What is Misuse?
HB1113 becomes effective July 1, 2008. This House Bill addresses personal benefit through multiple resources or methods and outlines significant criminal penalties. The bill also includes a number of specific requirements with respect to purchasing cards or P-Cards and outlines P-Card misuse that may result in civil and/or criminal penalties.
HB1113 and P-Card Impacts
Under HB 1113, employees hired for job positions for which purchasing cards are issued shall be subject to criminal background checks before hiring and a credit check shall be completed on all employees to whom a purchasing card is issued prior to issue. At UGA, any position that is also a P-Card holder is deemed to be a “position of trust”, and as such, a criminal background check and credit check will be completed prior to hiring of the individual. In cases where an existing employee becomes a new cardholder, the position will now be a “position of trust”.
House Bill 1113 establishes that any person who uses resources or methods such as purchase orders, government contracts or credit cards (P-Cards) for personal benefit will face civil and criminal penalties. Common examples of purchasing methods at UGA include, but are not limited to purchase orders, check requests, petty cash accounts/advances, government contracts, credit cards, charge cards or debit cards. This also includes the submission of fraudulent requests for expense reimbursement. Any person, including but not limited to a supervisor, who knowingly assists another person in violating this law will be subject to the same criminal charges and penalties. There is no gray area under this new law, and thus, any misuse, including inadvertent use (such as mistakenly using a P-Card for a personal purchase) constitutes a violation of HB 1113 and must be reported.
HB 1113 also establishes a number of requirements specific to P-Card program. Please reference P-Card Misuse and How to Report It for further information.
A number of policy and procedural matters are noted in HB 1113 including:
- P-Cards only be issued to employees whose job duties require the use of a P-Card;
- Employees receiving a P-Card sign an ethical behavior agreement;
- Transaction logs be maintained to show specific information for each purchase;
- Purchases be reviewed and approved by supervisory personnel
- Departments review not less than annually, all P-Cards issued to employees and eliminate cards for employees with low usage;
- Employers perform criminal background checks and credit checks on persons hired for positions for which purchasing cards are issued;
- Purchases be accompanied by receipts and supporting documentation and if they are not supported, the employee will be personally responsible for the purchase;
- An employee’s supervisor who knowingly intentionally, willfully, wantonly, or recklessly allows or who consipires with any employee who has a P-Card and violates the requirements under HB 1113, is subject to termination of employment and criminal prosecution.