An Act of Trust and Verify: Department Purchase Card Threshold Increased to $10,000 with Internal Controls

As many of you know, Secretary Zinke has made empowering the field and streamlining red tape a priority for the Department. In addition, we have solicited your input on items that needed to be resolved to help further empower you. One of the items that we regularly heard from you on is identifying ways to streamline the purchase card process and raising the purchase limits.

As some of you know, in December 2017, Congress, as part of P.L. 115-91, included a provision that allows Agencies to increase purchase card thresholds up to $10,000 for most purchases of supplies and services. Given this statutory change, I have raised the purchase card threshold from $3,500 to $10,000, effective immediately.

Increasing the purchase card spending limit provides opportunities for field personnel to quickly and easily buy the goods and services that they need, while allowing contracting officers to focus on more complex contracts.

In addition, while the Department currently has a strong system of internal controls over the purchase card program, I am directing Bureaus and Offices to implement an enhanced system of internal controls for the first 6 months to monitor potential increased program risk, as outlined in the Internal Control Plan. From the date of this memorandum through November 15, 2018, Bureaus must establish a mechanism to verify that purchase card transactions are only made in the course of official business; purchases are not made from prohibited sources; cardholder statements contain adequate documentation and are reviewed timely; and appropriate action is taken for instances of fraud or misuse. I have also asked the Office of Inspector General to review the implementation of the additional controls.

I believe our responsible exercise of this new authority can free folks' time up and demonstrate that you are well prepared to exercise sound discretion in the field.

View the new Internal Control Plan

View the Integrated Charge Card Program Policy.

Thank you,
Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt