"Currently, you have to process a lot of orders that are for small
dollar values," Klein said. But under the credit card plan, things are
simplified. "Instead of writing 20 checks to 20 different vendors, you
write one check."
The program aims for convenience. Fraud, of course, is also a possible
outcome, but Klein says he believes it can be prevented.
"There are a variety of different controls in place," he said, from
daily spending limits of $1,000 to restrictions on the types of products
that can be bought with the cards.
Burbank and Pasadena both already have similar credit systems, and
officials there say they have worked well for the people who do city
"It's been a godsend in terms of making their lives a little easier,"
said Larry Hammond, a management analyst in Pasadena's purchasing
division. "We're very pleased with it."
Pasadena allows some of its employees to spend as much as $15,000 on
credit per month -- three times the level Glendale will permit.
But Hammond said he has not encountered any major problems with
Burbank Assistant Financial Services Director Vilko Domic said his
city's program has operated fairly smoothly as well.
Occasionally, he said, employees have had problems with the
restrictions on card use and have been unable to buy products they need.
As for fraud, "that hasn't arisen at all," he said.
Klein noted that the purchase orders Glendale and other cities have
traditionally used to buy goods are hardly immune to misuse.
"Often times, you issue a [purchase order] that has a dollar amount
associated with it, but it doesn't control the transaction amount," he
said. Vendors occasionally take advantage of that lack of control,
charging much more on a purchase order than was originally intended.
With the credit card program, that loophole will be eliminated.
"In my opinion," Klein said, "I would say it's less prone to abuse."