Purchase card stand down set

Navy and Marine Corps officials are planning a "training stand down" on Sept. 12 in an effort to improve the management of their government purchase card program.

During that day, all Navy Department purchase card personnel, including purchase card holders, agency program coordinators, and approving officials, will participate in training sessions to review the policies, procedures and personal responsibilities associated with using a government purchase card.

They will see a video, participate in a 90-minute training session, and then take a self-paced quiz. "All these people have seen the training before, it's just reinforcing" the rules and regulations of the program, said Jim Nieb, a spokesman with the Naval Supply Systems Command. Navsup is the Navy purchase card program manager.

The stand down is in response to recent criticism from the General Accounting Office and Congress that Navy agencies were misusing purchase cards.

A GAO report released July 30 found that too many people at two Navy centers in San Diego have government-issued purchase cards, thereby making it difficult to institute proper monitors and controls. The lack of controls in some cases enabled personnel to buy computers, flat-panel monitors and high-end Coach briefcases.

From Sept. 12 to Sept. 28, Navy agency program coordinators will also review purchase card transactions from September 2000 through August 2001 to identify any transactions that may have been outside the program's guidelines.

The agency program coordinators will use a system, which was upgraded last month to provide more levels of detail and standardized reports, to help them analyze the transaction data. Transactions that fall outside the program's guidelines will be investigated and appropriate corrective action will be taken.

There are about 30,000 purchase cards in the Navy and Marine Corps.

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