PART 1813

SIMPLIFIED ACQUISITION PROCEDURES

(Revised October 27, 2016)

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

1813.003                           Policy.

 

SUBPART      1813.1       PROCEDURES

1813.106                             Soliciting competition, evaluation of quotations or offers, and

                                            documentation.

1813.106-3                        Award and documentation.

 

SUBPART      1813.3       SIMPLIFIED ACQUISITION METHODS

1813.301                           Governmentwide commercial purchase card.

1813.301-70                      Purchase card program participants and roles.

1813.301-71                      Training requirements.

1813.301-72                      Requesting an approving official or cardholder account.

1813.301-73                      Delegation of authority.

1813.301-74                      Safeguarding the purchase card and convenience checks.

1813.301-75                      Required file documentation.

1813.301-76                      Prohibited transactions.

1813.301-77                      Strategic sourcing and consolidating requirements.

1813.301-78                      Priorities for use of Government supply sources.

1813.301-79                      Supporting Federal policies, regulations, and NASA procedural

                                            requirements.

1813.301-80                      Verification of receipt and equipment tracking.

1813.301-82                      Convenience checks.

1813.301-83                      Purchase card internal controls.

1813.302                           Purchase orders.

1813.302-71                      Policy.

1813.302-1                            General.

1813.302-570                    NASA solicitation provisions.

1813.302-70                      Purchase orders under section 8(a) of the Small Business Act.

1813.303                           Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs).

1813.303-3                        Preparation of BPAs.

1813.307                           Forms.

 


PART 1813

SIMPLIFIED ACQUISITION PROCEDURES

 

1813.003  Policy.

 

      (g)  Acquisitions under these simplified acquisition procedures shall be fixed-price, except as provided under the unpriced purchase order method in FAR 13.302-2.

 

Subpart 1813.1—Procedures

 

1813.106  Soliciting competition, evaluation of quotations or offers, award and documentation.

 

1813.106-3  Award and documentation.

 

      (b)(3)(ii)  For purchases up to $50,000, documentation shall be limited to a brief notation in the file indicating the rationale for selecting other than the lowest priced offer.

 

Subpart 1813.3—Simplified Acquisition Methods

 

1813.301  Governmentwide commercial purchase card.

 

      (a)  The Governmentwide commercial purchase card is the preferred method of ordering and paying for micro-purchases.  Purchase cards shall be used for micro-purchases, for eligible purchases, to the maximum extent practicable.  (See FAR Part 2 for the current micro-purchase threshold.)

 

      (b)(1)  For purchases above the micro-purchase threshold, purchase cards may be used by cardholders, with the appropriate delegation of procurement authority, to make payments against contracts, purchase orders, or orders under blanket purchasing agreements (BPA).  (See 1813.303-3(a)(4) for guidance on the use of purchase card for placing individual orders under blanket purchase agreements.)  Purchase cards may be used as a payment mechanism up to the simplified acquisition threshold on established orders or contracts.

            (2)  Use of the purchase card on orders above the micro-purchase threshold does not relieve the cardholder from complying  with all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, including, but not limited to, soliciting competitive quotations, verifying price reasonableness, reserving for small businesses, including the appropriate terms and conditions, and reporting to the Federal Procurement Data System–Next Generation (FPDS-NG).

            (3)  This policy establishes the minimum requirements for issuing, using, and internal controls on the use of purchase card and convenience checks.  Center procurement officers may supplement these requirements when necessary to meet center-specific requirements.

 

1813.301-70  Purchase card program participant and roles.

 

      (a)  NPD 5104.1, Government Charge Cards, establishes internal controls for the management, use, and continuous evaluation of all charge cards, including air, fleet, travel, and purchase card.  The NPD identifies the responsibilities of NASA organizations and staff involved in charge card use and management.  The key officials and offices responsible for purchase card management are addressed in this section.

 

      (b)  The HQ Office of Procurement establishes policy for the use of purchase cards and the internal controls for the purchase card program.

 

      (c)  Agency Program Coordinator (APC).  The APC is a Government employee, located at the NASA Shared Service Center (NSSC), who serves as the Agency-wide lead, focal point, and subject matter expert for the oversight and management of the Agency’s purchase card program, in accordance with OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B, and other regulatory requirements and the primary interface with the GSA Office of Charge Card Management and the contractor bank.  The APC also collects data from Center Program Coordinators (CPCs) and submits all Agency reports as required in accordance with OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B.

 

      (d)  Center Program Coordinator (CPC).  Each Center shall have a CPC who is a Government employee that is appointed, in writing, by the Center procurement officer.  The CPC is responsible for overall management of the Center’s purchase card program.  The CPC is the liaison between the NASA Center and the APC.  The CPC is responsible for—

            (1)  Managing and overseeing their center’s purchase card program;

            (2)  Providing operational support to cardholders and approving officials;

            (3)  Conducting and documenting reviews of cardholder and approving official activity as required by NASA's Purchase Card Internal Review Guide for CPCs;

            (4)  Managing cardholder and approving official accounts and authorization controls;

            (5)  Ensuring that cardholders and approving officials are fully trained and refresher requirements are met;

            (6)  Issuing, suspending or canceling cards;

            (7)  Maintaining a central record of all purchase card delegations/accounts and their status: active, suspended, or terminated.  For terminated delegations, the central record shall specify the reason for termination, e.g., for cause, employee left NASA, transfer to another center, etc;

            (8)  Conducting semi-annual reviews of cardholder accounts to determine the necessity of the number of accounts/cardholders, account limits, and the level of control of individual approving officials; and

            (9)  Submitting Center data to the APC as required for Agency reporting to OMB.

