DATE: January 28, 2015

SUBJECT: Use of Government Contractor-Issued Travel Charge Cards

  1. PURPOSE. This Directive sets forth policy for the use of the Government contractor-issued travel charge cards.
  2. SCOPE. This Directive applies to all bureaus, offices, and organizations in the Department of the Treasury, including the Offices of Inspector General within the Department. The provisions of this Directive shall not be construed to interfere with or impede the authorities or independence of the Department's Inspectors General.
  3. POLICY.
    1. The travel charge card may only be used for temporary duty (TDY) travel-related expenses, unless an exemption applies (see section 7 below). Employees who use the travel charge card for other purposes are subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
    2. The travel charge card may not be used for expenses within the local travel area, unless such use is approved in advance by an authorized official. Types of expenses authorized for travel charge card payment within the local area may include rental car, taxi, parking, etc. The travel charge card may not be used for lodging or meals associated with local travel.
    3. Travel charge cards may be used only for travel-related expenditures incurred by individual travelers and not for supplies or services for use by the Department. Supplies and services, including supplies or services needed to support a conference, must be purchased by authorized officials through appropriate procurement vehicles; such as purchase cards, contracts, or purchase orders.
    4. Bureaus, offices, and organizations will conduct their program in accordance with the General Services Administration (GSA) SmartPay 2 Master Contract, Federal Travel Regulation (FTR), and OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B, "Improving the Management of Government Charge Card Programs," and make an effort to take advantage of services, technology, and refunds offered through the program.
    5. Treasury assumes no liability for charges incurred on Individually Billed Travel (IBT) accounts.
    6. Contractors, special government employees, unpaid interns, and advisory committee members are not authorized to be issued IBT accounts.
    1. Agency/Organization Program Coordinator (A/OPC): The individual who serves as the Department wide program manager for the Travel Charge Card Program. Acts as a liaison between the department, the contractor, and the cardholder.
    2. Centrally Billed Account (CBA): A card/account established by the contractor at the request of the agency to pay for official travel charges. CBAs have no spending ceiling and payments are subject to the Prompt Payment Act of 1982, as amended.
    3. Permanent Duty Station (PDS): The city/town, county, and state in which the employee works. For most employees, this will be the location of the employee's work site.
    4. Individually Billed Travel (IBT) Account: An account set up to track transactions related to cards issued by a contractor and used by authorized individuals to pay for official travel and transportation-related expenses. Authorized individuals are regular government employees of the Department of the Treasury. Charges are billed directly to the cardholder.
    5. Level 2 A/OPC: Person responsible for the day-to-day management of the bureau level Travel Charge Card Program and bureau level oversight. Serves as the liaison between the bureau, the contractor, and the cardholder.
    6. Local Travel: Travel performed within 50 miles of the PDS or the residence from which an employee commutes daily. However, "local travel" does not include travel performed between 30 and 50 miles from the PDS or residence for which per diem is authorized under Treasury Directive 74-15.
    7. Refunds: Commonly referred to as rebates, refunds are a monetary payment provided by the contractor. The refunds are negotiated by the Department and are based on spending and frequency of payments. Quarterly, the refunds are issued to the bureaus directly by the contractor.
    1. The Assistant Secretary for Management has the primary responsibility for managing the Department's Travel Charge Card Program.
    2. The Senior Procurement Executive (SPE) shall:
      1. 1) develop Treasury policy for the Department's Travel Charge Card Program;
      2. 2) monitor the activities of bureaus, offices and organizations to ensure that the policies and standards in this Directive are carried out;
      3. 3) serve as the liaison to the travel charge card contractor and GSA, with the assistance of the Treasury contracting officer, on issues dealing with the program;
      4. 4) promote correct and efficient use of the travel charge card;
      5. 5) encourage standardization, centralization, and automation in the program throughout the Department; and
      6. 6) limit the reproduction and sharing of personally identifiable information derived from the travel charge card program to individuals with a need to know such information and purposes related to the administration of the program, or otherwise consistent with applicable law and Treasury policy.
