301.27 Use of county credit cards.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Credit card" includes gasoline and telephone credit cards but excludes any procurement card authorized under section 301.29 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Officer" includes an individual who also is an appointing authority.

(3) "Gasoline and oil expenses" and "motor vehicle repair and maintenance expenses" refer to only those expenses incurred for motor vehicles owned or leased by the county.

(B)

(1) A credit card held by a board of county commissioners or the office of any other county appointing authority shall be used only to pay the following work-related expenses :

(a) Food expenses;

(b) Transportation expenses;

(c) Gasoline and oil expenses;

(d) Motor vehicle repair and maintenance expenses;

(e) Telephone expenses;

(f) Lodging expenses;

(g) Internet service provider expenses;

(h) In the case of a public children services agency, expenses for purchases for children for whom the agency is providing temporary emergency care pursuant to section 5153.16 of the Revised Code, children in the temporary or permanent custody of the agency, and children in a planned permanent living arrangement.

(2) No late charges or finance charges shall be allowed as an allowable expense unless authorized by the board of county commissioners.

(C) A county appointing authority may apply to the board of county commissioners for authorization to have an officer or employee of the appointing authority use a credit card held by that appointing authority. The authorization request shall state whether the card is to be issued only in the name of the office of the appointing authority or whether the issued card also shall include the name of a specified officer or employee.

(D) The debt incurred as a result of the use of a credit card pursuant to this section shall be paid from moneys appropriated to specific appropriation line items of the appointing authority for work-related expenses listed in division (B)(1) of this section.

(E)

(1) Except as otherwise provided in division (E)(2) of this section, every officer or employee authorized to use a credit card held by the board or appointing authority shall submit to the board by the first day of each month an estimate of the officer's or employee's work-related expenses listed in division (B)(1) of this section for that month along with the specific appropriation line items from which those expenditures are to be made, unless the board authorizes, by resolution, the officer or employee to submit to the board such an estimate for a period longer than one month. The board may revise the estimate and determine the amount it approves, if any, not to exceed the estimated amount. The board shall certify the amount of its determination to the county auditor along with the specific appropriation line items from which the expenditures are to be made. After receiving certification from the county auditor that the determined sum of money is in the treasury or in the process of collection to the credit of the specific appropriation line items for which the credit card is approved for use, and is free from previous and then-outstanding obligations or certifications, the board shall authorize the officer or employee to incur debt for the expenses against the county's credit up to the authorized amount.

(2) In lieu of following the procedure set forth in division (E)(1) of this section, a board of county commissioners may adopt a resolution authorizing an officer or employee of an appointing authority to use a county credit card to pay for specific classes of the work-related expenses listed in division (B)(1) of this section, or use a specific credit card for any of those work-related expenses listed in division (B)(1) of this section, without submitting an estimate of those expenses to the board as required by division (E)(1) of this section. Prior to adopting the resolution, the board shall notify the county auditor. The resolution shall specify whether the officer's or employee's exemption extends to the use of a specific credit card, which card shall be identified by its number, or to one or more specific work-related uses from the classes of uses permitted under division (B)(1) of this section. Before any credit card exempted for specific uses may be used to make purchases for uses other than those specific uses listed in the resolution, the procedures outlined in division (E)(1) of this section must be followed or the use shall be considered an unauthorized use. Use of any credit card under division (E)(2) of this section shall be limited to the amount appropriated and encumbered in a specific appropriation line item for the permitted use or uses designated in the authorizing resolution, or, in the case of a resolution that authorizes use of a specific credit card, for each of the permitted uses listed in division (B) of this section, but only to the extent the moneys in those specific appropriation line items are not otherwise encumbered.

(F)

(1) Any time a county credit card approved for use for an authorized amount under division (E)(1) of this section is used for more than that authorized amount, the appointing authority may request the board of county commissioners to authorize after the fact the expenditure of any amount charged beyond the originally authorized amount if, upon the board's request, the county auditor certifies that sum of money is in the treasury or in the process of collection to the credit of the appropriate appropriation line item for which the credit card was used, and is free from previous and then-outstanding obligations or certifications. If the card is used for more than the amount originally authorized and if for any reason that amount is not authorized after the fact, the county treasury shall be reimbursed for any amount spent beyond the originally authorized amount in the following manner:

(a) If the card is issued in the name of a specific officer or employee, that officer or employee is liable in person and upon any official bond the officer or employee has given to the county to reimburse the county treasury for the amount charged to the county beyond the originally authorized amount.

(b) If the card is issued to the office of the appointing authority, the appointing authority is liable in person and upon any official bond the appointing authority has given to the county for the amount charged to the county beyond the originally authorized amount.

(2) Any time a county credit card authorized for use under division (E)(2) of this section is used for more than the amount appropriated under that division, the county treasury shall be reimbursed for any amount spent beyond the originally appropriated amount in the following manner:

(a) If the card is issued in the name of a specific officer or employee, that officer or employee is liable in person and upon any official bond the officer or employee has given to the county for reimbursing the county treasury for any amount charged on the card beyond the originally appropriated amount.

(b) If the card is issued in the name of the office of the appointing authority, the appointing authority is liable in person and upon any official bond the appointing authority has given to the county for reimbursement for any amount charged on the card beyond the originally appropriated amount.

(3) Whenever any officer or employee who is authorized to use a credit card held by the board or the office of any other county appointing authority suspects the loss, theft, or possibility of unauthorized use of the card , the officer or employee shall notify the county auditor and either the officer's or employee's appointing authority or the board immediately and in writing.

(4) If the county auditor determines there has been a credit card expenditure beyond the appropriated or authorized amount as provided in division (E) of this section, the auditor immediately shall notify the board of county commissioners. When the board determines, on its own or after notification from the county auditor, that the county treasury should be reimbursed for credit card expenditures beyond the appropriated or authorized amount as provided in divisions (F)(1) and (2) of this section, it shall give written notice to the county auditor and to the officer or employee or appointing authority liable to the treasury as provided in those divisions. If, within thirty days after issuance of the written notice, the county treasury is not reimbursed for the amount shown on the written notice, the prosecuting attorney of the county shall recover that amount from the officer or employee or appointing authority who is liable under this section by civil action in any court of appropriate jurisdiction.

(G) Use of a county credit card for any use other than those permitted under division (B)(1) of this section is a violation of section 2913.21 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 02-12-2004