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$ 2784. Management of purchase cards 1

(a) MANAGEMENT OF PURCHASE CARDS.—The Secretary of Defense shall prescribe regulations governing the use and control of all purchase cards and convenience checks that are issued to Department of Defense personnel for official use. Those regulations shall be consistent with regulations that apply Government-wide regarding use of purchase cards by Government personnel for official purposes.

(b) REQUIRED SAFEGUARDS AND INTERNAL CONTROLS.—Regulations under subsection (a) shall include safeguards and internal controls to ensure the following:

(1) That there is a record in the Department of Defense of each holder of a purchase card issued by the Department of Defense for official use, annotated with the limitations on amounts that are applicable to the use of each such card by that purchase card holder.

(2) That the holder of a purchase card and each official with authority to authorize expenditures charged to the purchase card are responsible for

1 Section 8149 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2003 (P.L. 107–248; 116 Stat. 1572), provides:

SEC. 8149. (a) LIMITATION ON NUMBER OF GOVERNMENT CHARGE CARD ACCOUNTS DURING FISCAL YEAR 2003.—The total number of accounts for government purchase charge cards and government travel charge cards for Department of Defense personnel during fiscal year 2003 may not exceed 1,500,000 accounts.

(b) REQUIREMENT FOR CREDITWORTHINESS FOR ISSUANCE OF GOVERNMENT CHARGE CARD.-(1) The Secretary of Defense shall evaluate the creditworthiness of an individual before issuing the individual a government purchase charge card or government travel charge card.

(2) An individual may not be issued a government purchase charge card or government travel charge card if the individual is found not credit worthy as a result of the evaluation under paragraph (1).

(c) DISCIPLINARY ACTION FOR MISUSE OF GOVERNMENT CHARGE CARD.—(1) The Secretary shall establish guidelines and procedures for disciplinary actions to be taken against Department personnel for improper, fraudulent, or abusive use of government purchase charge cards and government travel charge cards.

(2) The guidelines and procedures under this subsection shall include appropriate disciplinary actions for use of charge cards for purposes, and at establishments, that are inconsistent with the official business of the Department or with applicable standards of conduct. (3) The disciplinary actions under this subsection may include

(A) the review of the security clearance of the individual involved; and

(B) the modification or revocation of such security clearance in light of the review. (4) The guidelines and procedures under this subsection shall apply uniformly among the Armed Forces and among the elements of the Department.

(d) REPORT.-Not later than June 30, 2003, the Secretary shall submit to the congressional defense committees a report on the implementation of the requirements and limitations in this section, including the guidelines and procedures established under subsection (c).

(A) reconciling the charges appearing on each statement of account for that purchase card with receipts and other supporting documentation; and

(B) forwarding that statement after being so reconciled to the designated disbursing office in a timely manner.

(3) That any disputed purchase card charge, and any discrepancy between a receipt and other supporting documentation and the purchase card statement of account, is resolved in the manner prescribed in the applicable Government-wide purchase card contract entered into by the Administrator of General Services.

(4) That payments on purchase card accounts are made promptly within prescribed deadlines to avoid interest penalties.

(5) That rebates and refunds based on prompt payment on purchase card accounts are properly recorded.

(6) That records of each purchase card transaction (including records on associated contracts, reports, accounts, and invoices) are retained in accordance with standard Government policies on the disposition of records.

(7) That periodic reviews are performed to determine whether each purchase card holder has a need for the purchase card.

(8) That the Inspector General of the Department of Defense, the Inspector General of the Army, the Naval Inspector General, and the Inspector General of the Air Force perform periodic audits to identify

(A) potentially fraudulent, improper, and abusive uses of purchase cards;

(B) any patterns of improper card holder transactions, such as purchases of prohibited items; and

(C) categories of purchases that should be made by means other than purchase cards in order to better aggregate purchases and obtain lower prices.

(9) That appropriate training is provided to each purchase card holder and each official with responsibility for overseeing the use of purchase cards issued by the Department of Defense.

(10) That the Department of Defense has specific policies regarding the number of purchase cards issued by various organizations and categories of organizations, the credit limits authorized for various categories of card holders, and categories of employees eligible to be issued purchase cards, and that those policies are designed to minimize the financial risk to the Federal Government of the issuance of the purchase cards and to ensure the integrity of purchase card holders.