 

      (e)  The approving official.  The approving official shall be a Government employee.  Approving officials are responsible for—

            (1)  Ensuring that cardholders safeguard their cards and account numbers;

            (2)  Conducting  independent reviews of cardholder records and transactions to ensure purchases are appropriate, authorized, for Government use only, and within the cardholder’s delegated authority;

            (3)  Reviewing their cardholders’ monthly transactions and approving them for payment;

            (4)  Ensuring cardholder records are well-documented and properly maintained;

            (5)  Taking disciplinary action against cardholders in accordance with the NASA Desk Guide for Table of Disciplinary Offenses, when appropriate;

            (6)  Ensuring all cardholder charges are either reconciled and approved in P-Card Web Solutions or disputed within 90 days; of the transaction;

            (7)  Reporting suspected misuse, fraudulent or potentially fraudulent activity, to the CPC and center Acquisition Integrity Program official;

            (8)  Notifying the CPC when the approving official or a cardholder will be on extended leave, has transferred to another organization, is leaving NASA, or will no longer be an approving official or cardholder.

 

      (f)  Every purchase cardholder shall have an approving official.  The approving official is the primary source of quality assurance and oversight of the purchase card.  The approving official is typically the cardholder’s immediate supervisor or within the cardholder’s management chain.  The approving official shall be designated at an appropriate level within the organization to ensure proper management and oversight of the cardholder’s transactions.  In no instance may a cardholder be the approving official on his or her own card transactions.  Approving officials shall not have more than six cardholders reporting to them, unless a waiver has been approved by the Center procurement officer (see 1813.301-72(d)).  Approving officials must have direct knowledge of their cardholder’s transactions and the ability to verify receipt of the purchases made by his or her cardholders.

 

      (g)  The approving official’s management shall be responsible for ensuring approving officials are available to review and approve cardholder transactions within their organizations.  Alternate approving officials shall be appointed to approve purchases when the primary approving official is unavailable, such as when on leave or travel.  The CPC may approve cardholders’ transactions on behalf of an approving official, in order to meet reconciliation deadlines, so that prompt payment may be made.  In these cases, the CPC shall document the reason for approving on behalf of the approving official.  The CPC shall document the transactions approved and provide a copy of this documentation to the approving official.  CPC approval of transactions shall only be used as a last resort, on a temporary basis.

 

      (h)  Cardholders.  Cardholders must be Government employees.  Cardholders are responsible for using their cards ethically and in accordance with Federal and NASA policy and regulation for purchases in support of NASA mission requirements or institutional operations.  Cardholders shall

            (1)  Safeguard the card and card number;

            (2)  Create an order log within P-Card Web Solution prior to ordering;

            (3)  Comply with all dollar limits on purchases, both single purchase limit and monthly purchase limit;

            (4)  Use the card only to make informed buys of approved supplies and services;

            (5)  Maintain all necessary documentation to support their purchase decision;

            (6)  Reconcile or dispute transactions promptly;

            (7)  Promptly notify the CPC when they will be leaving their organization, leaving NASA on extended leave, or no longer using the card;

            (8)  Promptly report lost or stolen cards to the contractor bank and CPC; and

            (9)  Report suspected misuse or fraudulent activity to the CPC and center Acquisition Integrity Program (AIP) official.

 

1813.301-71  Training requirements.

 

      (a)  To obtain an approving official or cardholder account, employees, including warranted contracting officers, shall complete the on-line NASA Purchase Card Training Course and the NEACC1035 Bankcard Purchases and Desktop Receiving Course, available in SATERN.  To maintain their accounts, cardholders and approving officials shall complete the NASA Purchase Card Training Course every three years after completing the initial course.  Centers may require additional training.

 

      (b)  Employees applying for approving official or cardholder accounts must have completed the required purchase card training within the previous twelve months, if they have not been an approving official or cardholder within that time period.

 

      (c)  Failure to complete the required refresher training in a timely manner will result in suspension of cardholder or approving official accounts.  When an approving official account is suspended, any cardholder accounts under that approving official will also be suspended, unless there is an alternate approving official is available.

 

      (d)  Except as provided in the NASA Procurement Career Development and Training Policy, cardholders with procurement authority over the micro-purchase threshold must be warranted contracting officers.  See the policy for exceptions concerning BPA call ordering officers and cardholders with authority limited to procuring emergency goods and services.  This policy may be viewed or downloaded from the NASA Procurement Library at https://prod.nais.nasa.gov/portals/pl/career_development.html.

 

      (e)  For the latest information on the NASA purchase card program, CPCs, cardholders, and approving officials are encouraged to visit the NASA Purchase Card web site at https://www.nssc.nasa.gov/purchasecard.

 

1813.301-72.  Requesting an approving official or cardholder account.

 

      (a)  Requests for new cardholders or approving official accounts shall be submitted to the CPC from the proposed cardholder’s or approving official’s supervisor.  When nominating cardholders, the nominating official shall consider the complexity of items the cardholder will buy, and the candidate's general experience, training, education, business acumen, judgment, character, and reputation.  The CPC will review the account request and, if the required documentation is complete, the CPC will recommend to the Center procurement officer or deputy procurement officer that a delegation of authority be issued.

 

      (b)  The following information/documentation is required before an account may be opened:

            (1)  Nominee(s)’ name(s) and organization.

            (2)  Certification that the nominee has completed the required training, understands the regulations and procedures, has a need to purchase supplies and services, and knows the consequences of inappropriate actions.

            (3)  General description of the types of purchases to be made and how the purchases support the mission of the requesting activity.

            (4)  The requested single purchase limit and monthly spending limit.

            (5)  A justification for waiver of the required ratio, if proposing to exceed the 6:1 ratio of cardholders to approving officials.

            (6)  Identification of whether the cardholder will have continuity of operation (COOP) or emergency response responsibilities.

