What are my responsibilities as a Program Coordinator?
As an A/OPC for your agency/organization, you serve as the liaison between your agency/organization, the contractor bank, the account holder, and the GSA Contracting Office. Your role is essential to efficiently and effectively managing the purchase program.
The following list identifies specific A/OPC responsibilities. You may be required to assume some or all of the following responsibilities:
- Maintain an up-to-date list of account names, account numbers, addresses, emails, telephone numbers, etc., of all current account holders and accounts.
- Provide to the contractor bank any changes in your agency's organizational structure that may affect invoice/report distribution.
- Review and evaluate the contractor's technical and administrative task order performance and compliance.
- Resolve technical and operational problems between the contractor and account holders as required.
- Take appropriate action regarding delinquent accounts and report to internal investigative units and the GSA Contracting Officer any observed violations of applicable executive orders, laws or regulations.
- Participate in the annual GSA SmartPay Training Forum and train account holders.
- Ensure account holders use their account correctly.
- Monitor account activity and manage delinquencies.
- Ensure that appropriate steps are taken to mitigate suspension or cancellation actions.
- Develop agency program procedures and policies as necessary.
- Keep the lines of communication open with all key program participants.
Communication is key to an effective purchase program is to ensure that all program participants, including senior management/leadership, are aware of what is going on in the program. Keep in touch with your agency/organization's purchase program participants by networking, asking questions, and sharing or distributing agency/organization policy changes, program information, and/or other purchase account information.
As an A/OPC, you should try to establish relationships with the account holders and AO within your span of control. The better you understand why and how the purchase account will be used, the more effective you can be in managing the program.
How are new accounts set up?
As an A/OPC, you are responsible for setting up and maintaining all accounts. There are three documents you should have for each account holder prior to setting up a new account:
- Delegation of Procurement Authority (DPA): You should have a legible copy of the Delegation of Procurement Authority for each prospective account holder prior to creating an account. Your agency/organization policy will dictate what the contents of the DPA should be and who has authority to issue it. FAR 1.603-3(b) states: "Agency heads are encouraged to delegate micro-purchase authority to individuals who are employees of an executive agency or members of the Armed Forces of the United States who will be using the supplies or services being purchased.” Individuals shall be appointed in writing in accordance with agency procedures.
- Training Certification: Each account holder must complete training prior to appointment and must take refresher training at a minimum of every 3 years. Account holders should understand their responsibilities and duties associated with having a GSA SmartPay purchase account. In addition, you must ensure that the account holder is in compliance with specific agency policy regarding account holder training.
- Account Setup Form : Each prospective account holder must complete and submit an accurate account setup request. Account setup forms are located in your official contractor bank A/OPC guide or from the contractor bank's website or EAS.
Once you are in receipt of the DPA, the training certificate, and the completed account setup form, you will review and approve/disapprove the request.
Note: Be aware and follow any additional agency specific requirements in setting up accounts.
If you approve a request, you will then contact your contractor bank to issue the account to the account holder. Completed account forms can be sent to the bank by EAS, email, fax, or mail. In cases where there is an emergency, an A/OPC can give verbal directions to the bank to move forward with setting up an account, followed by electronic/written confirmation to the bank within 3 business days.
You will create an account for the new account holder in the bank's EAS. At the time of account setup, you will set authorization controls. You can change authorization controls at any time in case you determine that some are too restrictive (or not restrictive enough). Use authorization controls as a tool to prevent fraud and misuse. Here are some typical authorization controls:
- Single purchase limit , or the dollar limit for an individual transaction.
- Monthly purchase limit, or the cumulative dollar limit for purchases in one month. The monthly purchase limit may be set to any dollar amount equal to or greater than the single purchase limit.
- The number of transactions limit
- Merchant category codes (MCC) restrictions. Note: An MCC is a four-digit code used to identify the type of business a merchant conducts (gas stations, restaurant, airlines, etc).
How are accounts closed/terminated and what are the recommended exit procedures?
There are four steps to closing or terminating an account, as follows:
- Immediately notify the bank when an account holder leaves the agency/ organization, is terminated from employment, or no longer requires a purchase account.
- Follow the account close out procedures from your contractor bank.
- Instruct the account holder to destroy/dispose of the card by cutting it into pieces.
- Review the master file/ account holder listing to ensure the account is closed.
What is my responsibility in the suspension/ cancellation of a purchase account?
As the A/OPC you have the discretion to initiate suspension and/or cancellation procedures for any account; however, you must document the reason for cancellation and/or suspension.
Suspension is the process by which an account is deactivated due to delinquency or multiple pre-suspension actions. An account is considered past due if payment for undisputed principal amounts has not been received within 45 calendar days from the billing date.
The contractor bank may suspend an account when the account becomes delinquent. Once payment of the undisputed principal amount and Prompt Payment Act Interest is received, the bank is required to reinstate suspended account.
An account can be canceled if an undisputed balance remains unpaid for the prescribed number of calendar days after the date of the statement of account on which the charge first appeared. An account may also be canceled for numerous suspensions.
Can I, as an A/OPC, suspend or cancel an account? Yes. A reason must be documented for suspension or cancellation. Accounts may be cancelled through your bank’s electronic access system or through the bank’s customer service office.
The following chart may be used as a guide for determining the status of an account.
Calendar Days Past the Payment Due Date
45 Days Past Due
61 Days Past Due
126 Days Past Due
180 Days Past Due
Charge Off/Write Off
*Please refer to your agency policy for specific delinquency stages.
(For more details on Suspension/ Cancellation Procedures, see the GSA SmartPay 3 Master Contract, Section C.3.3.11 Suspension Procedures and Section C.3.3.12 Cancellation Procedures)
The bank is required to automatically reinstate suspended accounts upon payment of the undisputed principal amount unless otherwise specified by you. You may also notify the bank of any mission-related, extenuating circumstances for which the account should not be suspended within the notification timeframes mentioned previously. Once an account has been cancelled, the contractor bank is under no obligation to reinstate the account.