Purchasing Card

Corporate Purchasing Card Policy

Policy Code: FN1284

Purpose

This policy sets out the responsibilities of Federation University Corporate Purchasing Card holders and steps for the acceptable use of University corporate purchasing cards by staff for University business, ensuring all expenses incurred are correctly approved and acquitted.

Scope

This Policy applies to all expenditure made using corporate purchasing cards by cardholders (the cardholder), managers responsible for authorising corporate purchasing card applications, and approvers of cardholder acquittals.

Legislative Context

Definitions

Term Definition
Accountable Officer: Staff member responsible for the operation of the card facility as appointed under the Corporate Purchasing Card Policy.
Card Administrator: Financial Services Administration Officer responsible for day to day Purchasing Card administration.
Cardholder: Authorised holder of Purchasing Card in accordance with the Purchasing Card Policy / Procedure.
Card Provider: Financial Institution contracted to provide the University Purchasing Card facility.
Certifying Officers: Nominated supervisor for the relevant cost centre, who has a budget or financial delegation at least equal to the expenditure limit of the cardholder.
Financial Delegate: Council or staff member with an approved Financial Delegation in accordance with Section 7 Delegations Band Value Limit Table (DBVLT).
Financial Services HUB Central Purchasing Officer Staff member within the Financial Services Section with responsibility of Central Purchasing card used for authorised expenditure only. Purchasing on a central purchasing card is for larger purchasing limits and one-off expenses that fall outside of general cardholders’ transactions.

Policy Statement

This Policy should be read in conjunction with the Procurement of Goods & Services Policy and Procedure.

Federation University enables staff to make purchases on behalf of the University where there is a demonstrated business need. Corporate purchasing cards must be used appropriately within relevant delegations.

The University will have a system of controls and procedures in place to ensure authorised corporate purchasing card transactions are recorded in an accurate and timely manner.

University corporate purchasing cardholders must:

  1. Take all reasonable measures to keep the card secure
  2. Obtain and retain appropriate supporting documentation for all transactions; and
  3. Ensure transactions are acquitted within relevant timeframes.

Federation University will use Corporate purchasing cards ("card") to maximise the commercial advantages provided by these facilities and electronic commerce generally, to achieve:

  • Reductions in the administrative costs of procurement processes
  • Improved purchasing efficiency and control
  • Increased flexibility
  • Prompt recording of financial transactions; and/or improved purchasing and management information
  • Social and sustainable procurement objectives

The University will:

  • Provide training to University corporate purchasing cardholders and staff who approve purchasing card transactions
  • Monitor and review purchasing card use

Eligibility Criteria

  1. The purpose of the card is to facilitate and simplify the purchasing process for minor purchases that comply with acceptable expenditure, within card transaction limits and travel expenditure.
  2. The card will only be issued to an employee who meets the eligibility criteria:
    • is an ongoing or fixed term staff member whether full-time or part-time;
    • has an approved financial delegation;
    • is required to make purchases as part of their role and responsibilities;
    • is required to travel for business purposes on a regular basis both domestically and International;
    • can demonstrate an ongoing and regular need to purchase goods or services on behalf of a group or team which is best facilitated using a corporate purchasing card;
    • satisfies the corporate card identity requirements; and
    • agree to abide by the conditions of use as stated in the corporate purchasing card application form and to comply with the Corporate Purchasing Card Policy and procedure and all other relevant University policies and procedures.
  3. Special permission for a corporate card may be granted to an authorised person at the discretion of the Chief Operating Officer / Chief Financial Officer (COO/CFO).

Transaction and Card Limits

Standard transaction and monthly limits will apply as per Section 7 Delegations Band Value Limit Table

Cardholder Category Transaction Limit Monthly Limit

Chancellor

Vice-Chancellor and President

Deputy Vice-Chancellors Chief Operating Officer/CFO

$10,000 $25,000
Deputy Chancellor PVC, Head of Campus, Dean, Exec Director, Director, Registrar, General Manager $5,000 $15,000
(Delegation Band 8 positions and Academic Level B - E) $2,500 $15,000
(Delegation Band 9 positions and Academic Level A) $1,000 $5,000
Financial Services HUB Central Purchasing Officers $10,000 $25,000

*Short term variations to the standard limits must be supported by a business case and be approved by the responsible line manager and the corporate purchasing card accountable officer.