 

      (c)  Individuals shall not be delegated single purchase authority over the micro-purchase threshold unless they are warranted contracting officers, blanket purchase agreement (BPA) call ordering officers, or responsible for continuity of operation (COOP) or emergency response activities.

 

      (d)  The total number of cardholders within an organization shall be limited to ensure that appropriate oversight is maintained to avoid card misuse.  The ratio of cardholders to approving officials within an organization shall be no more than 6:1 unless waived by the Center procurement officer.  A request to waive the 6:1 ratio must be submitted in writing and include:  the name of approving official, list cardholders proposed to be assigned to that approving official, and a rationale for why the waiver should be granted.  The number of cardholders assigned to an approving official should be reasonable, considering the volume of cardholder activity and the organizational structure.  The request will be considered in light of the following:  proposed cardholder to approving official ratio; volume of usage of all cards assigned to that approving official; review of the approving official and cardholders’ record of reconciliation timeliness, CPC audit records, and physical location(s) of cardholders and approving official.

 

1813.301-73  Delegation of authority.

The Center procurement officer or deputy procurement officer shall delegate cardholder or approving official authority only to qualified Government employees.  The delegation shall be in writing, specifying the duties and responsibilities of the cardholder or approving official.  For cardholders, the delegation shall specify the single purchase limit, and monthly spending limit.  Cardholders and approving officials within the procurement organization, even those who already have contracting officer warrants, shall be issued a separate delegation for their cardholder or approving official authority.

 

1813.301-74  Safeguarding the purchase card.

The purchase card is issued to specific individuals for their official use.  The employee, whose name is embossed on the card, is the custodian and sole authorized user.  Cardholders shall not allow anyone else to use their cards, or account number.  It is the cardholder’s responsibility to safeguard the purchase card and account number at all times.  When not in use, the card shall be kept in a safe, locked drawer, or other adequate facility for securing the card.

 

1813.301-75  Required file documentation.

 

      (a)  Cardholders shall create an order log in the NASA on-line P-Card Web Solution system prior to placing an order]to record their orders and ensure that adequate funds are available before ordering.  The system order log records the funding information so that funding necessary for completion of the purchase can be committed.  Cardholders shall use the order log to record information regarding the items ordered including, but not limited to, the requester’s name, item description, quantity, unit price and total value.  When making self-generated purchases, cardholders annotate in the “Comments” section of the order log that the purchase was self-generated.  Approving officials shall review self-generated purchases by the cardholder to ensure their appropriateness.

 

      (b)  A hard copy or an electronic copy of the order log, and other supporting documentation, such as receipts; order confirmations; vendor invoices or alternative evidence of costs such as a quote or a screen print for Internet purchases; necessary expense justifications, or documentation of any problems, disputes, or unusual circumstances surrounding an order shall be kept in the purchase card files for three years from the date of final payment.  Purchase card files must be kept current and be readily available for examination.  Purchase card files belong to the cardholder’s organization and must be maintained by that organization after the cardholder or approving official leaves.  The order log and supporting documentation is subject to audit by the NASA officials designated in NPD 5104.1 as well as the Government Accountability Office and other external organizations.

 

      (c)  Cardholders and approving officials shall maintain a copy of their respective letters of delegation signed by the Center procurement officer, as well as their training completion certificates from SATERN for the NASA purchase card initial training and periodic refresher training for inspection and audits from various internal and external organizations.  Approving officials are not required to maintain a duplicate file for their cardholder’s letter of delegation or training records.  However, approving officials shall periodically review and validate that the cardholder’s delegation and training are current.

 

      (d)  Purchase card files are official Agency records and shall comply with Agency and Federal record keeping requirements.  (See NPR 1441.1, NASA Records Management Program, and FAR 4.805(b) for applicable guidance.)

 

1813.301-76  Prohibited transactions.

All Agency cardholders are prohibited from using the card for–

 

      (a)  Cash advances;

 

      (b)  Prepaid gift or cash cards;

 

      (c)  Individual travel-related expenses, such as per diem, lodging, transportation, and fees related to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Pre®, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler Programs (Global Entry, SENTRI and NEXUS), or other commercially-provided programs such as CLEAR®, on behalf of NASA civil service employees/travelers;

 

      (d)  Gasoline, oil, or similar items for Government-owned fleet vehicles;

 

      (e)  Promotional and personal use items prohibited for purchase by the Mission Support Council (MSC) and Administrator (see MSC Decision Memorandum MSC-2011-12-001, as amended); or

 

      (f)  Membership fees or dues in professional associations or societies, or expenses of attendance at professional association or society meetings or conferences, for individual employees (5 U.S.C. § 5946), except as authorized by a specific appropriation act, by express terms in a general appropriation act, or by 5 U.S.C. sections 4109 or 4110.  This prohibition applies only to the purchase of individual memberships, it does not apply to the purchase of a corporate membership for the Agency.  Applicability of statutory exceptions to this rule are fact-specific and should be discussed with legal counsel.

 

1813.301-77  Planning to avoid splitting orders and strategic sourcing.

 

      (a)  To the maximum extent possible, cardholders shall plan their orders to combine requirements in order to qualify for volume discounts and to realize administrative savings.  Cardholders shall not split known requirements to circumvent single purchase limits or to avoid procurement regulations, such as the Davis-Bacon Act, the Service Contract Act, or competition thresholds.  It is improper for cardholders or approving officials to take large requirements that are clearly known in advance and break them into smaller requirements to be acquired over time through a series of purchase card orders either by a single cardholder or a number of cardholders.

 

      (b)  Office of Management and Budget Circular A-123, Appendix B requires each agency to use strategic sourcing to the maximum extent.  Cardholders shall support Agency and center strategic sourcing initiatives when placing purchases.  Cardholders shall consider placing orders against FSSI contracts for office supplies and any express and ground domestic delivery services.  Ensure software requirements available through the Agency’s strategic sourcing initiatives, such as the Enterprise License Management Team (ELMT) Program, are used to the maximum extent possible (See NFS 1807.70).  Also consider using a reverse auctioning technique to increase competition and reduce costs for purchase card orders valued over $500.

