U.S. Air Force - Elizabeth Hair

U.S. Air Force - Elizabeth Hair

Elizabeth Hair

Air Force GPC Acquisition Executive Agent
GSA SmartPay Purchase Program (Level 2 A/OPC)

U.S. Department the Air Force
34 Year Veteran of the Air Force
6 Month Veteran of the GSA SmartPay Program

Describe some of your responsibilities related to the GSA SmartPay program.

As the Acquisition Executive Agent, Level 2 Program Manager, I oversee over 37,000 cardholders and over 14,000 managing accounts as the liaison between the Air Force, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), the bank, and GSA. I aid in crafting and communicating DoD and Air Force policy to the field, provide oversight and overall program support.

How does your agency/organization use the GSA SmartPay program to accomplish its mission?

The primary use of the purchase card enables Air Force personnel to easily purchase supplies and services below the micro-purchase threshold for the Air Force to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace while providing precise and reliable global vigilance, reach and power for the nation.  

What do you see as the major benefits of the GSA SmartPay program?

The benefits of the program are reducing administrative paperwork and streamlining the small purchase acquisition process.  It enables vendor payment within 72 hours by Electronic Funds Transfer through a commercial bank.  It eliminates or minimizes prompt payment interest through the use of the online certification and payment system, and provides rebates to the Air Force based on the dollar spend volume and timeliness of payment.

What are three words that you’d use to describe the GSA SmartPay program?

  • Easy – Assigned, trained personnel can use the purchase charge card to make purchases for the benefit of the Air Force mission.
  • Timely – In times of need, the purchase charge card holders can make purchases immediately.
  • Return on Investment – When reconciliation and payments of purchases are timely, the Air Force can recoup millions in rebates annually.                                                                                     

What is the most interesting/important way that you’ve seen the GSA SmartPay program used within your agency/organization?  Any special projects/special purchases that you’d like highlight?

The GPC Program is extremely important when used in contingency/emergency situations.  Airmen are able to timely purchase items needed immediately.  For example, during hurricane Gustav in 2008, a Contingency Contracting Officer was able to purchase lodging, food and commodities for displaced individuals.  These families had lost everything and the ability to readily provide for them was greatly appreciated.  Another recent example, an AF overseas unit temporarily lost the ability to acquire fuel for their official vehicles from the host country military basing.  They overcame mission failure by temporarily using the purchase card to acquire fuel in the local community until a new host country agreement was signed.  

What’s one piece of advice that you’d offer to account holders?

Reconcile your invoices/statements timely.  Every time you process your invoices/statements late, rebates are lost meaning you are losing money for your unit.