Purchasing Card (Procurement Policy Section 8)
Purchasing Card (Procurement Policy Section 8)
This section of the Procurement Policy addresses the use of Purchasing Cards.
Purchasing Cards are the preferred method of purchasing low value goods and services, offering the University the opportunity to reduce its indirect costs. Cardholders will benefit from the flexibility of purchasing cards, and there will also be a reduction in the volume of invoices to be processed.
The Durham University Purchasing Card is arranged via Barclaycard Business Visa. Cards are used like any normal Visa card and are widely accepted within the UK and abroad.
The Purchasing Card is not a personal expenses card and must not be used for expenditure such as meals and living expenses incurred whilst travelling on official university business. If staff regularly incur travel, subsistence and related expenses the University Travel and Subsistence Card may be more appropriate. Details of the University Travel and Subsistence Card can be found at http://www.dur.ac.uk/treasurer/local/staff/policies/travel_card_policy/
Please also read Procedures and Service Levels for more comprehensive information. These documents support this policy and apply in all cases, but specifically where standard purchasing is carried out by a Faculty or Divisional Purchasing Team.
If you require any assistance in interpreting the correct procedure and guidelines to follow and require clarification please contact the Procurement Service via telephone (ext 44531) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
8.1 When To Use the Purchasing Card
The Durham University Purchasing Card has a transaction limit of £1,000 inc VAT for the purchase of routine goods and services and a transaction limit of £1,500 inc VAT for flight and hotel bookings and conference bookings. If the required items exceed a total of £1,000 inc VAT (or a total of £1,500 inc VAT for flights, hotel bookings and conferences), then the normal purchasing procedures must be followed as detailed in the Procurement Policy Document.
Where the University has preferred suppliers in place for goods and services, these suppliers should be used and will usually accept the Purchasing Card. If a preferred supplier does not currently accept Visa and is a supplier with whom the Cardholder does regular business, the Procurement Service should be contacted in order that they can encourage the supplier to become card capable.
8.2 How Not To Use the Purchasing Card
The Durham University Purchasing Card is not enabled for the cardholder to make cash withdrawals, travellers cheques or receive 'cash back' by any other means.
The purchasing card should not be used in conjunction with any other reward scheme, e.g. Nectar, Tesco Club Points, Boots Advantage points.
The purchasing card transactions must not be broken down in to smaller value purchases to dis-aggregate a larger purchase.
The card must only be used by the card holder.
The card should not be used without prior approval for the transaction being given.
The card and its details must not be sent or given to anybody else, and should not be photocopied and given to anybody else.
The card must not be used for personal expenses.
Any of the above can be deemed to be fraudulent mis-use of the card. Failure to comply with any of the above may result in the card being cancelled.
8.3 Applying for a Purchasing Card
It is for the Budget Officer in each Department or College to determine whether or not a Purchasing Card is appropriate for their Department or College. Once this decision is made, the Budget Officer should nominate the person to hold the card (this is normally the Departmental Buyer, or may be the Departmental Secretary or other authorised representative in smaller departments).
The Budget Officer should contact the Procurement Service in writing to request an application form which, when completed by the nominated card holder, is returned to the Procurement Service for authorisation by the Treasurer or her representative.
Barclaycard Business will send the Purchasing Card to the Procurement Service who will contact the prospective card holder in writing when the card is received.
Before a Purchasing Card is issued, the prospective card holder (or their nominated reconciler) must attend a Unisys purchasing card training session. Staff will be required to sign confirmation of attendance at the appropriate training when they collect their purchasing card. This session provides instructions to the card holder on carrying out the electronic reconciliation process and advice on good practice with regard to record keeping. The card will not be issued if no training has taken place and the cardholder is required to sign up to agree to the correct usage of the card.
8.4 The Cardholder
The Purchasing Card will be provided in the name of the Cardholder. It is the responsibility of the Cardholder to ensure that the Purchasing Card is kept in a safe place. The Purchasing Card may only be used by the Cardholder for legitimate purchases which have Budget Officer approval, either on a requisition or Purchasing Card Authorisation form. Under no circumstances should this card be used by anybody other than the nominated card holder. This is classed as fraud and will result in the cancellation of the card.
8.5 Credit Limits
The maximum transaction limit is £1,000 inc VAT for routine purchases of goods and services and £1,500 inc VAT for flights, hotel bookings and conference bookings. The overall monthly credit limit per card is currently £10,000 unless altered by arrangement with the Procurement Service. Requests for increases to these credit limits must be passed to the Procurement Service on a Purchase Card Limit Raise Request form
This will normally only be granted on a temporary basis in exceptional circumstances. Where purchasing is carried out for the cardholder by a Faculty or Divisional Purchasing Team, no transaction increases will be granted.
8.6 Foreign Payments
Purchasing Cards may be used for foreign purchases which fall below the transaction limits stipulated.
8.7 Monthly Reconciliation
A procedure guide and transaction record log are available from the Procurement Service website:
It is the responsibility of the card holder to ensure that all purchases are correctly authorised prior to the purchase, either by completing the Purchasing Card Authorisation Form:
Or a suitable requisition that holds all of the information on the Purchasing Card Authorisation Form. A detailed log of all transactions must also be retained and updated at the point of each purchase. This must be signed by the Budget Officer when the statement is received, to confirm that all purchases were authorised prior to the spend, and that all goods and/or services receipts are attached to the statement. The visa transaction receipt on its own is not sufficient as it does not give details of the goods and/or services purchased.
A monthly statement of expenditure for each Purchasing Card will be issued to each Department/College by Barclaycard Business. This will need to be reconciled with the transaction log, receipts and requisitions or Purchasing Card Authorisation Form before the purchase order is raised on Oracle (for those staff whose purchases are carried out by Faculty or Divisional Purchasing Teams, there is a new option within Oracle to allow this).
The statement, receipts and authorised log must be sent to the Procurement Service. All other information relating to purchases must be retained for six years, for audit purposes.
8.9 Procurement Service
The Procurement Service will maintain a register of all Cardholders, card numbers and locations. Any changes must be notified to the Procurement Service and the Budget Officer immediately.
This is particularly important in the case of staff who are card holders who leave the employment of the University.
The Purchasing Card must only be used to procure goods and services on behalf of the University. Any misappropriation of University funds will result in the withdrawal of the Purchasing Card, and will be treated as gross misconduct and will be investigated in accordance with the University Fraud Policy and Fraud Response Plan:
The Procurement Service will spot-check statements for compliance with these procedures, and can run management information reports that can identify when cards have been mis-used. If any issues are high-lighted, the card holder will be contacted to discuss any problems.
8.10 Cancellation of Cards
Cancellation of Purchasing Cards will be arranged via the Procurement Service. It is the Cardholder/Budget Officer's responsibility to ensure that any cancelled card is destroyed (i.e. cut into four pieces) and returned to the Procurement Service. The Procurement Service will arrange for the Purchasing Card Account to be cancelled via Barclaycard Business.
8.11 Loss/Theft of Purchasing Cards
In the event of loss or theft, the Cardholder must immediately inform the Procurement Service. If the loss or theft occurs outside working hours, the Cardholder must immediately notify Barclaycard Business on Tel: 0844 822 2125 so that steps can be taken to minimise any financial loss and disruption that may be caused. Loss/theft outside working hours must be reported to the Procurement Service the next working day. A replacement card will be arranged as soon as possible.
Queries and problems relating to the use of Purchasing Cards should be directed to:
Tel: 0191 334 4531
Fax: 0191 334 4539