General Terms of Use

  1. Card transaction limits will not exceed cardholder's financial delegation.
  2. The card is not to be used to obtain:
    • cash
    • traveller’s cheques, bank cheques, postal money orders and gift cards that allow cash withdrawals
    • pre-paid phone cards
    The card is not to be used to pay for:
    • traffic infringements, other fines or penalties
    • tips, unless undertaking travel in a country where it is customary to do so or there are compulsory gratuity charges
    • personal expenses
    • Federation University on Campus transactions/purchases HUB, FedUni store (not including outsourced facilities
    • personal items whilst travelling e.g. toiletries, medicines and clothing
    • in house leisure activities whilst travelling
    • donations
    • private telephone accounts, internet /broadband services
    • private motor vehicle fuel costs
    • alcohol purchases with or without a meal
  3. The total amount of a single purchase must not be split into smaller amounts for the purpose of fitting within a financial value limit.
  4. Independent Contractor payments must be processed through Accounts Payable, services cannot be paid by using a University Corporate Purchasing Card.
  5. Cardholders must obtain preapproval by the appropriate financial delegate before using the card to pay for their own business expenses e.g. travel refer to the Travel policy and procedure.
  6. Direct debit authorities must not be placed on cards except where business conditions necessitate.
  7. Cardholders must be aware of expenditure that gives rise to an actual or perceived conflict of interest, and report to program administrator any conflict or perceived conflict immediately.  Where staff identify or are concerned that there may be a conflict or a perceived conflict of interest associated with a transaction, they must review the Conflict of Interest Policy and/or seek advice from Corporate Governance or Human Resources.
  8. The following items should be centrally purchased by the responsible area such as ITS, Facilities services or Finance. Specific approval must be obtained from the relevant area for items to be purchased separately on a card.
    • IT Equipment
    • Subscriptions for IT platforms
    • Stationery
    • Software licenses and general memberships
    • Mobile technology
    • Home internet (unless specified as an acceptable payment method under a staff members employment agreement)
    • Furniture
    • The use of corporate purchasing cards to purchase memberships and subscriptions should only be undertaken if there is no other method for payment.
  9. Noncash gift cards/vouchers (Gift cards/vouchers that do not allow cash withdrawals) may be purchased.
  10. Corporate Purchasing Cards are issued to individual staff member on behalf of the University and are not transferable. The liability for transactions rests with the University, however, cardholders may be held to be personally liable for any unauthorised use, unless the unauthorised use, is the result of the card being lost or stolen (provided the cardholder took adequate measures to prevent the card from being lost or stolen)or is otherwise the result of fraud on the part of some third party such as a supplier.
  11. Cardholder should be aware of any fringe benefits tax implications that may arise from certain types of expenditure, and the associated requirements for acquitting such expenditure.
  12. Cardholders must acquit all expenditure within the prescribed timeframe, accompanied by the necessary supporting documentation.
  13. Staff are accountable for all purchases incurred on their corporate card and are responsible for reimbursing the University where a transaction is considered inappropriate.

Implications of Inappropriate Use

  1. Failure to comply with any of the conditions and obligations outlined in this policy constitutes inappropriate use of a corporate purchasing card and is a breach of this policy.
  2. The University may suspend or cancel the corporate purchasing card in circumstances of inappropriate use, or at the Universities absolute discretion.
  3. Inappropriate use of a corporate purchasing card may result in:

Monitoring and Reporting

 

Monitoring – Certified Officers

Certified Officer, expense approvers must review acquitted expenditure and reports of all transactions, ensuring that transactions are appropriate and consistent with the general terms of corporate purchasing card use, and are within budget constraints for corporate card use within their relevant area.

Monitoring – Finance

Continuous monitoring of corporate purchasing card use will be undertaken by Manager, Financial Services (or delegate) to ensure efficient operational practice, identification of inappropriate expenditure, and compliance with acquittal timeframes.

Auditing of expenditure made by cardholders will be undertaken in a manner that is appropriate, comprehensive and reasonable to detect, correct and prevent process errors and cardholder's non-compliance.

Reporting – Finance

Manager, Financial Services (or delegate) will regularly run reports to identify inappropriate and/or un-acquitted transactions and will report in accordance with Appendix C Corporate Purchasing Card Procedure.

Special permission for expenditure outside of policy in exceptional circumstances on a corporate purchasing card may be granted to an authorised person at the discretion of the Director of Finance.

Responsibility

Cardholders will be required to make themselves familiar with the requirements of the Corporate Purchasing Card Procedure and the contents of all the relevant documentation.

The following key Council and staff members will be appointed and allocated management, administrative and monitoring responsibilities:

Position Role

Chancellor,

Deputy Chancellor,

Vice-Chancellor and President,

Deputy Vice-Chancellors,

Chief Operating Officer

Deans

Directors and Managers

Certifying Officers - accountable for expenditure for their particular cost centre and responsible for reviewing transactions appearing on cardholder statements and approving payment.
Director, Finance Monitoring the effective operation of the policy and procedure. Supporting the outcomes of the escalation process and management of violations.
Associate Director, Financial Operations Accountable Officer - responsible for the approval of cardholder application. In conjunction with the Program administrator is responsible for informing and supporting the escalation process and outcomes. Supporting the Director, Finance.
Manager, Financial Services Program Administrator - responsible for providing procedural, administrative and system support. Meeting audit requirements.  Monitoring expenses as outlined in the required timelines and informing the relevant officers of the escalation process and outcomes. Supporting the Accountable Officer.
Senior Accounts Payable Officer Card Administrator - responsible for day to day Corporate purchasing card administration and supporting the Program Administrator.

Promulgation

The Corporate Purchasing Card Policy will be implemented throughout the University via:

  1. Announcement Notice via FedNews website
  2. The ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page in Policy Central
  3. Information/Training sessions;
  4. Inclusion in the University’s online Policy Library

Implementation

The implementation of the Corporate Purchasing Card Policy is to be implemented throughout the University community and will take the form of:

  1. An Announcement Notice under ‘FedNews’ on the University’s website and through the University Policy – ‘Recently Approved Documents’ webpage to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy;
  2. Inclusion on the University's online Policy Library;
  3. All card holders will be advised by email of the Policy update.