    3. The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Privacy, Transparency, and Records shall ensure that the Department's Travel Charge Card Program incorporates Federal and Treasury requirements for protecting, handling, retaining, preserving, sharing, disclosing, and disposing of records and information, including personally identifiable information (PII).
    4. Bureau Heads, as it relates to their respective bureaus, and through designee subordinate staff, shall:
      1. 1) ensure that internal procedures and controls for the operation of the Department's Travel Charge Card Program are established, including policies for use of the travel charge card within the local travel area: this shall be compliant with all appropriate regulations related to management and execution of the travel charge card program as per all laws and regulations cited in section 11 of this document;
      2. 2) ensure copies of the procedures are provided to the SPE when initially published and revised;
      3. 3) approve Level 2 A/OPCs;
      4. 4) obtain creditworthiness checks for all first-time IBT card applicants in accordance with PL 112-194 § 3 (h)(1)(F) and OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B. Prior to new IBT travel charge card issuance, ensure employees receive training on how the program operates, proper use of the travel charge cards, and responsibilities for safeguarding the travel charge cards and paying the travel charge card bills. This training shall:
        1. a. cover the bureau's basic policy pertaining to travel and
        2. b. ensure the Level 2 A/OPCs are trained and made aware of their program responsibilities.
      5. 5) ensure that cardholders and Level 2 A/OPCs receive refresher travel charge card training at least every 3 years;
      6. 6) maintain and approve a record of the bureau's travel charge card training policies to include:
        1. a. maintaining a record of all of the Level 2 A/OPC's who have access to the travel charge card contractor's system and
        2. b. maintaining copies of training certificates or verifications in accordance with the applicable Records Schedule established under the Federal Records Act for cardholders and all approved Level 2 A/OPCs.
      7. 7) ensure travel charge card contractors establish appropriate travel charge card spending limits and Merchant Category Code (MCC) blocks;
      8. 8) use Mandatory Salary Offset as per § 301-76 of the FTR. and provide the employee due process in compliance with 41 CFR §301-54.100 prior to salary offset;
      9. 9) use Mandatory Split Disbursement as required by PL 112-194 § 3 (h)(1)(I).
      10. 10) when an employee holding an IBT charge card terminates employment, promptly cancel the IBT account with the travel charge card contractor;
      11. 11) ensure that cash limits for automated teller machine (ATM) access are commensurate with the employee's assignment and limited to anticipated official travel cash transactions;
      12. 12) unless specific statutory authority exist allowing refunds to be used for other purposes, ensure that the refunds received from the travel charge card contractor are returned to the appropriation or account from which the expenditures were originally charged; and
      13. 13) ensure compliance with FTR § 301-52 and §301-71 Subpart C in processing and payment of vouchers.
  6. SYSTEM OF RECORDS AND PRIVACY. Records relevant to a contract or related to the travelers should be maintained only at the travel charge card contractor's facility and accessed via the online interface. Working files with PII should be kept to a minimum. If there is a need for records to be maintained at Treasury, then an exception needs to be approved by the SPE.
    1. PII on travel records:
      1. PII such as address, social security number, date of birth or credit score of Treasury personnel to whom a card is or may be issued will not be stored or transmitted on any system of the Department or bureau e-mail system or other information technology without the use of secure servers and use of encrypted e-mail when necessary. Such information will be used and shared only by individuals with a need-to-know and for purposes related to the efficient administration of the program, or in compliance with applicable law or Treasury policy. The contractor will work with the bureau finance office to clarify any discrepancy or provide any necessary verification; it should not be necessary to store PII in Treasury systems for this purpose.
    2. Safeguards:
      1. 1) paper records are stored in lockable file cabinets.
      2. 2) electronic records are encrypted.
      3. 3) information on travel cardholders is restricted and may be shared with authorized offices and officials with a need-to-know.
