Diners' Club says $71,000 in state credit card debts written off

Diners' Club officials have told the state they have written off $71,038 in state credit card debts - some of them more than 4 years old.

And while the state still says it cannot release the names of those current and former employees guilty of not paying the bills, they did issue a statement showing the charges were made on a total of 46 different credit cards issued to state employees in 18 agencies "for official use only."

State Treasurer Brian Krolicki said that is not the same as the $55,000 reported over 60 days in arrears but not written off as of the end of February. Those are listed as "delinquent" and Krolicki says the state still expects most of those cardholders to eventually pay them.

The state vouches for the cards issued to state workers, officials and elected officials who have to travel on official business. Normally, the state reimburses official expenses charged to the cards and the workers pay bill.

The vast majority of those using the nearly 3,000 cards in circulation do just that.

The "write off" list, Krolicki said, are those debts Diners' Club has given up on collecting without a fight. He said in some of those cases, they may take legal action against the individual. But he said because the individual employees are responsible for the card debts, the state is not liable for any of that debt.

The biggest single debt on the "write off" list $16,369 dating back to April 1997. That individual either does or did work in the Nevada Rehabilitation Division.

The next largest single debt on the list is $7,465 owed by some one in the Division of Child and Family Services dating back to January 1996 followed by the $5,055 owed by some one employed in the Public Utilities Commission. That debt dates to January 1999.

After rehabilitation, the agency with the largest dollar amount of writeoffs is Child and Family Services with $14,381 in bad debts. They also had the largest number of bad debts with 10. Welfare had $13,511 in writeoffs on eight cards, most of them dating to 1996 when the program started.

Altogether, 18 different agencies were listed on the "write off" report.

The report was released following questions raised about not only writeoffs but a substantial number of cards in excess of 60 days delinquent.

But those debts were not written off at that point.

Krolicki says the attorney general's office has advised him not to release the names of any of the individuals on either the delinquent or "write off" lists because that could violate privacy laws since the card is officially a personal card belonging to the individual.

The credit card system was created in 1996 to replace the travel desk which issued advances to employees to cover travel costs. The trouble was the travel desk was funded with a revolving account and when agencies and workers didn't reimburse it on time, the travel desk would temporarily run out of money.

The Diners' Club system doesn't run out of money and, Krolicki said, puts the onus for collecting back debts on Diners' Club instead of the state.

But because of the delinquent accounts and the writeoffs, Diners' Club will no longer forgive the $10 per year charge for the state cards. That will cost the state nearly $30,000 a year from now on.

The contract is up for discussion, amendment and renewal on Wednesday's Board of Examiners agenda.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment