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GSA Awards Six Contracts for Next Generation of Card Services

GSA #9462

February 10, 1998
Contact: Bill Bearden (202) 501-1231
Sue McIver (703) 305-7261

Washington, DC - The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced today the award of six contracts for the next generation of federal government charge cards, bringing federal agencies closer to a single payment system for multiple services. With a potential contract length of 10 years, charges under these contracts could total $100 billion.

Purchase card contracts were awarded to American Express, Citibank, First National Bank of Chicago, Mellon Bank, NationsBank and US Bank (formerly Rocky Mountain BankCard). Contracts for travel-related payment services were awarded to American Express, Citibank, NationsBank and US Bank. Fleet card services will be available from American Express, Citibank and US Bank. These services�purchase, travel and fleet�are currently provided by three separate contractors. Under the new contracts, an agency could choose to receive more than one service�plus innovative add-ons�from a single contractor.

American Express, Citibank, First National Bank of Chicago, NationsBank and US Bank (formerly Rocky Mountain BankCard) were awarded contracts that integrate two or more services. Such integration might include administrative functions like account set-up and maintenance and financial processes like reconciliation, reporting and invoicing. Agencies, therefore, could process account set-up through a single system and receive combined reports.

The new contracts will be effective November 30, 1998, and run for five years, with five additional one-year options. They cover expenditures that were valued at more than $8.5 billion in fiscal year 1997. Use of the travel card generated more than $20 million in refunds to the government in fiscal year 1997. The purchase card generated $7 million in refunds and savings in administrative costs of $616 million during the same period. Currently, there are more than 2 million charge cards in use by federal employees.

"These contracts represent another step in simplifying government financial transactions and saving on administrative costs while offering agencies broad choices in card-based services," said GSA Administrator David J. Barram. "They also offer new and innovative methods to increase electronic commerce activity and capture financial data for accounting and performance measurement. This is another major step in our efforts to reinvent how the federal government does business."

Frank P. Pugliese, Jr., Commissioner of GSA's Federal Supply Service - the GSA component that handled the procurement - added, "This is the largest single procurement of card-based services. Agencies will have access to a variety of commercial services, increasing the potential for streamlining transactions, saving money, and improving accountability."

GSA's current contracts will expire on November 29, 1998. Agencies will spend the next nine months identifying their requirements for the future and selecting the vendor that can best meet them.

To introduce the new contracts and their many features to federal agencies, GSA will hold a training conference for federal customers on February 23, 24, and 25 in Washington, DC. For information, call Sue McIver at 703-305-7261.