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Figure 2 Purchase Card Accounts, Fiscal Years 1989 through 2006

Cardholders (in thousands) 800

700

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100

0

1988 1990

1992

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2004

2006

Fiscal year Source: GSA.

As the contract administrator of the program, GSA contracts with five different commercial banks in order to provide purchase cards to federal employees. The five banks with purchase card contracts are (1) Bank of America, (2) Citibank, (3) Mellon Bank, (4) JPMorgan Chase, and (5) U.S. Bank.22 GSA also has created several tools, such as the Schedules Program, so that cardholders can take advantage of favorable pricing for goods and services. Oversight of the purchase card program is also the responsibility of OMB. OMB provides overall direction for governmentwide procurement policies, regulations, and procedures to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the acquisition processes. Specifically, in August 2005, OMB issued Appendix B to Circular No. A-123, Improving the Management of Government Charge Card Programs, that established minimum requirements and suggested best practices for government charge card programs.

22In June 2007, GSA awarded a new SmartPay®2 charge card service contract to four banks: Citibank; GE Capital Financial, Inc.; JPMorgan Chase; and U.S. Bank.

Page 11

GAO-08-333 Governmentwide Purchase Cards

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