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Policy: VII.A.15x2 (inactive)

Issued: February 10, 1997

Owner: Director of Procurement Services

Latest Revision: April 11, 2000




For Current Policies:
Policy Table of Contents


1.0 Purpose

This policy describes the general guidelines for the use of the University Purchasing Card.

2.0 Policy [Top]

2.1 Background

Use of the University’s Purchasing Card is a preferred method of purchasing commodities from outside vendors.  The current supplier providing the University Purchasing Card is American Express. Vendors accepting American Express also must accept the University Purchasing Card.  Requests for the Card are placed with the with the University Purchasing Card Administrator in Procurement Services who is responsible for the day-to-day management of the University’s Purchasing Card Program.

The University Purchasing Card represents the second American Express card available to the University community.  Travelers on official University business also can obtain the American Express Corporate Travel Card.   The essential difference between the travel card and the purchasing card is that cardholders are liable for charges incurred on the Travel Card while the University is liable for  purchases made on the Purchasing Card.

Because the University agrees to pay all purchases made with the University Purchasing Card, it is required that cardholders receive training on the use of the Card and agree to follow specific guidelines when using the card.  The guidelines protect the University’s resources and ensure that cardholders are exercising good financial stewardship of University funds.  Cardholders must not charge personal items on the card.  Failure to comply with Cardholder terms and conditions  may result in the revocation of purchasing card privileges and disciplinary actions including employment termination.

2.2 Limitations on the Use of the Card

There is a $1,999 limit per transaction and a monthly limit of $7,500 per card. Other spending limit restrictions per transaction and per month may  be set by the Department Head at the time of  Cardholder application.  The Request for Exemption to $7,500 Monthly Spending Limit can be accessed on Procurement Services’  Web Site at http://www.virginia.edu/procurementservices/AmexProgram.htm

All items which can be purchased with a limited purchase order can also be purchased with a University Purchasing card.  The purchasing card has fewer restrictions than an LPO.  For example, food and air or rail tickets are not restricted items with the Purchasing Card.  Although card holders must adhere to all state and University policies in regard to food or air or rail purchases. 

For air or rail purchases which exceed the Cardholder’s per transaction limit, send e-mail to the University’s Purchasing Card Administrator to request a limit exception for the transaction.

2.3 Types of Purchases

The University Purchasing Card can purchase many items on the demand payment list, such as:

These items may not be purchased with a University Purchasing Card and are considered “restricted” items:

2.4 Required Documentation

All transactions must be recorded in a  Purchasing Card Transaction Log retained in the department by the Cardholder.  This log is used to reconcile the monthly statement submitted to the Cardholder, Accounting reports, with receipt,  packing slips, and other available documentation.  The log is available at http://www.virginia.edu/~pams/AmexProgram.htm

For all air and rail travel purpose of the trip must be documented on the log. For food purchases the log must contain a record of the purpose of the purchase and who attended the event where food was served.

If there is a discrepancy between the log and statement, Cardholders are required to call the vendor immediately to issue a credit or correct the charge.  If the vendor disputes the credit, Cardholders must contact American Express (at the 800 number shown on your statement) for a temporary credit until the dispute has been resolved.  The Cardholder must monitor monthly statements to ensure proper credit has been given. Purchasing card statements and all supporting documentation should be retained for five years plus the current year.

2.5 Internet Purchases

Card purchases over the Internet are allowed, but State policy requires that web sites must, at a minimum, provide security of Security Socket Layer (SSL) Version 2.0. When a secure site asks for your ordering information, your browser will display a lock icon in the locked position and the address window will display https://. Netscape users may also check "Security Info" after clicking Security on their toolbar.

2.6 Cardholder Agreement

At the time of issuance, the Cardholder agrees to abide by all State law and policy and University policy. The Cardholder will be asked to sign an acknowledgment form which states that the Cardholder:

Understands one is being entrusted with a valuable tool – a University purchasing card - and that its use will produce a financial commitment on behalf of the University.  The University is liable to American Express for all charges made on this card.  Cardholder agrees to strive to obtain the best value for the University and agrees not to make excessive or unnecessary purchases with the card.

Agrees to be the only person who may use that particular card and to keep the card number confidential.

Agrees to use the card for approved purchases ONLY and agrees not to charge personal purchases.  Understands that the University will audit the use of the card and take appropriate action on any discrepancies. 

Agrees to follow the policies established by the University for the use of the card.  Failure to do so may result in the revocation of the card use privileges and disciplinary actions, including termination of employment.

Agrees to return the card immediately upon request or upon termination of employment (including retirement).  Changing positions will require one to turn in the old card and arrange for a new card, as appropriate.

Will notify the Purchasing Card Administrator  and American Express immediately if the card is lost or stolen.

Acknowledges to have received training on the proper use  of the card, including restrictions, and
Signs the acknowledgment indicating receipt of the University Purchasing Card, and that one has read, understood, and agreed to abide by these terms and conditions.


3.0 Definitions [Top]

4.0 References [Top]

5.0 Approvals and Revisions [Top]

       Previous version in effect from 2/10/97 to 4/11/00 available in policy archive.

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