Katara Honesty

Katara Honesty

Management Analyst
Travel Program Coordinator (Level 2 A/OPC)
U.S. Department of Commerce
5 Year Veteran of the GSA SmartPay Program

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

As the Lead Agency Program Coordinator (APC), I handle all aspects of the travel card program at the Census Bureau including processing applications, establishing and monitoring internal controls and providing reports to management and to the Office of Management and Budget. I also oversee all of the Individually Billed Accounts (IBA) and Centrally Billed Account (CBA) operations for the Census Bureau.

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

We use the Government Travel Charge Card (GTCC) for all expenses related to official authorized government travel. The travel card program has reduced the need of government travelers to use their personal credit cards to pay for items such as lodging, meals, vehicle rental, and transportation costs while on official travel.   

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

The main benefit of having the program is that it allows employees to complete official duties without causing financial hardship. Also, the oversight capabilities in GSA SmartPay aid in preventing delinquencies, travel card misuse, fraud and other forms of waste and abuse.

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

The three words that come to mind after years of working with the card program are instantaneous, accommodating, and proficient. Both GSA and the contractor bank staff have been exceptional to work with, providing me exceptional service to better manage reports of the travel process.                                                                                        

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 program has maximized the ability to increase the credit limit immediately. Many times cardholders have been on official duty and their card was declined due to insufficient funds. Cardholders have called me stranded at an airport or hotel. Within seconds, I was able to increase the employee’s credit amount and relieve their anxiety.   

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

It is imperative that cardholders manage their account! Ensure your account transactions are correct by signing up and taking advantage of the bank’s online account access.                                                                                    

What’s one fact/piece of information about the GSA SmartPay program that you’d like to share with the general public?

The Department of Commerce (DOC) implemented its Department Virtual Payment Cards, which allows DOC to pay UPS orders via GSA’s Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) Document Delivery Service Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA). This innovative solution improves operational efficiencies, reduces administrative costs and allows DOC to earn additional refunds.  We now can pay invoices with electronic methods as opposed to spending the money on printing and mailing paper checks. Adding virtual payments into your accounts payable workflow is one way to help your agency pay invoices more efficiently. Virtual payment cards all come with built-in financial controls that reduce time-consuming and costly exception processing. Whether it’s a single-use or a dynamic credit control virtual card, the buyer can set the payment amount right down to the penny. This means that the account will not process payment for any amount higher or lower than the pre-set amount; such a control virtually eliminates the possibility of either short payment or overpayment.