West Valley Firefighters

Quarterly Newsletter

1st Quarter of 2012


Policy 2203 District Credit Card Use

Policy 2203 District Credit Card Use



YAKIMA, WA 98908

POLICY # 2203





REFERENCE: RCW 42.24.115, RCW 43.09.2855


To provide an efficient method to charge business-related travel expenses and for the purchase of goods and services when the use of the District’s purchasing system is not possible or practical.


All personnel assigned a District credit card.



To be eligible for a District credit card, personnel must meet one or more of the following criteria:

1. Be employed by the District;

2. Travel frequently in the course of his/her duties;

3. Purchase significant volumes of minor goods and services for use by the District;

4. Incur regular frequent expenses of a kind appropriately paid by credit card;

5. Receive specific approval by the Board of Fire Commissioners or the Fire Chief.


Credit cards may be issued to those personnel who, in the opinion of the Board of Fire Commissioners, Fire Chief, or his designee, have job responsibilities which would benefit or otherwise be facilitated by the use of a credit card.


The Fire Chief shall assign the District Secretary to manage the District’s credit card program.

Approved Use

Credit cards may only be used for the following authorized purchases:

1. Fuel, supplies, and equipment only if a purchase order cannot be issued or an existing charge account is not available. Fuel purchases are limited to District-owned vehicles when traveling;

2. Educational course registrations;

3. District related travel and/or education related expenses such as airfare, lodging, meals, car rental, ground transportation, and miscellaneous travel expenses; including tips not to exceed 20% of the purchase price.

4. Approved expenses and meals where normal purchasing procedures are not practical; the purchase of alcohol is prohibited.

5. Other items specifically authorized by the Fire Chief or his designee.

6. Purchase of meals and/or light refreshments for training, seminars or incidents.

Where meals are charged for anyone other than for the cardholder, a list of those personnel must be included with the transaction documentation.


District credit cards may not be used for cash advances of any kind, payment of invoices or statements (unless authorized by the Fire Chief to avoid utility or communication disconnection), personal use of any kind, purchase of alcoholic beverages, or any expense not otherwise allowed by law or under District policy.


The credit limit on each card issued to the Fire Chief or District Secretary shall not exceed $2,500 unless a higher limit is approved by the Board of Fire Commissioners. Any credit card issued to an individual on a temporary basis for travel, incident or incidental purchase is not to exceed $1,000 unless approved by the Fire Chief.

Reporting Charges

Within three business days of a purchase or return from travel the cardholder will submit transactional evidence (itemized receipt) to support all charges to the assigned District Secretary. Original receipts are always considered acceptable documentation. Online purchases also require transactional documentation. Charge documentation shall include the following:

1. Vendor name;

2. Detail of items or services charged; must include an itemized receipt;

3. Total amount of charge including applicable tax and shipping charges;

4. Explanation outlining the purpose of the charge(s) and what station/apparatus/equipment/person it was for;

5. Signature of the card holder and/or the person responsible for the charge.

Documentation shall be provided for each charge. In the rare event that original documentation is lost or irretrievable; the card holder shall provide a detailed letter of explanation of the charge(s) to include all required information as listed above. Charges for meals and light refreshments must also include a detailed list of those persons whose meals were charged.

Payment of Charges

Authorized charges to the District’s credit card account shall be paid in full each month through the customary warrant transmittal process. Payment shall be processed in a timely manner to avoid late penalties and finance charges. Disallowed charges shall be paid by the cardholder directly to the credit card company, or when not possible, directly to the District by check, US currency, or salary deduction. See Unauthorized Use below for further information relating to disallowed charges.

Card Renewal

Cards that are due to expire will receive a replacement in advance. Old cards will be destroyed by the designated District Secretary at the time the replacement card is exchanged for the expiring card.

Lost or Stolen Cards

Personnel shall notify the issuing bank and/or the designated District Secretary immediately in the event a card is lost or stolen. Contact information for the issuing financial institution will be made available to personnel holding a District credit card.

Account Cancellation

The District reserves the right to change credit card companies, terms of use, or to cancel a cardholder’s account at any time. Cardholders will be promptly notified in writing (including email). Upon termination of employment, the cardholder’s account will be cancelled immediately. Cancelled credit cards must be returned to the District Secretary for destruction within five (5) business days of the employee’s termination.

Unauthorized Use

Any charge against the District’s credit card account not allowed following the monthly account audit (usually at statement date or time of payment processing) shall be paid by the cardholder by check, US currency, or salary deduction. Payment shall be received within five (5) business days or the next payroll processing date when salary deduction is required. Finance charges resulting from a cardholder’s failure to submit all necessary receipts and supporting documents within the time allowed may be considered disallowed charges and as such will be charged to the cardholder. If for any reason disallowed charges are not repaid before the charge card billing is due and payable, the District shall have a prior lien against and a right to withhold any and all funds payable or to become payable to the cardholder up to an amount of the disallowed charges and interest at the same rate as charged by the issuing credit card company. The District shall have unlimited authority to revoke use of any charge card issued for failure to repay a disallowed charge or failure to adhere to the District’s credit card policies and procedures. The responsible cardholder shall also be subject to disciplinary action.

Credit Card Security

It is the credit cardholder’s responsibility to safeguard the credit card and card account number at all times. Credit Card/s must be kept secure at all times. Cardholders must not allow anyone else to use their assigned card or card number. Cardholders are not to post account numbers where they can easily be seen by others.