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GTC delinquency rates fall: Base finance officials urge responsible travel card use

By David DeKunder | Wingspread staff writer | Dec. 18, 2007

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — Even though delinquency rates have decreased over the past year, base finance officials are warning government travel card holders not to misuse their cards as the holiday season approaches. 

First Lt. Robert Evans, 12th Comptroller Squadron Financial Services Flight commander, said finance officials usually notice a spike in government travel card delinquency rates during the holiday season. 

Lieutenant Evans said the 9,000 Randolph personnel who are GTC holders should use the cards only for their intended purposes, to pay off travel expenses connected with temporary duty or permanent change of station functions, including air fare, lodging and meals. 

For those base members who misuse their travel cards or do not pay them off in time, they will face a variety of consequences and penalties, Lieutenant Evans said. 

"There is punishment ranging from letters of counseling for first-time offenses to a courts-martial for major offenses," the lieutenant said. "GTC holders need to make payments on time or there will be a penalty." 

A travel card payment is considered late after 30 days with cardholders possibly facing late fees as high as $29 a month. If the card is not paid off within 60 days, the card will be suspended. 

Lieutenant Evans said unit and program managers have the ability to monitor the usage of credit cards. 

"We have the ability to view what purchases were made, where they were made and the amount of the purchase," he said. "We can monitor anyone's government travel card activity." 

While the base's GTC delinquency rate went from 4.78 percent in December of fiscal year 2006 to less than one percent in December FY 2007, Lieutenant Evans said base finance officials are looking at ways to improve that figure. 

In January of FY 2006 and FY 2007, the delinquency rates were 2.69 percent and 2.08 percent, respectively, which was above the Department of Defense rate of two percent.