      4. 4) authorized offices include: ASM, DCFO, SPE, DASPTR, and Bureau CFOs.
    3. Record Retention: The retention of travel charge records should be kept for 6 years 3 months and then destroyed pursuant to the National Archives and Records Administration's General Record Schedule 6, Accountable Officers' Files.
    4. Employees:
      1. 1) shall use the IBT charge card only for expenses incurred in connection with official travel. Possession of the IBT charge card does not exempt the employee from using Government contract carriers or travel management centers (TMC) when required. Use of the IBT charge card does not relieve the employee of the responsibility to employ prudent travel practices and to observe rules and regulations governing travel as set forth in the FTR and implemented Treasury and bureau regulations.
      2. 2) are responsible for all undisputed IBT card charges and must pay directly in full by the billing due date. Timely payment is still required even if employees have not been reimbursed.
      3. 3) must comply with the bureau's internal procedures and terms and conditions of the contractor's Cardholder Agreement.
      4. 4) must ensure that an unauthorized travel card charge is disputed correctly and timely to stop the aging of the charge.
      5. 5) must comply with FTR § 301-52 in the submission of their travel voucher.
    1. refer to the FTR for a current list of exemptions from mandatory use of the travel charge card. Where feasible and otherwise permissible, the travel charge card may be used for exempted charges.
    2. if an exemption from use of the travel charge card beyond those provided by the FTR is determined to be necessary in the interest of a bureau, office, or organization, the Bureau Head or designee must forward a request to the SPE or designee. The SPE will review the request to determine if the exemption will be granted. If the exemption is granted, the bureau must establish procedures authorizing other methods of payment.
  8. REPORTING. All bureaus are required to submit a quarterly travel charge card report to the SPE. Bureaus will be notified by the SPE of the data required to be submitted and the report due date. Data submitted from the bureaus will be reviewed and consolidated into one report for submission by Treasury to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
  9. REDELEGATION. The authorities delegated in this directive may be re-delegated by the ASM, except where prohibited by law, regulation, or policy.
    1. The Travel and Transportation Reform Act of 1998, Pub L. 105-264,
    2. Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002, 44 U.S.C. § 3541.
    3. Federal Travel Regulation, 41 CFR §§ 300 - 304.
    4. Department of the Treasury Regulations, 31 CFR Part 1, Subpart C.
    5. GSA SmartPay 2 Master Contract or successor contract.
    6. OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B, .Improving the Management of Government Charge Card Programs.
    7. Section 846 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2006, Public Law 109-115.
    8. Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012, Public Law 112-194..
    9. OMB Memorandum M-13-21, Implementation of the Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 (Charge Card Act).
    10. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum M-06-15, "Safeguarding Personally Identifiable Information," May 22, 2006.
    11. OMB Memorandum M-06-19, "Reporting Incidents Involving Personally Identifiable Information and Incorporating the Cost for Security in Agency Information Technology Investments," July 12, 2006.
    12. OMB Memorandum, "Recommendations for Identity Theft Related Data Breach Notification," September 20, 2006.
    13. OMB Memorandum M-07-16, "Safeguarding Against and Responding to the Breach of Personally Identifiable Information," May 22, 2007.
    14. Treasury Directive 25-08, "Safeguarding Against and Responding to the Breach of Personally Identifiable Information," dated December 22, 2009.
    15. Treasury Directive 85-01, "Department of the Treasury Information Technology (IT) Security Program," dated March 10, 2008.
    16. Treasury Directive 74-15, "Performing Temporary Duty at or Near the Permanent Duty Station or Residence," dated April 6, 2001 and reaffirmed September 21, 2011.
  11. CANCELLATION. Treasury Directive 74-12, "Use of Government Contractor-Issued Travel Charge Cards," dated October 20, 2011, is superseded.
  12. OFFICE OF PRIMARY INTEREST. Office of the Procurement Executive.


Brodi Fontenot
Assistant Secretary for Management