Q & A Session – Credit Card Purchase Using Personal Credit Card for Government Activity


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


Can I be disciplined for using my own personal credit card to purchase to robot demonstration for an agency program? Before the program, I asked the ethics office if I could use my own funds and they asked why I would do that. I went ahead and did it, and the next week was yelled at in a staff meeting.


The answer to your question depends on your agency’s rules on use of personal funds. It sounds like you knew there was an issue and went to the ethics office and did not get a clear answer. You then used your personal credit card anyway. That could be a problem if the government does not permit such personal purchases.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.

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