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Appendix II: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology

Programs,5 and agencies’ purchase card policies and procedures. Furthermore, for purchases exceeding the micropurchase threshold of $2,500, we tested FAR requirements that the cardholder use required vendors and promote competition by soliciting bids—or justify the departure from this requirement in writing.6

Proper Authorization

To determine whether a transaction was properly authorized, we reviewed documentation to ascertain if an individual other than the cardholder was involved in the approval of the purchase. To determine that proper authorization existed, we used reasonable evidence for authorization of micropurchases from $50 to $2,500, such as purchase requests from responsible officials, requisitions, e-mails, and other documents that identify an official government need, including blanket authorizations for routine purchases with subsequent approval. For purchase card transactions exceeding the micropurchase threshold of $2,500, we required prior purchase authorization, such as a contract, a requisition, or other approval document. Additionally, we looked for evidence that the cardholder used required vendors (as required by the Javits-Wagner-O’Day Act (JWOD))7 and solicited quotes to promote competition (or provided evidence justifying departure from this requirement, such as an annotation justifying the use of a sole source).

Receipt and Acceptance

To determine whether goods or services were independently received and accepted, we reviewed supporting documentation provided by the agency. For each transaction, we compared the quantity, price, and item descriptions on the vendor invoice and shipping receipt to the purchase requisition to verify that the items received and paid for were actually the items ordered. We also determined whether evidence existed that a person other than the cardholder was involved in the receipt of the goods or services purchased. We concluded that independent receipt and acceptance existed if the vendor invoice, shipping documents, and receipt materially matched the transaction data, and if the signature or initial of

5GAO-04-87G. 648 C.F.R. §§ 13.003h(1), 13.104b, 13.501, and 13.102.

7JWOD established the Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled and charters the committee to develop a procurement list of commodities produced and services provided by nonprofit agencies (41 U.S.C §§ 46 and 47). The act also directs agencies to buy items or services on the procurement list from nonprofit agencies for the blind or severely handicapped if the items are available within the period required by the government (41 U.S.C. § 48).

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GAO-08-333 Governmentwide Purchase Cards

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