In March, former Mayor Kasim Reed wrote these personal checks totalling nearly $12,000 to reimburse the city of Atlanta for charges to his city-backed credit card. The reimbursements covered charges from 2015 to 2017.
Here’s a look at the positives and negatives of p-card use:
P-CARDS: THE PROS...
The Georgia Department of Administrative Services (DOAS) states that p-cards do the following:
- Streamline payment and purchasing procedures
- Reduce administrative burdens associated with small value purchases
- Allow for quicker receipt of goods
... AND THE CONS
The Government Finance Officers Association warns that using p-cards has disadvantages, too:
- Potential for duplicate vendor payments
- Negative public perception about issuing "credit cards" to government employees
- Potential for abuse despite p-card control measures
WHAT ABOUT OVERSIGHT?
In 2015, Georgia lawmakers approved House Bill 192, which required county commissions, city councils and school boards to pass rules and transaction limits before the cards could be issued to elected officials.
The Georgia DOAS website offers state agencies and institutions a variety of tools aimed at training public employees in proper p-card use. It also includes an online form for reporting "potential fraud, waste or abuse in the procurement area" for Georgia.
The Georgia Municipal Association, a voluntary, nonprofit organization representing municipal governments in the state, offers a model purchasing card policy on its website serving as a framework for cities to use in crafting their own p-card policies.
COMPLETE COVERAGE: BRIBERY INVESTIGATION