 

1813.301-78  Priorities for use of mandatory Government sources.

FAR Part 8.002 lists priorities for use of Government supply sources.  Cardholders shall satisfy requirements for supplies and services from the following sources, listed below in descending order of priority, before ordering from a commercial vendor:

 

      (a)  In accordance with NPR 4200.1, Equipment Management, cardholders are responsible for determining, with assistance from the local Personal Property Disposal Officer, whether equipment is available from Agency inventory or excess from other agencies before purchasing new items.

 

      (b)  Federal Prison Industries, Inc., also referred to as UNICOR, is not mandatory for orders of $3,000 or less. See FAR 8.6 concerning orders over $3,000.

 

      (c)  Products available from Ability One and National Industries for the Blind (NIB) found on the Internet at www.abilityone.com.

 

1813.301-79  Supporting Federal policies, regulations, and NASA procedural requirements.

Cardholders are responsible for compliance with Federal policies, regulations, and NASA procedural requirements when placing orders.  The following are additional requirements:

 

            (a)(1)  Special Approvals.  There are a variety of Federal regulations and NASA procedural requirements that require the cardholder to obtain special approvals before placing an order for certain items, to include the following:

 

Item

Special Approval Authority

Electronic and Information Technology (E&IT), including items such as desktop computers, laptops, iPods, iPads, and cell or smart phones, not purchased under the NASA IT contracts or blanket purchase agreements.

Center or Installation Chief Information Officer (CIO), or designee.

 

Equipment, such as shop equipment, construction equipment, power tools, etc., that emit sound at or above 80 dBA, measured at 1 meter distance from equipment surface.

Center or Installation Buy Quiet Program Coordinator, or designee.

 

See NPR 1800.1

Pressure systems and their components, such as pressure vessels (including composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs)), gas storage bottles, piping, gas storage bottles, valves, gauges, regulators, and fittings.

Center or Installation Safety and Mission Assurance Official, or designee.

 

See NASA Standard 8719.17

Compressors and generators.

Approvals required from all of the following:

 

(1) Center or Installation Safety and Mission Assurance Official, or designee;

 

See NASA Standard 8719.17

 

(2) Center or Installation Buy Quiet Program Coordinator, or designee; and

 

(3) Center or Installation Environmental Official, or designee.

 

Lifting devices and equipment such as cranes, hoists, forklifts, slings, shackles, and related hardware.

Center or Installation Safety and Mission Assurance Official, or designee.

Critical, complex, or high-risk items subject to quality system requirements and Government surveillance. Note these items require a purchase order to include the quality standards and shall only be purchased by cardholders with the appropriate contracting authority.

Center or Installation Safety and Mission Assurance Official, or designee.

 

See NPD 8730.5, Appendix A, and NPR 8735.2, Chapter 2.

Flight hardware, critical ground support equipment (GSE).

Center or Installation GIDEP (Government-Industry Data Exchange Program) Representative, or designee.

 

See NPR 8735.1.

Moderate or high-impact IT system.

 

Purchase cardholders shall not acquire moderate or high-impact IT systems unless it is:

 

(a) Listed on the NASA OCIO’s Assessed and Cleared IT List; or

(b) NASA Form (NF) 1823, Request for Investigation, has been approved by the NASA IT Security Division within the OCIO at NASA Headquarters.

 

 

NASA HQ Office of the Chief Information Officer, NASA IT Security Division, or designee.

 

See PCD 15-03A.

Hazardous substances and potentially hazardous substances and articles, such as chemicals, toxic substances, explosives, biological substances, and radioactive materials.

Center or Installation Safety and Mission Assurance Official, or designee.

 

See NPR 1800.1.

Radio transmitters or items containing radio transmitters.

Center or Installation Spectrum Manager, or designee.

 

See NPD 2570.5.

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and drones.

Center or Installation Flight Operations Representative, or designee.

 

See NPR 7900.3.

Purchase, rent/lease, transfer, or exchange duplicating or copying equipment.

Center or Installation Printing Management Officer, or designee.

 

See NPD 1490.1.

Printing supplies or services.

Center or Installation Chief Information Officer (CIO), or designee.

 

See NFS 1808.802

Business cards.

Immediate supervisor of the NASA employee making the request.

 

See NPD 1490.6.

Promotional and personal use items.

Immediate supervisor of the NASA employee making the request.

 

See NASA Mission Support Council (MSC) Decision Memorandum MSC-2011-12-001, as amended.

Awards, gifts or other similar items (e.g., food, clothing) shall not be purchased with appropriated funds, unless there is specific statutory authority.

Requires consultation with either the Center Office of Chief Counsel or HQ Office of General Counsel.

 

 

See Necessary Expense Doctrine explained at NFS 1813.301-79(b).

Non-monetary awards for NASA employees.

Immediate supervisor of the NASA employee making the request.

 

See NPR 3451.1, NASA Awards and Recognition Program, and the Center’s award program and procedures.

Clothing.

Generally, there are three circumstances when a cardholder may purchase clothing—

(1)  Required uniforms or clothing with identifying insignia (e.g., NASA logo), and when there is a job-related requirement for the NASA employee to wear this clothing;

(2)  Personal protective equipment or clothing, such as footwear or eyewear, and so forth, required for health and safety reasons while performing official duties; or

(3)  Awards as discussed herein.

Immediate supervisor of the NASA employee making the request.

Food preparation and handling equipment, including but not limited to coffee makers, microwaves, or refrigerators.

