New NAPCP Best Practices Guide Shows Public Sector Card Administrators How to Define, Develop and Implement a P-Card Program

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The NAPCP Government/K-12 Advisory Team has compiled a 27-page Best Practices Guide that not only defines the practices the sector should follow, but further hones in on what is unique to the sector within each best practice topic.

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“Public sector program administrators and other team members can benefit from this compilation regardless of where they are in program management. While the guide explores foundational areas, it is appropriate in many instances.

The specialized nature of public sector P-Card programs requires careful navigation of policies, procedures, bid processes, taxpayer scrutiny and more, by those who administer them.

Working with practitioners across public sectors, including all levels of government and public school districts, the NAPCP has released the “NAPCP Government/K-12 Best Practices Guide: Considerations for Public Sector P-Card Programs,” to meet the needs of government P-Card program managers and teams.

The guide was written in collaboration with the NAPCP’s Government/K-12 Advisory Team, which advises the NAPCP on challenges, opportunities, trends and innovation facing the industry today. The NAPCP in turn creates content, tools, and educational and networking opportunities for almost 20,000 practitioners worldwide, in both the public and private sectors.

“As stewards of taxpayer funds, the public sector faces additional challenges in the form of governmental laws, regulations, policies, etc. which can dictate everything from how a program is designed and established, to how the program will be run on a day-to day-basis,” said Bill Meekins, CPPB, CSBO, CPCP, one of the guide’s authors and Purchasing Agent and Procurement Card Supervisor with Frederick County Schools, Maryland. “The goal of the Government/K-12 team was to capture those challenges, from the federal level down to the local level, and call out and highlight those specific areas that public sectors will need to address.”

The guide is specifically organized to take readers step-by-step through the multi-faceted nature of a public sector card program. Topics addressed include:

  • First steps when initiating a program
  • Structuring a program with essential elements and controls
  • Defining roles and responsibilities
  • Creating and applying policies and procedures
  • Creating and using effective training approaches and materials
  • Implementing a reconciliation process
  • Adhering to audit, compliance and regulatory requirements
  • Managing and then optimizing a program once it’s up and running

“Standardization of structure, policies and individual roles and responsibilities are the foundation of a solid Purchasing Card program,” observed Margaret Colaianni, Program Manager with the Department of State, whose contributions to the report shed light on the administration of a very large federal program, comprised of many decentralized departments working globally.

“Public sector program administrators and other team members can benefit from this compilation regardless of where they are in program management, said Terri Brustad, CPCP, NAPCP Manager of Content Services. “While the guide explores foundational areas, it is appropriate in many instances.”

These circumstances may include:

  • When starting a new P-Card program from the ground up
  • When advanced-level practitioners want to expand, grow and optimize their program, or adopt new technology. Revisiting fundamentals can reveal new - opportunities and efficiencies.
  • When new team members without card experience join an established program.
  • When a change in leadership has altered the trajectory of an established card program. The guide can be used to help educate leadership, especially those working outside of finance.

The “Government-K-12 Best Practices Guide” is one of many NAPCP resources available on our website, which is the largest repository of educational materials in the industry. Additional NAPCP resources specific to the public sector, include the following:

  • Government/K-12 Resource Center (Full access for members)
  • Government/K-12 User Group (Members only)
  • Survey and Poll Results (Members and subscribers)
  • eNetworking with public sector peers (Members only)
  • Samples library (End-user members only)

About the NAPCP
The NAPCP is a global membership-based professional association committed to advancing Commercial Card and Payment professionals and industry practices worldwide. Serving a community of almost 20,000, the NAPCP is a respected voice in the industry and an impartial resource for members at all experience levels in the public and private sectors. The NAPCP provides unmatched opportunities for continuing education and peer networking through its conferences, Regional Forums, webinars, website, virtual demonstrations, newsletters and regular communication. The association sponsors research and publishes timely and relevant white papers, survey results and other documents. The NAPCP also offers a Certified Purchasing Card Professional (CPCP) credential. Become a complimentary subscriber for limited access to resources on our website, or join today for all access to content. (

Members of the NAPCP Government/K-12 Advisory Team:

  • JoAleen Ainslie, CPCP, City of Tacoma, Washington
  • Symone Bounds, State of Mississippi—Commission for Volunteer Service
  • Margaret Colaianni, U.S. Department of State
  • Priscilla Kung, CPCP, Howard County, Maryland
  • Mark Lutton, Larimer County, Colorado
  • Bill Meekins, CPCP, CPPB, CSBO, Frederick County Public Schools
  • Orson Morgan, Visa Inc.
  • Christine Wertz, CPCP, Harford County Public Schools, Maryland
  • Jeri Winkleblack, CPCP, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Juanita Yarneau, CPCP, City of Sugar Land, Texas
  • Terri Brustad, CPCP, NAPCP Liaison

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