Richland School District Two leaders revising P-Card program procedures after Inspector General report

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Published: May. 24, 2023 at 10:10 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Richland School District Two leaders are laying out a revised policy for their purchasing card program.

After a report from the State Inspector General questioned the lack of procedures for purchasing cards. A P-card is given to district employees who are assigned to make executive purchases for the district. The cards have a daily limit of 2500 dollars. A presentation of the revised P-card program policy showed nearly 200 employees have access to the cards.

The Inspector General cited three instances of improper use of the P-card and for several other purchases, he cited there was not enough information on the transaction to declare whether or not they were authorized. The revised policy will follow recommendations made by the Inspector General in his report.

This is a look at the P-Card Transaction Review:

It shows the three transactions that noted improper use of the cards. It included a 200-dollar purchase from Quill Office Supplies. A 700-dollar purchase from that same vendor and a 97-thousand-dollar software purchase from a software company in Finland. The Inspector General also noted transactions for recurring monthly bills, like cell phones and utility bills.

“Just based upon the information that came out both from the auditor and the IG report, the district needs to do a better job of addressing and providing oversight for the usage of P-cards,” said Lindsay Agostini, Richland School District Two Board Chair

In addition to the cited misuse of the P-card, the Attorney General also stated that there was no clear policy or procedures in place for P-card usage, leaving the program susceptible to fraud.

Procurement Director LaWana Robinson-Lee laid out part of the newly revised policy on Tuesday night.

“All transactions must be reconciled by the 27th of each month. Purchases can be made by the cardholder or the card user,” said Agostini.

A proxy reconciler, a full-time employee with the district usually designated by the principal or department head, will also be responsible for keeping up with all receipts for each transaction for internal and external audits. A procurement specialist will use the Bank of America Reporting System called Works to keep up with transaction records and ensure the P-card is not being misused.

“Just based upon what they found, when you look at what was cited in the IG report a lot of it was just documentation issues that need to be better addressed, you know more appropriate documentation,” said Agostini.

Bi-annual training will also be required for P-card users. The policy gives clear consequences for P-card misuse. That includes revoking the card for up to a year or permanently, depending on the misconduct. Reimbursement, or payroll deduction for any unauthorized or non-business transactions and prosecution or termination of employment.

Agostini tells WIS, “They are working to make sure that we get it correct and to make sure that we are providing appropriate oversight and make sure all the measures we have in place provide appropriate oversight.”

The revised policy is 75 percent complete. The district was given a deadline of July 1, for the completion of the revised P-card policy.

Training on the revised policy, the P-card manual, and purchasing procedures will be held this summer.

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