The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

New credit card policy passed by school board

Move comes after audit found fault with former administrator


The board of education on Monday passed a policy to govern how school employees use credit cards.

The move comes on the heels of a finding by the district’s auditors who said that former superintendent Lisa Stroh had double-dipped when she took per diem while traveling on business and then charged a meal, a little over $50, on a district credit card.

At the time, the district had no policy in place governing the use of credit cards.

The new policy, which must pass a second reading before it can be implemented, spells out strict rules for use of district credit cards.

“It’s kind of good business to hold people accountable when they have a credit card,” Jim Nygaard said.

The finding by the auditors came at a time when Nygaard, the current superintendent, is hoping to expand the use of credit cards by the district to save money.

“Our credit card usage will grow in the upcoming years,” he told the board of education.

Nygaard says he is hoping to pay for district expenses with credit cards to earn airline miles to help offset travel costs for sports and other student activities that sometimes take place in roadless communities. He also said online vendors, which typically only accept credit card payments, often sell goods used by the schools at cheaper prices than those offered by its traditional vendors.

“Each principal…will eventually have their own cards,” he said.

The cardholder agreement form that is included in the policy - which must be signed by the cardholder and was amended during the meeting to include the signature of the superintendent - states that the cardholder agrees to reimburse the district for missing receipts.

The policy contains boilerplate type language prohibiting cardholders from using district credit cards for personal purchases, reporting lost or stolen cards immediately and allowing others to use the card by proxy. It also calls for immediate repayment to the district for any misuse of credit cards.

The policy also spells out a number of prohibited transactions. These include obtaining cash advances, charging personal vehicle expenses and purchases from sources where the cardholder has a financial interest. It also bans the purchase of entertainment and alcoholic beverages from any type of establishment.

The policy passed unanimously. Board member Dolores Gard appeared at the meeting telephonically and board member Bill Comer was absent.


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