(1)  Appropriations can be used to pay for items ordinarily considered to be personal in nature, such as kitchen appliances, when the primary benefit of their use accrues to the agency, notwithstanding a collateral benefit to individual NASA employees; and

(2)  Center procedural requirements concerning facility safety rules and procedures shall be followed.

Immediate supervisor of the NASA employee making the request and a Center or HQ Health/Safety Official, or designee.

Light refreshments or meals.

Cardholders shall not purchase light refreshments, meals or beverages (including alcoholic beverages) unless there is a specific authority allowing for such purchases. The following authorities may allow the use of appropriated funds to purchase such items—

(1)  Government Employees Training Act (GETA);

(2)  Federal Travel Regulations (as determined by GSA);

(3)  Government Employees’ Incentive Awards Act (GEIAA); and

(4)  Official Representational Fund (ORF) Authority.

Immediate supervisor of the NASA employee making the request.

 

For purchase card purchases subject to ORF authority, see NPD 9050.1, as amended.

Membership fees for individual NASA employees in professional associations.

5 U.S.C. 5946(1) prohibits the use of appropriated funds to pay for individual employee memberships in professional associations and societies. However, the use of appropriated funds to pay membership fees in private organizations is not prohibited by Federal regulations when the membership is purchased in the agency’s name. In addition, the membership must primarily benefit NASA, not individual employees. 

Immediate supervisor of the NASA employee making the request.

 

See 5 U.S.C. 5946(1).

Design, preparation or creation of NASA-funded communications material for the purpose of conveying information about NASA’s mission, projects, programs, safety practices, and other activities for the consumption of internal and/or external audiences.  NASA-funded communications material includes, but is not limited to: newspapers, posters, bookmarks, brochures, fliers, handouts, customized stationary products, DVD/CD packaging, signage, banners, banner stand and pop-up graphics, infographics, and other design and artwork.

NASA Headquarters, Office of Communications, telephone 202-358-1600.

 

See NPD 2521.1.

Purchase of any software requirements.

Center CIO and the Enterprise License Management Team Program Office, or designee.

 

See NFS 1807.70.

 

            (2)  Proper Documentation of Special Approvals.  Special approvals shall be sufficiently documented in the cardholder’s files.  Acceptable documentation includes purchase requests, emails, or blanket authorizations from cognizant officials, such as the Center Office of Chief Counsel or the NASA Headquarters Office of General Counsel.

 

      (b)  The Necessary Expense Doctrine.  The Necessary Expense Doctrine allows for expenditures, not specifically provided for in an agency’s appropriation, only if the expenditure is reasonably necessary to carry out an authorized function of an agency, or will contribute materially to the effective accomplishment of an agency’s function, and is not otherwise prohibited by law.  All purchase card orders shall comply with the Necessary Expense Doctrine.  Questionable orders involving the Necessary Expense Doctrine shall be coordinated through the Center Office of Chief Counsel or the NASA Headquarters Office of General Counsel.  Cardholders and approving officials are cautioned that while it may otherwise be permissible to purchase certain items subject to the Necessary Expense Doctrine, agency or center policy may prohibit, restrict, or control the purchase or use of such items.

 

      (c)  Place Orders with Responsible Businesses.  Contractors debarred, suspended, or proposed for debarment are excluded from receiving orders.  Cardholders are encouraged to review the Excluded Parties List at https://www.sam.gov to ensure that no award is made to a listed contractor.  While use of electronic commerce is strongly encouraged, cardholders shall ensure all online purchases are made only through secure websites of responsible businesses.

 

      (d)  Distribute Purchases Equitably.  FAR 13.203(a)(1) states, to the extent practicable, cardholders shall distribute purchases equitably among qualified sources.  This does not apply to orders placed with required sources, e.g., AbilityOne.

 

      (e)  Use Small Businesses.  Cardholders are encouraged to order from small businesses whenever possible.

 

      (f)  Comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.  Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 749d) was enacted to ensure that Federal employees and members of the public with disabilities have access to the Federal Government's Electronic & Information Technology.  Purchase card orders for electronic and information technology items must comply with the requirements of Section 508 and must be coordinated through Center CIOs.

 

      (g)  Purchase sustainable products.  As required by FAR Part 23 and NPR 8530.1, cardholders shall purchase environmentally preferable products which are energy-efficient, biobased, or contain recovered materials unless the product cannot be acquired—

            (i)  Within a reasonable time frame;

            (ii)  Meeting reasonable performance standards; or

            (iii)  At a reasonable price.

 

If the cost of the item is above the micro-purchase threshold, the cardholder must have a waiver from the facility environmental manager before placing the order.  See NPR 8530.1 concerning the waiver process.  If the cost of the item is below the micro-purchase threshold, the cardholder shall note in the order log the reason an environmentally preferable product was not purchased.  The Environmental Protection Agency’s Comprehensive Procurement Guideline (CPG) lists products containing recovered materials at: http://www.epa.gov/wastes/conserve/tools/cpg/products/index.htm.  A searchable database of United Stated Department of Agriculture BioPreferred Catalog is available at http://www.biopreferred.gov/BioPreferred/faces/catalog/Catalog.xhtml .  For a list of ENERGY STAR® qualified products, see http://www.energystar.gov/products.

 

      (h)  Enforce tax exempt status.  Cardholders shall remind vendors that orders are for the U.S. Government and are tax exempt.  If a vendor insists on charging tax, the cardholder should not place the order unless there is no alternative.  If taxes are paid, the cardholder shall enter this as a separate line item within the purchase order log and explain why taxes were paid in the “comments” section.

 

1813.301-80  Verification of receipt and equipment tracking.

 

      (a)  For all items over $500, cardholders shall obtain 3rd party (other than the cardholder or the approving official) independent verification that the item ordered has been received.  This may be accomplished in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to, having the recipient of the item verify receipt with a signature or initials on the sales invoice, packing slip, bill of lading, or any other shipping or receiving document, or an e-mail from the recipient verifying delivery; having the property official tag the item, etc.  Verification of receipt shall be documented in the cardholder’s records.

 

      (b)  Cardholders are responsible for coordinating with their organization’s property official to ensure that any accountable, sensitive personal, or hazardous property the cardholder orders is correctly received, tagged, recorded, and brought under control.  All cardholders and approving officials shall ensure purchases made with the card comply with NPR 4200.1, Equipment Management, and any local property requirements.

 

1813.301-81  The Reconciliation and dispute process.

 

      (a)  NPR 9631.1, Appendix B, lists the responsibilities of the cardholder and the approving official in the reconciliation of purchase card transactions.  These steps shall be followed to ensure proper payment is made for appropriate transactions.  Cardholders are responsible for disputing any improper charges.

 

      (b)  Typically, disputes occur because the order was not received or only partially received, is unacceptable, or the charge is unauthorized or duplicative.  Before initiating a dispute through the contractor bank, cardholders shall contact the vendor in question and attempt to resolve the issue either by obtaining a replacement item or credit where appropriate.  If an item bought with the card is returned, the supplier must credit the card account. It is the cardholder's responsibility to follow up with the suppliers to ensure credits are received.  If the cardholder cannot resolve the issue with the vendor, then the cardholder shall dispute the transaction with the bank contractor via the bank’s electronic access system or by faxing the dispute form to the bank.  Cardholders must dispute a transaction within 90 days from the transaction date.  Promptly disputing items is a protection against fraud and misuse of the card.  Cardholders, approving officials, or both may be required to reimburse the Government for any unauthorized or erroneous purchase card transactions that were not disputed.

 

      (c)  Sales tax, convenience check charges, and purchases processed through third party payment systems, such as PayPal, cannot be disputed through the contractor bank.  The cardholder is responsible for resolving problems with the vendor involving these charges.

 

1813.301-82  Convenience checks.

 

      (a)  The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, as implemented by 31 CFR part 208, requires that all Federal payments must be made by electronic funds transfer (EFT).  The Department of the Treasury has ruled that convenience checks are not electronic funds transfer (EFT) compliant and therefore cannot be used unless they meet the waiver conditions detailed in the Act.  Convenience checks are a procurement tool which must only be used as a last resort, in limited circumstances, and in compliance with the Act.

 

      (b)  Convenience checks may be used only when–

            (1)  Payment is to a recipient within an area designated by the President or an authorized agency administrator as a disaster area; (This use is limited to payments made within 120 days after the disaster is declared.  See FAR Part 18, Emergency Acquisitions, for additional information.)

            (2)  The need for goods and services is of such unusual and compelling urgency that the Government would be seriously injured unless payment is made by a method other than electronic funds transfer; or where there is only one source for goods or services and the Government would be seriously injured unless payment is made by a method other than electronic funds transfer; or

            (3)  The Agency does not expect to make more than one payment to the same recipient within a one-year period, i.e., the payment is non-recurring, and the cost of making the payment via electronic funds transfer exceeds the cost of making the payment by check.

 

      (c)  Convenience checks shall not be used for–

            (1)  Transactions where the vendor will accept the purchase card;

            (2)  Transactions where another method of acquisition, e.g., purchase orders and contracts, could be used;

            (3)  Employee reimbursements;

            (4)  Cash advances;

            (5)  Salary payments, cash awards, or any transaction processed through the payroll system; or

            (6)  Travel-related transportation tickets, meals or lodging related to employee travel.  Check writers must document the specific circumstances justifying the use of the check.  Any use of the checks which does not fall in one of the exceptions listed in (b) above is prohibited.

 

      (d)  Not all cardholders are eligible for convenience check writing authority.  This authority must be requested in writing from the cardholder’s approving official to the center procurement officer.  The request must document the items or types of items which warrant use of the check in accordance with the limitations set forth in paragraph (b).  If the need is established, the procurement officer will issue a written delegation of authority to maintain and use convenience checks to the cardholder.

 

      (e)  Delegations for check writing authority shall be issued separately from cardholder delegations.  The delegation letter shall specify the single purchase limit per check, the monthly spend limit, the internal controls required over the checks, e.g., tracking checks numbers, safeguarding checks.  The single purchase limit for checks shall not exceed the micro-purchase threshold unless the center procurement officer has authorized a higher limit for a warranted contracting officer who is also a purchase cardholder.  A copy of the delegation letter shall be maintained by the check writer and a copy sent to the approving official.

 

      (f)  Once the delegation is approved, the CPC will order checks for the cardholder.  Convenience checks will be printed with the check writer’s name and shall only be used by that person.  The CPC shall keep a record of all check numbers issued to each authorized user.  Each individual authorized to use convenience checks must comply with internal controls, which include tracking each check by number, safeguarding the checks, and closely overseeing that the checks are used properly.  The destruction of any checks, e.g., because they were voided or the cardholder left the organization, must be documented by the approving official.  Cardholders shall keep a register of all the checks issued to them, by number, and their disposition.  The approving official shall conduct a quarterly physical inventory of the checks.  The cardholder shall store convenience checks in a locked container, such as a safe or locking filing cabinet.

 

      (g)  Checks must be used in sequential order.  Each convenience check must be entered in a check register and P-Card Web Solution system order log for tracking purposes.  To document that a check was used, the check writer shall type “CC,” (for convenience check) the check number, and the payee name in the “supplier field” of the P-Card Solution Order Log.  The check fee shall be entered as a separate line item in the log.  At a minimum, the following information must be entered on each check:

            (1)  A date, spelled out (e.g., October 30, 2015).  Checks shall not be pre- or postdated;

            (2)  The name of the payee.  The payee line on convenience checks shall not be issued to “cash” or left blank.  Checks shall not be issued to the check writer or the approving official.

