I suggest that the government allow government contracts to be paid out with government purchase cards, for re-accuring services over the current single purchase limit of $2,500.00 per year. I suggest the limit be increased to $10,000.00, and that the usage of the Government Purchase Card be the mandatory method of payment for contracts >$10,000.00. There are many services that could benefit from this, that would save time, money, paper, and personnel.
There is no reason that the payments need to be made by a fiscal or contracting official because all of the requirements for competition, CCR and ORCA registration, and any of the other contractual FAR regulations have already been considered by the Contracting Officer.
It has already been proven that by paying out on contracts with the usage of the GPC has savings benefits because the banks pay quicker than current government payment systems, require less paperwork, and the banks provide the systems the government officials need access to approve and certify that the services rendered have taken place each month.
We could also do this with supply type contracts too, because the individuals making the payments would certify through the banks system, that they received the goods.
The bank’s also provide rewards and incentives for making payments on time (i.e. the approval and certification process).
This could be centralized to the fiscal branch if necessary, or each section of a branch could have a position that does nothing but ensure receipt of goods and services, and then certifies and approves the payments.
Most contract awards are under the SAT anyhow. I would even venture that payments could be made up to $25k for contracts.
However, I will say this. I believe it to be a direct conflict of interest for Contracting Officials to be in charge of making payments because then we would be receiving the funding documents, negotiating the contracts, and then making the payments as well. The end users (customers) should be making the approvals and certifications that payments are authorized.
Every year the Government had increased GPC usage, and every year there has been a clear reflected cost savings of doing business this way. There is no reason that the Government should continue making EFT payments through 3rd party fiscal branch services for contracts of the above mentioned dollar amounts. The systems are often antiquated, and the processes time consuming and therefore costly.
The bank’s provide the systems we need to use, and we save money by making payments more timely and efficiently.
Currently, the GPC usage is directed by each agency that goes hand in hand with the regulations mentioned in FAR part 13. But no one wants to go over the SPL of $2500 for services, or $3000 for supplies because they realize that this could affect jobs within fiscal branches. However, fiscal branches could still be in charge of making the payments instead of the customers. The customers would certify that they received the goods and / or services, and the fiscal branch could finalize the payments. This also provides for a paperless system because banks already keep records for at least 5 years. Who is to say we couldn’t negotiate 10 years worth of record keeping?
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