Grand County completes draft purchasing, credit card policies
April 9, 2015
Grand County has completed a new draft purchasing, contracting and credit card policy.
The purchasing and contracting policy includes revisions to the county's bid process to conform to state statutes, foster competition and ensure that the county gets the "best overall value" for its money.
The new credit card policy shores up requirements for reporting and recording purchases made on county credit cards, as well as delineating the types of purchases employees can make with county credit cards.
Assistant County Manager Ed Moyer presented the policy to the Grand County Board of Commissioners at a policy workshop on Monday, April 6.
Also present was John Dickinson, a spokesman for the group Citizens for Transparency in Grand County Government.
Dickinson said his group had uncovered a number of examples through records requests of county employees failing to provide adequate documentation with credit card purchases.
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Dickinson referred specifically to a $500 meal bill at Brickhouse 40 in Granby, which he said included only the credit card receipt.
"It should be the complete meal ticket with the payment receipt because then the public realizes there was no alcohol purchased," Dickinson said.
He also said that some purchases on county credit cards seemed to be for personal items, with employees later reimbursing the credit card company.
"That's called 'float on the money,' which the IRS is very strict about," Dickinson said.
The new policy specifically precludes purchases of fuel for privately owned vehicles, alcohol or any purchases "for non-county purposes." Dickinson stated that employees should be discouraged from using gas cards to purchase items like food and beverages, which he said was common practice on gas cards for certain departments.
The policy also forbids employees from ordering personal items as part of a county order to secure a better deal.
Employees will also be required to fill out a detailed form for credit card purchases.
Amanda Stradley, a diversion officer with the Juvenile Services department, said there needed to be flexibility in the system because of certain requirements her department is subjected to.
Commissioners agreed that there should be flexibility to accommodate certain situations.
Dickinson commended the Grand County Sheriff's Department for providing detailed documentation with credit card purchases, and said the county should have been doing the same.
Moyer and Commissioner James Newberry replied that the county had stringent procedures in place before the new policy.
"At each department level, we're reviewing it at that point, and then it goes to accounting," Moyer said. "When they see stuff they flag it."
Moyer said he would continue to solicit additional comment from department heads on the new policy before eventually returning to the board of commissioners with final recommendations.