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DeCA accepting commissary certifichecks

By Kevin Robinson, public affairs specialist

FORT LEE, Va. – The Defense Commissary Agency will accept outstanding CertifiCheck gift certificates from authorized customers thanks to a plan approved today by the Department of Defense. The approved plan allows DeCA commissaries to honor CertifiCheck gift checks now through July 31, 2009.

“I am happy to report that DeCA and DoD have found a way that we can honor our customers’ unredeemed certifichecks,” said DeCA Director and CEO Philip E. Sakowitz Jr. “We have been deeply concerned about how this situation has impacted our customers worldwide, and we’re happy that we’ve been able to find a solution.”

CertifiChecks Inc., the Dayton, Ohio, company that has issued the commissary gift checks since 2002, announced Feb. 26 on its Web site that it had ceased operations and was filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Since then, DeCA had been working non–stop with DoD officials to settle on a legal recourse it could offer its customers left holding the unredeemable certifichecks.

DeCA will be allowed to absorb the losses incurred from honoring the certificates from its Defense Working Capital Fund, Resale Stocks Account, Defense officials said. The DWCF was established to allow the federal government purchase and repair activities to account for costs and revenue as if they were commercial businesses.

Since 2002, more than $20 million in gift certificates have been purchased for authorized customers, including more than $3.9 million in fiscal 2008.

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit and make no profit on the sale of merchandise. Authorized patrons save thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to commercial prices when shopping regularly at a commissary. The discounted prices include a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America's military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773

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