Diner’s Club contract approved by Board of Examiners
CARSON CITY – The state’s controversial contract with Diners’ Club for credit cards was extended a year by the state’s Board of Examiners.
The program, which issues credit cards to state employees for use on official business, ran into trouble when Diners’ Club officials reported last May that they were forced to write off more than $71,000 in bad debts owed by some of those workers.
The company said because of that, they would have to start charging the state $10 a year for each of the 3,000 cards issued to employees.
Treasurer Brian Krolicki said the program was invaluable to the state, providing an easy and efficient way for employees to charge travel expenses and other costs incurred on state business. It replaced a cumbersome system in which employees traveling on state business had to estimate expenses and get an advance from the treasurer’s office.
But, he said, since the cards are technically issued to the workers and not the state, there’s no way to force deadbeats to pay up.
Greg Smith, of the state Purchasing Department, said that office is taking over the program because he has the manpower and expertise to keep tighter control over the cards and spending.
Smith said in return for changes to tighten up the use of the cards, Diners’ Club has agreed not to impose the $10 fee per card this year.
Those changes include limiting cash advances drawn on those credit cards to $200 a week and $100 per day. He said employees with special needs for more cash than that can apply through their department and his office.
“But the cash advance feature of the card is a great concern to Diners’ Club and to me, frankly,” Smith said. “There are a few individuals who seem to be using this feature a lot more than the others.”
He said he is also working with the attorney general’s office to develop an agreement that would allow the state to deduct money past due on the cards from worker pay. Repayment in this manner can’t be mandated and would have to be a voluntary agreement.
Smith said the problem is in maybe 50 individuals out of more than 2,900 and that he thinks he can get the problem under control.
The board, consisting of the governor, attorney general and secretary of state, approved the contract extension.
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