Senior Contract Specialist, Acquisitions Management Branch
What is your role with the GSA SmartPay program?
In addition to my duties as a Contracting Officer, I support our A/OPC in ensuring the Agency purchase program participants
adhere to defined policies and procedures in the NLRB purchase card program. Previously, between the two agencies, I was
an A/OPC for 9 years.
How long have you worked with the GSA SmartPay program?
I have worked with the GSA SmartPay Program for 10 years – five years at the NLRB and 5 years at the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Describe some of your responsibilities related to the GSA SmartPay program.
Some of my main responsibilities include:
- Reviewing and updating the Management Plan each year. I was also involved in drafting our Agency policy to ensure that a system of internal controls was in place to minimize the potential for fraud and misuse.
- Training and coaching Agency Approving Officials and cardholders. The NLRB has a number of regional offices throughout the United States, and generally each office has a purchase card holder and an Approving Official. It is critical to the success of the program that all cardholders understand the policies and procedures of the program. As part of the training efforts, I review monthly reconciliation statement to ascertain the need for additional training and coaching.
- Ensuring procedures are followed utilizing the Citibank online programs. As part of this effort I review the Merchant Category Codes and revise the restricted Merchant Category Codes for the Agency.
- Updating the Agency record keeping to electronic to meet the records retention requirement. I ensure the approved reconciliation statements are maintained for the appropriate time limits.
How does your agency/organization use the GSA SmartPay program to accomplish its mission?
The NLRB processes legal issues which require immediate services such as translators, stenographers, meeting space,
copying, and miscellaneous office supplies.
What do you see as the major benefits of the GSA SmartPay program?
The major benefit of using the program as a purchasing tool is that it expedites the purchase. Additionally, the administrative
cost is significantly less for micro-purchase transactions when compared to issuing requisition and purchase orders through
the Acquisition Division.
What is the most interesting/important way that you’ve seen the GSA SmartPay program used within your agency/organization?
This Agency requires the ability to quickly obtain office space across the country for elections or hearings when Federal space is not available. Sometimes the locations are remote. The purchase card ensures we can always obtain space from hotels or State governments and prevents having to default on the timing agreed upon by the parties.
What’s one piece of advice that you’d offer to account holders?
Absolutely make sure you understand this is not your personal credit card. If you ever have a question on a particular purchase or transaction, don’t hesitate to reach out to your A/OPC. Violating Appropriation Law is serious and has consequences. So remember this is not your personal credit card, and you are the taxpayer’s steward.
What’s one fact/piece of information about the GSA SmartPay program that you’d like to share with the general public?
The purchase card can be a huge tool for your Agency if used responsibly. Dave Shea (Director of the GSA SmartPay Program)
and his staff are invaluable in supporting the A/OPCs. Do not hesitate to get involved.
Any other comments that you’d like to share?
Make sure you understand the Master Contract with your Bank. Always ensure that your Agency is getting all the services and training required by the contract.