`Procurement cards' to be distributed to Carroll workers


January 14, 2004

To reduce paperwork and save money, the Carroll County government has implemented a payment system that will allow employees to use government credit cards to make minor work-related purchases.

About 61 employees, mostly from the county Bureau of Facilities, are expected to receive "procurement cards" in the next eight weeks, said Cindy Miller, a senior buyer with the county's Bureau of Purchasing.

The cards will function as conventional credit cards do: Employees will have a $2,500 limit with the maximum of $500 allowed per purchase, Miller said yesterday. In some cases, department heads will have higher limits for emergency use, she said.

In discussing the county policy for using procurement cards, Miller told the Carroll County commissioners that safeguards are in place, including blocks on travel and entertainment purchases. Employees also will undergo training.

The county can place stricter guidelines on the cards by limiting the type of products and stores where purchases can be made, Miller said.

The county could see cost savings from using the cards: Some vendors offer discounts or rebates to card users because the merchants receive payment faster than they do through billing invoices, Miller said.

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