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City Council to issue credit card policy

Employees can’t get cash advances, must submit their receipts in a ‘timely’ manner

Published: Monday, May 20, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, May 20, 2013 11:28 a.m. CDT

DIXON – The City Council will vote tonight to put a policy on file that prohibits city-issued credit cards for anything other than official city business, as well as sets up practices for internal controls and procedures involving credit cards.

Also, all employees issued a credit card must sign a cardholder agreement from now on, the policy states.

The new policy was drafted by Finance Director Paula Meyer and the city’s attorney after it was revealed in April former City Engineer Shawn Ortgiesen used city-issued credit cards to pay for more than $13,500 in personal expenses from April 2007 to March 2013, writing that the balance would be reimbursed on monthly invoices.

Ortgiesen resigned shortly after it was revealed and attached a check for his remaining balance, which included interest calculated at 5 percent. The check totaled $9,157.38.

The incident brought into question why the city had no policy in place for credit card use.

Employees using the card must submit all receipts, documentation detailing the goods or services bought, the cost, the date of the purchase and the official business explanation for each purchase to the commissioner supervising that employee and to the finance office “in a timely manner,” according to the new policy.

The policy says all receipts must match up with monthly credit card statements.

Most of Ortgiesen’s invoices, with the exception of at least six of them, were not signed off on by a city commissioner.

Employees are responsible for their credit cards and must report any damaged or stolen credit cards to the finance office.

Also, credit cards may not be used for cash advances, personal use or any other type of purchase not permitted, the policy says. According to credit card documents received by Sauk Valley Media through a Freedom of Information Act request, Ortgiesen used the city-issued card for a cash advance on more than one occasion.

The policy says no monthly statement will be paid until the employee has received approval from his or her city commissioner and turned in all documentation to the finance office.

The penalty for violating the policy could result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination, or referral for criminal prosecution.

Meyer is responsible for overseeing compliance of the policy. Also, she is responsible for paying the credit card bills and making sure each statement is accurate.

Credit cards are necessary to make it easy to buy items online, to speed up delivery and to provide accommodations and meals for out-of-area travel, the policy said.

The resolution gives the City Council the ability to issue credit cards to certain city employees and set a credit limit.

Also tonight, the council will receive a recommendation to hire PJ Greufe & Associates to conduct a human resources policy audit, as well as vote on whether Riverfront Executive Director Kay Miller will receive a pay raise to $600 per month.

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