Lesson 4: Agency/Organization Program Coordinator (A/OPC) Responsibilities
What are some A/OPC responsibilities?
- Oversees the travel program for your agency/organization to best support your mission.
- Develops agency program procedures and policies as necessary.
- Serves as the liaison between the card/account holder, the contractor bank, your management and the GSA Center for Charge Card Management (CCCM).
- Please note that the lead A/OPC may be supported by regional or field A/OPCs with distinct responsibilities.
Managing Card/Account Holders
- Maintains a current list of account names, account numbers, contact information of all current card/account holders and accounts.
- Maintains 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.
- Ensures card/account holders use the travel program correctly.
- Monitors account activity and manages delinquencies.
- Ensures that appropriate steps are taken to mitigate suspension or cancellation actions.
- Receives training before appointment and participates 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 [PDF, 71 pages].
- Participates in annual training forums and disseminates information and lessons learned to other A/OPCs, account managers and card/account holders.
- Ensures that card/account holders are trained prior to receiving their travel account and that they take refresher training at a minimum every three years (or more often if required by your agency).
Master Contract/Task Order Compliance
- Oversees the business line for your agency/organization and establishes agency/organization guidelines.
- Directs the contractor bank to establish accounts.
- Serves as liaison between the card/account holder and the contractor bank.
- Provides on-going program guidance.
- Audits accounts as required.
- Keeps necessary account information current for the agency/organization.
- Please note that 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 bank’s personnel.
Card/Account Holder Hierarchies
- Establishes card/account holder hierarchies, which are often associated with billing and organizational structures.
- Please note that hierarchy structures may vary from agency to agency due to each agency’s unique requirements. This includes the number of card/account holders managed by each A/OPC and the level of problem resolution. Once your agency determines the structure and requirements needed, the contractor bank will be able to assist with establishing your agency hierarchy levels.
- Keeps the lines of communication open with all key program participants, including senior management/leadership.
- Stays in touch with travel program participants by networking, asking questions and sharing policy changes, program information and/or other travel card/account information.
- Please note that A/OPCs should try to establish relationships with the card/account holders within your span of control. The better you understand each travel card/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 cards/accounts?
As the A/OPC, you are responsible for setting up and maintaining centrally billed accounts (CBAs) and individually billed accounts (IBAs). Refer to your contractor bank’s A/OPC Guide, Cardholder Guide and EAS Manual for detailed instructions on how to set up cards/accounts.
Typically, A/OPCs complete the following steps when setting up a new travel card/account:
Verify Creditworthiness Score
Agencies have to complete a credit check by using a consumer report from a consumer reporting agency and follow the guidelines outlined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act. These procedures must be followed when issuing a travel card/account to a new card/account holder. A satisfactory creditworthiness score must be obtained in order to issue a travel card/account to a new card/account holder.
Obtain Training Certificate
Each card/account holder must complete training prior to appointment and must take refresher training at a minimum of every three years. Card/account holders should understand their responsibilities and duties associated with having a GSA SmartPay Travel card/account. In addition, A/OPCs must ensure that the card/account holder is in compliance with agency-specific policy regarding card/account holder training.
Receive Completed Card/Account Application
Each prospective card/account holder must complete a card/account application. Once the card/account application has been approved, the card/account will be issued and can be registered in the EAS.
Set Authorization Controls
At the time of account setup within the EAS, the A/OPC will set authorization controls. A/OPCs 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 - Restricting the dollar limit for an individual transaction.
- Monthly purchase limit - Restricting 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.
- Number of transactions limit - Restricting the number of transactions per day and/or per month on each card/account.
- Merchant Category Code (MCC) restrictions - Purchases are restricted depending on the type of merchant (identified by the MCC). For fleet, instead of MCC, include the Product Number/Code.
Are credit checks required for travel card/account holders?
Yes, credit checks are required for travel card/account holders.
According to Public Law 112-194 (Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012) [PDF, 7 pages]: “Each executive agency has policies to ensure its contractual arrangement with each travel charge card issuing contractor contains a requirement that the credit- worthiness of an individual be evaluated before the individual is issued a travel charge card, and that no individual be issued a travel charge card if that individual is found not creditworthy as a result of the evaluation…”.
Agencies have to complete this evaluation by using a consumer report from a consumer reporting agency and follow the guidelines outlined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act. These procedures must be followed when issuing a travel card/account to a new card/account holder. The result of the creditworthiness check will determine whether or not you can issue a travel card/account to a new card/account holder.
A card/account holder that does not have a history of credit or has an unsatisfactory history of credit may not receive a travel card/account. These card/account holders, however, may still receive a restricted charge card in accordance with agency policies and procedures. OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B [PDF, 71 pages] also addresses this topic in detail.
What is the process for renewing IBA travel cards/accounts?
For renewing IBA travel cards/accounts:
- At least 90 calendar days prior to the expiration of each IBA card/account, the contractor bank shall submit a listing of each expiring card/account to the A/OPC.
- The list format shall be determined by the agency/organization.
- The listing shall contain all information necessary for the agency/organization to renew the card/account.
- Cards/accounts shall automatically renew unless otherwise directed by the A/OPC.
- Per OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B, a creditworthiness assessment shall be conducted for restricted card/account holders before the card/account holder is issued a renewed card/account.
- If cards/accounts are not to be renewed, the A/OPC will notify the contractor bank, in writing, 45 calendar days prior to card/account expiration date.
How are cards/accounts closed/terminated and what are the recommended exit procedures?
There are four steps to closing or terminating cards/accounts:
- Immediately notify the bank when a card/account holder leaves the agency/organization, is terminated from employment or no longer requires a travel card/account.
- Follow the card/account close out procedures from your contractor bank.
- Instruct the card/account holder to destroy/dispose of the card by cutting it into pieces.
- Review the master file/account holder listing to ensure the card/account is closed.
Are A/OPCs able to suspend or cancel a card/account?
Yes, A/OPCs are able to suspend or cancel a card/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 remains unpaid for the prescribed number of calendar days from the billing date. An account may also be canceled for numerous suspensions.
A reason must be documented for suspension or cancellation. Accounts may be canceled through your bank’s Electronic Access System (EAS) 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.
In summary, please refer to the chart below:
|Number Calendar Days||Account Status/Action|
|46 days from the billing date||Pre-Suspension|
|61 days from the billing date||Suspension/Pre-Cancellation|
|126 days from the billing date||Cancellation|
|180 days from the billing date||Charge-Off/Write-Off|
*Please refer to your agency policy for specific delinquency stages as they may differ.
For more details on suspension/cancellation procedures, see the GSA SmartPay 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 canceled, the contractor bank is under no obligation to reinstate the account.
Please note that the liability for CBA transactions rests with the agency/organization, while liability for IBA transactions rests with the individual card/account holder.
What is a write-off or credit loss?
A write-off is a canceled account with an unpaid balance determined to be uncollectible by the contractor bank.
What happens if a travel card/account is lost or stolen?
It is the card/account holder’s responsibility to immediately report the lost or stolen travel card/account to:
- The contractor bank.
- You, the A/OPC.
- Their supervisor.
Once a card/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 card/account holder.
Reporting the card/account as stolen does not relieve the card/account holder or the government of payment for any transactions that were made by the card/account holder prior to reporting it stolen. If you do not recognize a transaction appearing on your statement, you 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 EAS, by telephone or other electronic means like email.
Please note that card/account holders relinquish their right to recover a disputed amount after 90 calendar days from the date that the transaction was processed.
How does the bank support the A/OPC?
The contractor bank can provide you with tools to assist in successful management of your agency’s travel program, including:
- 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.
- Resolving disputes.