As the GSA SmartPay Travel A/OPC, you play a diverse role in the management of your agency’s travel program. Your main responsibility is to oversee the travel program for your agency/organization to best support your mission. In general, the A/OPC serves as the liaison between the account holder, the Contractor, an agency’s management and the GSA’s Center for Charge Card Management. The agency lead A/OPC may be supported by regional or field A/OPCs with distinct responsibilities.
Managing Account Holders:
- Maintain a current list of account names, account numbers, contact information of all current account holders and accounts.
- Maintain a current list of agency/organization points of contact for Designated Billing Offices (DBOs), Transaction Dispute Offices (TDOs), and Electronic Commerce/ Electronic Data Interchange Offices (EOs), as applicable.
- Ensure account holders use the travel program correctly.
- Monitor account activity and manage delinquencies.
- Ensure that appropriate steps are taken to mitigate suspension or cancellation actions.
- Receive training before appointment and participate in refresher training a minimum of every three years (or less depending on agency/organization policies) in accordance with OMB Circular A-123 Appendix B
- Participate in annual training forums and disseminate information and lessons learned to other A/OPCs, account managers and account holders.
- Ensure that account holders are trained prior to receiving their travel account and that they take refresher training at a minimum every 3 years (or more often if required by your agency).
Master Contract/ Task Order Compliance:
- Oversee the business line for your agency/organization and establish agency/organization guidelines.
- Direct the Contractor to establish accounts.
- Serve as liaison between the account holder and the Contractor,
- Provide on-going program guidance.
- Audit accounts as required.
- Keep necessary account information current for the agency/organization.
Note: The terms and conditions of the GSA SmartPay Master Contract can only be modified by the GSA SmartPay Contracting Officer. The A/OPC does not provide supervisory guidance to the Contractor’s personnel.
The Contractor can provide you with tools to assist in successful management of your agency’s travel program by:
- Establishing and maintaining accounts;
- Providing an electronic access system (EAS);
- Providing data mining tools and assistance to help detect potential fraud/misuse;
- Providing forms and reports; and
- Resolving disputes.
As the A/OPC, you may also be responsible for establishing account holder hierarchies. Account holder hierarchies are determined by the agency and are often associated with billing and organizational structures. Because agencies have unique requirements, hierarchy structures may vary from agency to agency. This includes the number of account holders each A/OPC may manage and the level of problem resolution. Once your agency determines the structure and requirement needed, the Contractor will be able to assist with establishing your agency hierarchy levels.
Importance of Communication:
Be sure to keep the lines of communication open with all key program participants. The key to an effective travel program is to ensure that all participants, including senior management/ leadership, are aware of what is going on in the program. Stay in touch with your agency/ organization's travel program participants by networking, asking questions and sharing agency/ organization policy changes, program information, and/or other travel account information.
In addition, you should try to establish relationships with the account holders within your span of control. The better you understand each travel account holder's travel history and needs, the more effective you can be in managing the program and preventing or detecting misuse and fraud.
How do I set up travel accounts?
As the A/OPC, you are responsible for the setting up and maintenance of centrally and individually billed accounts. Refer to your Contractor’s A/OPC guide and EAS Manual for instructions on how to set up accounts.
In cases where there is an emergency, the agency program coordinator can request that the Contractor process and send emergency and/or expedited account cards within 24 hours, including international requests. These requests include, but are not limited to, responses to natural disasters (e.g., hurricanes, earthquakes), threats to national security, and military mobilization. The emergency accounts will arrive via overnight delivery at the Contractor’s expense.
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 travel 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 travel account?
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.
An account can be canceled if an undisputed balance remaining 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.
Under certain conditions, an A/OPC may request the contractor bank to delay or accelerate action for suspending or canceling an account.
The following chart may be used as a guide for determining the status of an account.
Calendar Days Past the Closing 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.
Note: The Government accepts no liability for charges made against the individually billed account.
What happens if a travel account is lost or stolen?
It is the account holder’s responsibility to immediately report the lost or stolen travel account to:
- The contractor bank;
- You, the program coordinator (A/OPC); and
- Their supervisor.
Once an account has been reported as lost or stolen, the contractor bank immediately blocks that account from further usage and a new account number will be issued to the account holder.
Reporting the account as stolen does not relieve the account holder or the Government of payment for any transactions that were made by the account holder prior to reporting it stolen. If the account holder does not recognize a transaction appearing on their statement, they are responsible for notifying the contractor bank within 90 calendar days from the transaction date to initiate a dispute, unless otherwise specified by the agency/organization. This notification of transaction dispute may occur via the electronic access system, by telephone, or other electronic means (e.g. email).
Note: The account holder relinquishes their right to recover a disputed amount after 90 calendar days from the date that the transaction was processed. It is their responsibility to dispute questionable charges. If they don’t, they will be held personally liable for the amount of the questionable charge.