SUBJECT: Purchasing Cards
POLICY #: ADMN 201
AUTHORIZED BY: Associate Dean for Administrative and Financial Services 11/24/98
APPROVED BY: Dean of the University 11/24/98
The state of South Carolina created the Purchasing Card Program in response to the need for state agencies to reduce the paperwork and employee time involved in traditional purchasing methods. USC Sumter, as a department of the University of South Carolina, has elected to participate in the Purchasing Card Program. This campus is bound by the policies and procedures prescribed for all departments by the University of South Carolina. The University Purchasing Office has created a Policy and Procedures area on its Web page. The address is http://purchasing.sc.edu/cc/. (This policy is not part of the comprehensive USC policy manual.) USC Sumter has adopted the following local policy in addition to the policy provided on the internet.
Intended Use and Limitations
Purchasing cards can, in many instances, replace the need for a Purchase Order, Direct Expenditure Voucher, or Petty Cash. Cards are issued with two limits encoded in them: 1) a single purchase cannot exceed $1,500.00, and 2) no more than $5,000.00 can be charged within a single billing period (approximately one month). "Hard-coded" means that if a cardholder attempts a transaction that exceeds either of these limits, the card will be declined at the point of purchase. The $1,500.00 limit is set to reinforce the requirement to request bids on all purchases that exceed that amount.
In addition to these limitations, the department to which the card is charged has a finite budget that cannot be exceeded. This limit, however, must be enforced by the fund manager of that department, and must be strictly observed by the cardholder(s).
Most required supplies and services that do not exceed the transaction limits should be purchased using the card. There are two exceptions to this rule - routine office supplies and computer supplies. USC Sumter has purchasing procedures for these areas that take advantage of purchasing in quantity and ensure the compatibility of computer technology on campus.
USC Sumter will continue to stock commonly used office supplies in Shipping and Receiving. A list of supplies and their prices will be published annually (with periodic updates) and will be provided to each office. As order forms are completed, prices should be listed and totaled by the ordering office. Order forms will be submitted to Shipping and Receiving to be filled. On a monthly or quarterly basis, these costs will be charged to each department. Departments should never independently purchase supplies that are available in Shipping and Receiving. If a department chooses to purchase an item not stocked in Shipping and Receiving, the department cardholder will use the purchasing card, if it is an appropriate transaction for the card. The item will be charged directly to that department's budget. The department fund manager remains responsible for insuring that the budget is not exceeded.
Computers, computer parts, and computer supplies will be ordered by, or in coordination with, the Computer Advisory Committee and the Computer Services Department of USC Sumter. CSD will be consulted and will have the authority to decide which brand names, hardware specifications, and software specifications will be ordered, regardless of which individual cardholder makes the purchase.
Causes for Card Termination
Being an authorized cardholder is a privilege that can be terminated for cause by the cardholder's supervisor, the USC Sumter Budget Director, the Assistant Dean for Administrative and Financial Services, and the Dean of the University. The Budget Director is the designated campus liaison to USC Purchasing for the Purchasing Card Program. It should be noted that if a USC Purchasing Card is used for personal purposes, not only will the card be terminated, the individual employee to whom the card was issued will be subject to disciplinary action up to, and including, potential termination of employment. A card may be terminated if:
Obtaining a Card
The logical person to be the cardholder in a department usually is the fund manager. Since the cardholder will be the primary purchaser for the department, the fund manager should evaluate the logistics particular to that department. The fund manager should send a request to the Budget Director specifying the employee's name, social security number, and the desired default account. The Budget Director will have the proposed cardholder sign an application and will forward that application to the Purchasing Office in Columbia. When the card is produced by the bank, it will be sent directly to the USC Purchasing Office. The employee must got to the Purchasing Office in person, and sign for the card.
The following two sections, "Cardholder Responsibilities" and "Campus Liaison Responsibilities" are taken directly from the Policy and Procedures Web pages of the USC Purchasing Office.
Following are several key responsibilities for each Cardholder. A Cardholder must:
Campus Liaison Responsibilities:
The campus liaison for USC Sumter is the Budget Director. The responsibilities include: