Travel Card Controls Gauge
Glossary

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A

Administrative Action: Administrative Action is the contacting of appropriate personnel (including Agency/Organization Program Coordinators, Approving Officials, or other accountable/billing officials) to ensure that agency policies are enforced, payments on delinquent accounts are addressed, and corrective actions are taken to prevent further occurrence.

In the case of card delinquency, the following are examples of administrative actions:

  • Suspend employee accounts once they reach 61 days past the statement date
  • Instruct that the travel card vendor cancel cards, withhold account reinstatement, initiate collection efforts, notify credit bureaus, and assess late fees

In the case of card misuse, the following are proposed administrative actions:

  • Deactivate, suspend, or cancel employee accounts

In the case of suspected fraud, travel card managers must refer these instances to independent investigatory agencies for investigation.
Source: OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B Chapter 4.3, 4.5, 4.7

Agency/ Organization Program Coordinator (A/OPC): The Agency/Organization Program Coordinator oversees the card program(s) for his or her Agency/Organization and establishes guidelines. The A/OPC serves as the focal point for reporting to management, administering task orders, establishing and maintaining accounts, and issuing and destroying cards.
Source: OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B Glossary

Approving Official (AO): The Approving Official (also, typically a supervisor) signs the traveler’s voucher, indicating approval for payment and for its content.
Source: OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B Glossary

C

Centrally Billed Account (CBA): A Centrally Billed Account is an account established by the travel card vendor at the request of the agency/organization. These accounts may be card or cardless. Payments for these accounts are made directly to the travel card vendor by the agency.
Source: OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B Glossary

Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 (CFO Act of 1990):
The Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 improves, in each agency of the Federal Government, systems of accounting, financial management, and internal controls to assure the issuance of reliable financial information and to deter fraud, waste, and abuse of Government resources.
Source: CFO Act of 1990 Section 102

D

Data Mining: Data Mining is an automated process used to scan data bases to detect patterns, trends and/or anomalies for use in risk management or other areas of analysis.
Source: OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B Glossary

Defined Threshold (Credit Score): The Defined Threshold is the credit score that an applicant’s credit score must be equal to or higher than to receive a travel card. Examples of acceptable credit scores are FICO, an acronym for Fair Isaac Corporation, a Beacon score, etc.
Source: OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B Chapter 6.3

Defined Threshold (Receipt Retention): The Defined Threshold is the minimum dollar limit at which a cardholder is required to retain and submit receipts for travel expenses. To substantiate claimed travel expenses, the cardholder must provide a receipt for any expenses costing over the Defined Threshold, or a reason acceptable to the agency explaining why the cardholder is unable to provide the necessary receipt.
Source: FTR Chapter 301-11.25

Delinquency/Delinquent Account/Delinquent Charge Card Amounts: A Delinquent Account has an account balance that is unpaid for more than 61 days past the statement date.
Source: OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B Glossary

Department of Defense (DoD) Financial Management Regulation:
The Department of Defense Financial Management Regulation sets forth the policy and procedures with respect to mandatory use of the travel card under the Travel and Transportation Reform Act of 1998. It also establishes procedures for travel card issuance.
Source: DoD Financial Management Regulation

Disciplinary Action: Disciplinary Action is additional action (e.g. written letter of reprimand, suspension of pay) deemed appropriate by the agency and applied by individual supervisors to correct instances of card delinquency or misuse.
Source: OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B Chapter 4.3, 4.5, 4.7

E

Exemptions (Mandatory Use): The Administrator of General Services exempts the following spend types from the Mandatory Use of the travel card:

  • Expenses incurred at a vendor that does not accept the travel card
  • Laundry/dry cleaning
  • Parking
  • Local transportation system
  • Taxi
  • Tips
  • Meals (when use of the card is impractical, e.g., group meals)
  • Phone calls (when a Government calling card is available for use in accordance with agency policy)
  • Relocation allowances, except en-route travel and house-hunting trip expenses

The Administrator of General Services exempts the following employees from the Mandatory Use of the travel card:

  • Employees who have applications pending for the travel card
  • Individuals traveling on invitational travel
  • New appointees
  • Employees who travel 5 times or less a year

Source: FTR Chapter 301-51.2

F

Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003 (FACTA): The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003 (FACTA) helps consumers fight the growing crime of identity theft. Accuracy, privacy, limits on information sharing, and new consumer rights to disclosure are included in FACTA.
Source: FACTA

Federal Travel Regulation (FTR): The Federal Travel Regulation implements statutory requirements and Executive Branch policies for the authorization of Federal civilian employees and others authorized to travel for official purposes at government expense.
Source: OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B Glossary

Fraud: Fraud is any felonious act of corruption or attempt to cheat the government or corrupt the government's agents. Use of government travel cards to transact business that is not sanctioned, not authorized, not in one’s official government capacity, not for the purpose for which the card was issued, not as a part of official government business, are instances of Fraud. This list is not intended to be all inclusive.
Source: OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B Glossary

Frequent Traveler: A Frequent Traveler is an employee who travels more than 5 times a year.
Source: FTR Chapter 301-51.2

G

Government Transportation Request (GTR): A government document used to procure common carrier transportation services. The document obligates the Government to pay for transportation services provided.
Source: FTR Chapter 300-3.1, Glossary

I

Individually Billed Account (IBA): An Individually Billed Account is a government contractor-issued travel card used by authorized individuals to pay for official travel- and transportation-related expenses for which the contractor (bank) bills the employee, and for which the individual is liable to pay.
Source: OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B Glossary

M

Misuse: Misuse is any use of a Federal travel card for expenses other than the official government purpose(s) for which it is intended.
Source: OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B Glossary

O

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-123, Appendix B: The Office of Management and Budget Circular A-123, Appendix B, establishes guidance for Executive branch agencies for improving the management of government travel card programs. The requirements in OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B pertain to the use of travel card programs by agencies and their employees and must be included in internal agency regulations, procedures, and training materials.
Source: OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B

P

Performance Metrics (or Performance Measures): Performance Metrics are statistics used to show the degree to which a program or activity is meeting performance expectations (e.g., goals or targets). A baseline measurement is established and future targets are set as part of a goal-reaching process. Metrics are generated from program-related data and are often expressed as ratios. The following Performance Metrics are required to be reported to the OMB monthly:

  • Travel Card Delinquency Rates, Individually Billed Accounts
  • Travel Card Delinquency Rates, Centrally Billed Accounts

Source: OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B Glossary, Chapter 5.5

Program Data: The following travel card Program Data are required to be reported:

  • Number of cards
  • Number of active accounts
  • Percentage of employees that are cardholders
  • Net number of new accounts (new less cancelled)
  • Travel card dollars spent
  • Total refunds earned
  • Percentage of potential refunds earned
  • Number of cases reported by the agency Office of Inspector General
  • Number of administrative and/or disciplinary actions taken for card misuse (including delinquency)
  • Number and percentage of travel cards with monthly and/or transaction limits ($0 - $2,500; $2,500 - $5,000; $5,000 - $7,500; $7,500 – above.)
  • Number and percentage of travel cards with ATM withdrawal limits ($0 - $2,500; $2,500 - $5,000; $5,000 - $7,500; $7,500 – above.)
  • Percentage of travel cardholders that travel less than 5 times annually

Source: OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B Chapter 5.3

R

Regular Basis: Depending on the agency, reporting travel card program data on a Regular Basis may mean quarterly or annually, beginning in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2006, with the report due not later than January 31, 2006.
Source: OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B Chapter 5.3

Reporting performance metrics on a Regular Basis means monthly for agencies listed in the original Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 and the Department of Homeland Security.
Source: OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B Chapter 5.5

Required Retention Period: The Required Retention Period for receipts is 6 years and 3 months as prescribed by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) under General Records Schedule 6, paragraph 1.
Source: FTR Chapter 301-52.4

Root Cause Analysis: Root Cause Analysis is a process for identify the underlying or original action(s), activity/activities or behavior(s) that ultimately led to the observation being investigated.

Restricted Card: A Restricted Travel Card is a travel card issued with one or more of the following limitations:

  • Reduced overall dollar limit
  • Reduced limit on individual transaction amounts or amounts within a particular time period
  • Limited types of transactions allowed
  • Limited length of time active
  • Restricted use at ATMs

Source: OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B Chapter 6.3

S

Salary Offset: Salary Offset is a direct deduction from an employee's payroll disbursement or retirement annuity on behalf of the charge card vendor.
Source: OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B Chapter 4.4

Securely Maintain: Securely Maintained data is housed in a secure container or area that precludes unauthorized access.
Source: DoD Financial Management Regulation Section 030701

Split Disbursement: Split Disbursement is the process of dividing a travel voucher reimbursement between the travel card vendor and card holder.
Source: OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B Chapter 4.4

Statement of Understanding or Agreement: A Statement of Understanding or Agreement is a form which provides the card applicant with appropriate program information and obtains the applicant’s signature.
Source: DoD Financial Management Regulation Section 030602

T

Time Frames (Training): The Time Frame is the specified period during which a cardholder, Agency/Organization Program Coordinator, or Approving Official is required to take training.
Source: OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B Chapter 3.4

Travel Card Reports: The following Travel Card Reports that may be monitored to detect instances of potential card delinquency, misuse, and fraud:

  • Delinquency reports from travel card vendors
  • Travel card statements
  • Account activity reports
  • Questionable charges reports

Source: OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B Chapter 4.4, 4.6, TTRA Section 301-70.708

Travel and Transportation Reform Act of 1998 (TTRA): The Travel and Transportation Reform Act of 1998 is an act that stipulates that the government-sponsored, contractor-issued travel card shall be used by all U.S. Government personnel to pay for costs incident to official business travel.
Source: TTRA

Travel Voucher: A Travel Voucher is a written request, supported by documentation and receipts where applicable, for reimbursement of expenses incurred in the performance of official travel, including permanent change of station (PCS) travel.
Source: FTR Glossary, FTR Chapter 301-71.201

U

Unavailable (Credit Score): A credit score is Unavailable when the card applicant refuses to provide consent to a credit check or does not have a credit history. For legislation regarding card applicant consent, see the Fair Credit Reporting Act Section 607- Compliance Procedures.
Source: OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B Chapter 6.4