            (3)  The amount of the convenience check shall be written in the spaces provided in numbers and words, e.g., one hundred twenty-six dollars and 39/100 in the applicable space.

            (4)  An original signature.

 

      (h)  Convenience checks shall be written only for the exact amount of the purchase.  Cardholders shall not split purchases into smaller units to circumvent their single purchase limit.  The cardholder shall note in the log the date the check was issued and how it was issued, i.e., handed to the recipient or mailed.

 

      (i)  The cardholder may stop payment on a convenience checks by calling the contractor bank’s customer service representative.  The customer service representative will review the account to see if the convenience check has already posted.  The bank must stop payment on a convenience check within 24 hours of notification.  Additionally, the APC or CPC can stop payments on checks in the PaymentNet system.  If a convenience check has been cleared through the banking process, payment cannot be stopped.

 

      (j)  Cardholders shall reorder checks in writing through their CPC with a copy to their approving official.  CPCs, cardholders, and their approving officials are responsible for tracking each check number the cardholder is issued and how it is used.  When the cardholder is leaving the organization or will not be using the checks, the cardholder shall return any unused checks to the CPC.  The approving official shall ensure that return of the checks to the CPC is documented.

 

      (k)  Cardholders are required to contact the contractor bank’s customer service department, their approving official, and their CPC within 24 hours to report incidents of lost or stolen convenience checks.  Because the account information may have been compromised, the account will be closed.  A new account number will be assigned and new convenience checks will be issued.

 

      (l)  Copies of posted convenience checks are retained on file with the contractor bank for three years.  The contractor bank’s electronic access system has electronic images of processed checks available for viewing at any time.  The bank will provide hard copies of processed convenience checks upon request.  Original convenience checks are not returned.

 

      (m)  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires that information be collected for reporting income to the IRS when a convenience check is used for certain purchases.  When checks are written to individuals for services, the cardholder must collect certain tax information.  For IRS Form 1099 reporting, cardholders shall collect and record the following information:

            (1)  Full, legal name.

            (2)  Complete business address (street, city, zip).

            (3)  Tax identification number for a business or social security number for an individual.

 

The cardholder shall provide this information to the CPC upon request.  Failure to file a correct IRS Form 1099 by the due date may result in the IRS imposing a penalty on NASA.  Consequently, cardholders must assure that the necessary information is recorded and provided to the CPC in a timely manner.

 

      (n)  The convenience check transactions will appear on the cardholder’s monthly statement and the monthly transaction file within P-Card Web Solution.  Transactions shall be reconciled within five working days of receipt of the statement.  No dispute process is available through the contractor bank with the convenience check.  Any concerns over a purchase made with a convenience check must be resolved directly by the cardholder with the merchant.  The Agency will be responsible for paying convenience checks that are signed by the cardholder and posted to their account.  The approving official shall ensure that the cardholder promptly resolves any billing discrepancy with the merchant.  The reconciled transactions shall be reviewed and approved by the approving official within the P-Card Web Solution system.

 

      (o)  If fraud is suspected, the cardholder shall contact the contractor bank to initiate an investigation and immediately notify their CPC.  See 1813.301-83(h).

 

1813.301-83  Purchase card internal controls.

 

      (a)  Oversight of the Purchase Card Program is accomplished on many levels.  Oversight of individual transactions ensures the card is used appropriately and items acquired are authorized in accordance with NASA and Federal policy.  Organizational oversight helps analyze spending data, identify systemic problems and vulnerabilities, and combat fraud, waste, or mismanagement.  Consistent and vigilant oversight is the responsibility of everyone involved in the program.

 

      (b)  Cardholder Oversight.  Cardholders play a vital role in ensuring the card is properly used.  Before placing orders, cardholders must evaluate each request to ensure that the requirement complies with Federal and Agency acquisition and appropriation rules.  Cardholders should discuss any inappropriate or questionable requests with the originator.  If concerns or doubts still remain, cardholders must promptly raise the issue with their approving official, CPC, or other official, as appropriate.  Cardholders must diligently review their monthly statements, reconcile their transactions within five working days and dispute any erroneous charges within 90 days.

 

      (c)  Approving Official Oversight.  Approving officials are responsible for conducting reviews of their cardholders' transactions to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations, policy, special approvals, and purchase card procedures prior to approving the monthly billing statement.  This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring that special approvals are documented as well as reviewing purchase card logs and transaction reports.

 

      (d)  CPC Oversight.  CPCs shall perform oversight as specified in NASA’s Purchase Card Internal Review Guide for CPCs.  The Guide is posted on the Purchase Card web site at https://www.nssc.nasa.gov/purchasecard.  Completion of the reviews and any findings shall be reported to the APC with CPC’s input to the NASA Purchase Card Quarterly Report which is submitted by the APC to the Office of Management and Budget.

 

      (e)  Center Self-Assessment and Procurement Management Reviews.  Each Center must address their plans for oversight of their purchase card program in the Center Self-Assessment Plan.  The plan must address the areas required in OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B.

 

      (f)  Office of Procurement.  The Office of Procurement conducts purchase card reviews as a part of each center’s scheduled Procurement Management Reviews.

 

      (g)  Oversight from Other Organizations.

            (1)  The Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) will review purchase card transactions and any supporting documentation as deemed necessary for compliance with fiscal policy.  Additionally, other NASA organizations may review purchase card transactions for compliance with NASA procedural requirements.  OCFO reviews must be coordinated with the APC and the cognizant analyst from the HQ Office of Procurement, Analysis Division.

