I am looking for an official written reference as to why using the GPC is not appropriate. This way this topic can be put to rest. If you could point me in the right direction, would be most helpful.
This response is based on the information provided. We suggest you discuss with your contracting team, leadership, and/or legal department as appropriate.
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The prohibition from being able to purchase a "going away" present/recognition type item stems from fiscal law and specifically the "Purpose Statute" which states in essence, "Agencies shall apply appropriations only to the objects for which the appropriations were made, except as otherwise provided by law." So unless the dollars that are being targeted for expenditure on these parting gifts were specifically earmarked by Congress for such a purpose, the individual would be risking a Purpose Statute Violation.
Appendix C of DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY GOVERNMENT PURCHASE CARD OPERATING PROCEDURES dated 22July 2015 lists prohibited uses. http://acc.army.mil/contractingcenters/acc_ri/GPC/Files/LINK2_AFARS_Appendix_EE.pdf
Your question falls under the first prohibited use. The following is from an older Army Standard Operation Procedure.
"Cardholders shall not split purchases to stay within the single purchase limit. See examples of splitting requirements on the ARCC SOP, Para I.
d. Unauthorized Use of the GPC Card
1. Cash Advances
2. Rental or lease of land or buildings
3. Purchase of airline, bus, train or other travel related tickets
4. Purchase of meals, drinks, lodging or other travel or subsistence costs
5. Purchase of gasoline, oil or diesel for GSA vehicles or other vehicles
6. Repair of GSA vehicles or other vehicles
7. Purchase of telecommunications services (cellular, pager, etc.), equipment and repairs without prior written approval from AR-RTD.
8. Purchase any hardware or software without prior written approval from AR-RTD.
9. Personal clothing, eyeglasses, footwear except for situation when required for safety.
10. Printing or copying services that can be provided by the Reserve Center or AR-RTD.
11. Purchase, rent or lease any office, quarters or parking spaces, meals or any other service for which the government travel card would be appropriate.
12. Purchase of any award type items for individuals (i.e. plaques, certificates, frames, trophies) or purchases supplemental to these types of items is prohibited."