSD/WHS Purchase Card Program shall not purchase Metro cards. WHS APSD manages the Metro fare card Program. Contact APSD for information regarding Metro fare cards.
No. The purchase of food and other subsistence items with the purchase card is prohibited. In VERY limited circumstances, the Appropriations Law allows the purchase of food. A legal opinion shall be obtained on a case-by-case basis before purchasing food and other subsistence items.
What should I do if my limits (single purchase, monthly purchase or annual budget) limitations prove to be inadequate?
The Approving Official must send a written request (e-mail is fine) to the APC requesting a higher limit, the amount of the requested limit, and justification for the higher limit.
No. Sales tax payments cannot be disputed. If you find that a vendor has charged you sales tax, contact the vendor for a credit. If you encounter problems receiving the credit, contact your APC for assistance.
I am an Approving Official. Do I forward receipts and backup documents to the OSD/WHS Purchase Card Program Office with my Invoice (monthly billing statement) for payment?
No. Send only your original Invoice (monthly billing statement), with a signed “Certifying Officer’s Statement” to the OSD/WHS Purchase Card Office (located in the Pentagon, Room 3D267) for review. After review, the Purchase Card Program Office will forward the Invoice to the Financial Management Directorate for payment.
I’m an Approving Official and will be out of the office during the time when I need to sign/certify my monthly invoice. Can someone else sign/certify the invoice for me in my absence?
Yes; however, you must officially designate (in writing) an individual (other than one of your Cardholders) to act on your behalf during your absence. The "acting" Approving Official will type the name of the actual Approving Official on the “Certifying Officer’s Statement” and then sign "for" the actual Approving Official. Whenever someone "acting" for the Approving Official signs/certifies the invoice, the Approving Official must keep a copy of the acting designation with the purchase card files. Questions/concerns on this issue can be addressed to an APC for clarification.
Toner cartridges shall be purchased with your purchase card up to the micro-purchase limit (currently $3,000 for supplies and services other than construction). Toner cartridge requirements that exceed the micro-purchase limit must be forwarded to the appropriate Division within the Defense Facilities Directorate on an SD Form 474.
I am in receipt of my Cardholder Delegation of Authority (DOA) memorandum. It sets forth my single and monthly purchase limits. I have signed the acknowledgement line, made a copy, and returned the copy to the Purchase Card Program Manager’s Office. What do I do with the original of the memorandum?
The original Delegation of Authority (DOA) memorandum must be retained by the appointee with the purchase card files. Note that the same retention/filing rule applies to the Approving Official DOA as the Cardholder DOA. Both should be readily available for inspectors/reviewers to examine upon request.
No, except in limited circumstances as follows: Department of Defense (DoD) Memorandum, dated Aug 28, 1998, subject: “Printing of Business Cards”, permits purchase of card stock by Cardholders to print business cards using existing software for use in connection with official activities. This policy was amended by the Office of the Secretary of Defense Administration and Management memorandum, dated 15 Jul 99, to permit the purchase of printed business cards from the Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc., a non-profit agency, ONLY when it is determined that costs to purchase business cards from the Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. are equivalent to or less than printing them on a personal computer. If you purchase the blank card stock and you don’t have a color printer, you may want to check with the WHS Graphics and Presentation Directorate to see if you can use their color printer to print business cards.
I know that the government is exempt from paying state and local sales taxes. The vendor wants a tax exempt letter. What should I do?
Tell the vendor that the federal government is tax exempt and that the first four digits of the purchase card account number is the tax exempt number. If the vendor will not accept the first four digits, there are tax exempt letters available at the following website. The cardholder should print the applicable letter and fax it to the vendor.
How long must purchase card files be maintained?
Shredders are a prohibited item. The reason that WHS has been vested by Executive Order 12958 and by DoD Supplements to this EO with the mission responsibilities for protection and disposal of classified and sensitive documents. To this end, an incinerator plant was constructed adjacent to the Pentagon to dispose of the very documents that normally are put into shredders.
If your activity has a need to shred classified or sensitive documents, you are required to contact Mike Copeland or Darrell Richardson of the WHS at (703) 697-6247.
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