(c) PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS.—The regulations prescribed under subsection (a) shall

(1) provide for appropriate adverse personnel actions or other punishment to be imposed in cases in which employees of the Department of Defense violate such regulations or are negligent or engage in misuse, abuse, or fraud with respect to a purchase card, including removal in appropriate cases; and (2) provide that a violation of such regulations by a person subject to chapter 47 of this title (the Uniform Code of Military Justice) is punishable as a violation of section 892 of this title

(article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice). (Added P.L. 106–65, $ 933(a)(1), Oct. 5, 1999, 113 Stat. 728; P.L. 107–314, $ 1007(a), (b)(1), Dec. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 2633, 2634.) $ 2784a. Management of travel cards

(a) DISBURSEMENT OF TRAVEL ALLOWANCES DIRECTLY TO CREDITORS.(1) The Secretary of Defense may require that any part of a travel or transportation allowance of an employee of the Department of Defense or a member of the armed forces be disbursed directly to the issuer of a Defense travel card if the amount is disbursed to the issuer in payment of amounts of expenses of official travel that are charged by the employee or member on the Defense travel card.

(2) For the purposes of this subsection, the travel and transportation allowances referred to in paragraph (1) are amounts to which an employee of the Department of Defense is entitled under section 5702 of title 5 or a member of the armed forces is entitled under section 404 of title 37.

(b) OFFSETS FOR DELINQUENT TRAVEL CARD CHARGES.-(1) The Secretary of Defense may require that there be deducted and withheld from any basic pay payable to an employee of the Department of Defense or a member of the armed forces any amount that is owed by the employee or member to a creditor by reason of one or more charges of expenses of official travel of the employee or member on a Defense travel card issued by the creditor if the employee or member

(A) is delinquent in the payment of such amount under the terms of the contract under which the card is issued; and

(B) does not dispute the amount of the delinquency. (2) The amount deducted and withheld from pay under paragraph (1) with respect to a debt owed a creditor as described in that paragraph shall be disbursed to the creditor to reduce the amount of the debt.

(3) The amount of pay deducted and withheld from the pay owed to an employee or member with respect to a pay period under paragraph (1) may not exceed 15 percent of the disposable pay of the employee or member for that pay period, except that a higher amount may be deducted and withheld with the written consent of the employee or member.

(4) The Secretary of Defense shall prescribe procedures for deducting and withholding amounts from pay under this subsection. The procedures shall be substantially equivalent to the procedures under section 3716 of title 31.

(c) OFFSETS OF RETIRED PAY.-In the case of a former employee of the Department of Defense or a retired member of the armed forces who is receiving retired pay and who owes an amount to a creditor by reason of one or more charges on a Defense travel card that were made before the retirement of the employee or member, the Secretary may require amounts to be deducted and withheld from any retired pay of the former employee or retired member in the same manner and subject to the same conditions as the Secretary deducts and withholds amounts from basic pay payable to an employee or member under subsection (b). (d) DEFINITIONS.—In this section:

(1) The term “Defense travel card” means a charge or credit card that

(A) is issued to an employee of the Department of Defense or a member of the armed forces under a contract entered into by the Department of Defense with the issuer of the card; and

(B) is to be used for charging expenses incurred by the employee or member in connection with official travel.

(2) The term “disposable pay”, with respect to a pay period, means the amount equal to the excess of the amount of basic pay or retired pay, as the case may be, payable for the pay period over the total of the amounts deducted and withheld from

such pay.

(3) The term “retired pay” means

(A) in the case of a former employee of the Department of Defense, any retirement benefit payable to that individual, out of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, based in whole or in part) on service performed by such individual as a civilian employee of the Department of Defense; and

(B) in the case of a retired member of the armed forces or member of the Fleet Reserve or Fleet Marine Corps Reserve, retired or retainer pay to which the member is enti

tled. (e) EXCLUSION OF COAST GUARD.This section does not apply to the Coast Guard. (Added P.L. 107–314, § 1008(a), Dec. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 2634.)

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2855.

Law applicable to contracts for architectural and engineering services and

construction design.

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$ 2855. Law applicable to contracts for architectural and en

gineering services and construction design (a) Contracts for architectural and engineering services and construction design in connection with a military construction project or a military family housing project shall be awarded in accordance with chapter 11 of title 40. (b)(1) In the case of a contract referred to in subsection (a)

(A) if the Secretary concerned estimates that the initial award of the contract will be in an amount greater than or equal to the threshold amount determined under paragraph (2), the contract may not be set aside exclusively for award to small business concerns; and

(B) if the Secretary concerned estimates that the initial award of the contract will be in an amount less than the threshold amount determined under paragraph (2), the contract shall be awarded in accordance with the set aside provisions of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 631 et seq.).

(2) The initial threshold amount under paragraph (1) is $85,000. The Secretary of Defense may revise that amount in order to ensure that small business concerns receive a reasonable share of contracts referred to in subsection (a).

(3) This subsection does not restrict the award of contracts to small business concerns under section 8(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(a)). (Added P.L. 97–214, $ 2(a), July 12, 1982, 96 Stat. 166; amended P.L. 98–407, $ 808, Aug. 28, 1984, 98 Stat. 1521; P.L. 107–217, § 3(b)(22), Aug. 21, 2002, 116 Stat. 1297.)

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