            (2)  Other organizations, such as the Office of Inspector General (OIG), Government Accountability Office (GAO), or Office of Management and Budget (OMB) may be involved in purchase card reviews.  These reviews shall be coordinated with cognizant HQ Office of Procurement analyst and the APC.  The APC will cooperate with these organizations to ensure that information is shared, irregularities are identified and investigated, fraud and abuse are eliminated or prosecuted, and suggested program enhancements in the oversight area are considered for development and implementation.

 

      (h)  Reporting suspected fraud.  Complaints of fraud, waste, and abuse, including mismanagement or violations of law, rules, or regulations in NASA programs and operations by NASA employees or program participants may be reported to the Acquisition Integrity Program within the Office of General Counsel.  Confidential reports may also be made by contacting the OIG.  See http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/oig/hq/hotline.html for OIG hotline information.

 

      (i)  Cardholders who misuse the card, or approving officials who advise or order a cardholder to misuse the card, may be subject to immediate cancellation of their account, pecuniary liability, and disciplinary action.  Potential disciplinary actions, notwithstanding the outcome of any applicable criminal proceedings, range from written reprimand, to suspension or removal as set forth in the NASA Desk Guide for Table of Disciplinary Offenses issued by the Office of Human Capital Management.

 

      (j)  The CPCs, in coordination with the center procurement officers, may suspend or cancel cardholder or approving official accounts in the following instances:

            (1)  Failure to timely reconcile or approve monthly statements.

            (2)  Failure to maintain required training.

            (3)  Misuse of the purchase card (e.g., acquiring prohibited items/services, splitting acquisitions, allowing others to use the purchase card).

            (4)  Failure to follow file documentation requirements (see 1813.301-75).

 

      (k)  If any employee knowingly uses the card for unapproved or unofficial purposes such action may be considered as an attempt to commit fraud against the Government.  The cardholder is held personally liable to the Government for the amount of any unapproved purchases and may be subject to a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than five (5) years or both under 18 U.S.C. 287, False Claims, and related fraud criminal codes.

 

1813.302  Purchase orders.

 

1813.302-1  General.

 

      (a)  See 1813.003(g).

 

1813.302-570  NASA solicitation provisions.

 

      (a)(1)  The contracting officer may use the provision at 1852.213-70, Offeror Representations and Certifications—Other Than Commercial Items, in simplified acquisitions exceeding the mircro-purchase threshold that are for other than commercial items.  This provision shall not be used for acquisition of commercial items as defined in FAR 2.101.

            (2)  This provision provides a single, consolidated list of certifications and representations for the acquisition of other than commercial items using simplified acquisition procedures and is attached to the solicitation for offerors to complete and return with their offer.

                  (i)  Use the provision with its Alternate I in solicitations for acquisitions that are for, or specify the use of recovered materials (see FAR 23.4).

                  (ii)  Use the provision with its Alternate II in solicitations for the acquisition of research, studies, supplies, or services of the type normally acquired from higher education institutions (see FAR 26.3).

                  (iii)  Use the provision with its Alternate III in solicitation which include the clause at FAR 52.227-14, Rights in Data—General (see FAR 27.404(d)(2) and 1827.404(d)).

 

      (b)  The contracting officer may insert a provision substantially the same as the provision at 1852.213-71, Evaluation—Other than Commercial Items, in solicitations using simplified acquisition procedures for other than commercial items when a trade-off source selection process will be used, that is, factors in addition to technical acceptability and price will be considered.  (See FAR 13.106.)

 

1813.302-70  Purchase orders under section 8(a) of the Small Business Act.

Purchase orders made using simplified acquisition procedures are authorized for 8(a) acquisitions under the simplified acquisition threshold.

 

1813.302-71  Policy.

 

      (a)  The NASA Shared Services Center (NSSC) is designated as the Agency’s sole purchasing activity for the acquisition of all supplies and services valued at or below the simplified acquisition threshold (SAT), except for the following:

            (1)  Purchases made using the Government purchase card (see 1813.301), unless the purchase card function has been delegated to the NSSC.

            (2)  Indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts or blanket purchase agreements (BPAs) that permit the award of orders with a potential value over the SAT.

            (3)  Orders, regardless of value, awarded against IDIQ contracts or BPAs that have been retained by the center.  This does not include orders issued against any of the Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) contracts.

            (4)  Interagency Agreements.

            (5)  Orders for construction, facility repair or architect & engineering (A&E) services (Material Groups: C1, C2, Y, and Z).

            (6)  SAT purchases made by institutional support contractors on behalf of the Agency.

 

      (b)  Agency requiring activities shall use the Simplified Acquisition Customer Portal (SACP) to submit SAT requests to the NSSC for processing, tracking and award.  The SACP is assessable via the NASA Enterprise Service Desk at https://esd.nasa.gov/esd.  Materials pertaining to the use of the SACP, and other NSSC SAT guidance and procedures are located on the NSSC SAT webpage at URL: https://www.nssc.nasa.gov/simplifiedacquisition.

 

      (c)  A purchase request, which NSSC needs to obligate funds, must be created and approved within the SAP system when a SAT request is entered in the SACP.  The requiring activity shall be responsible for obtaining all necessary center reviews/approvals (e.g., organizational management, safety & health, quality assurance, property and information technology).

 

1813.303  Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs).

 

1813.303-3  Preparation of BPAs.

 

      (a)(4)  Non-GS-1102 or -1105 personnel shall not be authorized to place individual orders under a BPA in an amount greater than $5,000.  For sole source orders above the micro-purchase threshold, a contracting officer’s determination is required in accordance with FAR 13.106-1(b)(1).

 

1813.307  Forms.

 

      (b)  Installations may use locally prescribed forms or the OF 347.

 

      (c)  Installations may use locally prescribed forms.

 

      (d)  The SF 44 may be used for purchases of aviation fuel and oil of $10,000 or less.