Original Date: 04/07/1997
Revision Date: 04/14/2003
Information : Credit Card Program
The International Merchants Purchase Authorization Card (IMPAC) is a government-wide commercial VISA card used to buy supplies and services costing under the micro-purchase limit of $2,500. During 1993, the National Performance Review established a goal to create a government that works better and costs less. The credit card program was identified as a component of acquisition reform in the National Performance Review. In FY96, the Army executed about 1.7M purchases worth more than $700M. According to a January 7, 1997 U.S. Army Audit Agency report, it was projected that purchasing costs were reduced by $92 when using the credit card compared to traditional purchase order transactions. Work year savings equivalent to $155M were projected for FY96.
Rock Island Arsenal (RIA) began implementing the IMPAC program in 1993 by issuing cards to 25 cardholders and allowing them to make authorized purchases under $2,500. By January 1996, 14% of micro-purchases were made with the credit cards. Later in 1996, the Department of Army set a goal for 80% of Army-wide purchases under $2,500 to be bought with the credit card. At that time, RIA initiated extensive program and process changes which resulted in 96% of micro-purchases being made by credit card in July 1996, and 99% consistently since October 1996. For the first five months of FY97, 5,149 of 5,174 micro-purchases were made with the IMPAC card.
The RIA Contracting Directorate began these changes by setting up a comprehensive training program for credit card holders and their respective approving officials, obtaining waivers for pre-purchase supply and property book screening, issuing an installation-wide credit card program handbook, and establishing a strict screening and justification process for any micro-purchase requests not using the credit card. As a control measure, post purchase review of purchase logs by the Acquisition and Accountability Division as well as the Contracting Directorate were instituted. Emphasis was placed on establishing procedures which maximized the ability to purchase all items with credit cards that were allowed by higher level Army, Department of Defense, and Federal regulations.
RIA manages the credit card program for the Arsenal, major tenants, and other assigned activities. There are now approximately 300 card holders and 200 approving officials representing 116 different offices. The 99% use for micro- purchases is one of the best within the IOC and the Department of Defense. The Army-wide goal was raised to 90% in March 1997.
Benefits to customers in reduced approval processing and ability to purchase items quickly are substantial. Vendors also benefit from receiving timely monthly payments for credit card purchases. Government savings through reduced finance and accounting transaction charges and reduced processing through resource management, contracting, and logistics offices as outlined by the U.S. Army Audit Agency report are being maximized through RIA’s aggressive use of the credit card program.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.