Business Procedures Manual

Essential business procedural components for University System of Georgia institutions.

3.3 Purchasing Cards

(Last Modified on September 5, 2017)

The State of Georgia Purchasing Card (P‐Card) program streamlines payments for goods and services for State business use by eliminating the administrative burdens and costs associated with traditional methods of payment. Per the State Accounting Office, the P‐Card may be used as the method of payment for unplanned, non‐routine, or urgent point of sale purchases under $1,000 and for purchases under $5,000 that are preapproved and go through the requisition process or pre-approvals prior to completing the purchase. Point of sale transactions include purchases made at a physical store, in person, online, or over the phone. This policy can be found at: http://sao.georgia.gov/sites/sao.georgia.gov/files/related_files/site_page/BP_VM_PaymentMethod_1.pdf

Each USG institution is responsible for establishing proper internal controls over all areas of the P-Card program. The objectives of proper internal controls include:

  • Ensure compliance with applicable laws, rules, regulations, and policies.
  • Safeguard the assets of the institution from fraud, waste, and abuse.
  • Provide for the effective and efficient administration of the P-Card program so as to support the educational objectives of the institution.

The responsibility for effective internal controls ultimately rests with institution leadership. However, it is expected that institution leadership will delegate aspects of P-Card program management and assessment to various offices and employees on campus to include the Purchasing office, P-Card program administrators, internal audit, P-Card approving officials, P-Card cardholders, supervisors, etc. Responsibility for individual purchases rests with the individual cardholder making the purchase and the approving official who approves the purchase.

The University System is requiring institutions using the P-Card program to establish controls designed to meet the objectives outlined in the state P-Card policy. Sections 3.3.6 through 3.3.8 provide a list of specific policies, procedures, and other requirements that each institution must incorporate as controls in its institutional policies. Additionally, each institution shall implement additional controls as needed to ensure compliance with the P-Card program objectives.

This section of the BPM provides the basic guidelines of the P-Card program as provided by DOAS/OPB. As outlined in section 3.3.3.3, each USG Institution developed a P-card plan which was approved by DOAS/OPB. Specific exceptions to the basic P-card program guidelines must be approved by DOAS/OPB based on specific business case/needs submitted by the individual USG institution. One time or P-card plan approved exemptions supersede any requirements outlined in this section. Documentation to support exceptions must be maintained by each USG institution.

Note: The P‐Card Program is the only charge card program authorized for use by the University System of Georgia.

All official forms mentioned in this Policy are on the State Purchasing Division (SPD) website:
http://doas.ga.gov/state-purchasing/statewide-card-programs. The versions on the website will always be the latest versions.

3.3.1 Authorized Uses of Purchasing Cards

(Last Modified on September 5, 2017)

All purchases made through the P-Card program must be for official State business. Internal policies governing use of the accounts can be more, but not less, restrictive than the Statewide Purchasing Card Policy.

Only the employee whose name appears on the face of the card is authorized to initiate transactions with the card. Use of card by any other person, even if the purchase is for legitimate State business, is considered misuse of the card. Each USG institution must define allowable and prohibited purchases in their internal purchasing card policy.

  • If a USG institution wishes to impose additional restrictions or prohibitions, then the Institution must define these additional restrictions in the Institution’s policy.
  • Whenever a USG Institution’s policy is more restrictive than the USG or Statewide Purchasing Card Policy, then the USG Institution’s policy takes precedence.
  • USG Institutions cannot allow purchases that are prohibited by the USG or Statewide Purchasing Card Policy.

3.3.1.1 Allowable Purchases

The P‐Card can be used for official purchases of supplies, materials, equipment or services where not otherwise prohibited or restricted. All purchases must be within assigned spending limits per the institution’s approved P-Card plan unless prior written approval from DOAS is received to exceed those limits. Allowable purchases include:

  1. Goods and services used in the furtherance of a USG institution’s mission.

  2. Purchases of goods or services intended for official State of Georgia work‐related use that are not otherwise excluded by the Prohibited Purchases section of this Policy.

3.3.1.2 Allowable Purchases – Restrictions Apply

  1. Travel‐Related Expenses – USG Employees
    USG employees traveling on official State business as defined in the State Travel Regulations published by the State Accounting Office and the Office of Planning and Budget may use the Purchasing Card for:
    a. Transportation -
    When the mode of transportation is a vehicle rental, the rental must be from one of the Mandatory Statewide Contracts unless approved using the Waiver from Statewide Contract process defined in Section 1.3.1.1 of the Georgia Procurement Manual.
    b. Parking
  2. Travel‐Related Expenses – Non‐State Employees
    Cardholders may use the Purchasing Card for students travelling on official school business, clients of USG Institution, and the general public when participating in an official State program or other activity for:
    i. All types of transportation when this transportation is needed in the fulfillment of the USG Institution’s mission.
    ii. Lodging and meals for students and for clients of a USG Institution needed in the fulfillment of the USG Institution’s mission.
  3. Equipment
    Use of the P‐Card for equipment is governed by the State Accounting Office policies on Capital Assets. USG Institutions may impose additional restrictions. USG Institutions are limited to single units with a cost under $3,000 per unit, including freight, and the transaction must comply with single transaction spending limits as outlined by State Policy.
  4. Vehicle‐Related Transactions
    Car washes are permitted provided the Institutions allows this type of purchase in the internal policy.
  5. Software, Data Plans, and “Apps ”
    Software, unless prohibited by the Institution’s internal policy, can be purchased for only State-issued computers, smart phones and tablets.
  6. Food or Meals
    a. Food provided for consumption at events or services provided to the general public, state benefit recipients and/or state program participants, or purchased for resale in gift shops, bookstores, or similar venues, and other non‐employee meal related use.
    b. Non‐travel related meals for State employees that meet the State Accounting Office definition of group meals. See BPM Section 4 for additional Statewide Travel Policy guidance.
    c. Meals only when the cost of the meal is included in the total cost (e.g. a conference fee of $1,500 that includes three meals).
    d. Food and lodging for student activities, but not for faculty, staff, coaches, or other institution employees, when on official institution business (e.g. athletic team travel). Documentation for the purchase must include:
       i. Itemized receipt showing all meals purchased
       ii. Roster of participants showing student name and signature
       iii. Copy of team schedule or other documentation showing that the meal was for an authorized student activity
    e. Food for official research, laboratory animals, or instructional/classroom use.
    f. Food for school‐sponsored childcare (e.g. day care center at a school).
    g. Alcoholic beverages, such as cooking wine, for instructional or classroom use only. The following steps must be followed:
        i. Document the purchase showing that the purchase was for instructional use.
        ii. Create and document steps to ensure that the alcohol is either completely used or disposed of or properly secured between usage to prevent consumption in non‐ classroom activities.
        iii. When possible, purchase the alcohol from instructional/culinary arts supply sources rather than a grocery or package store.

3.3.2 Prohibited Uses of Purchasing Cards

(Last Modified on September 5, 2017)

The following types of purchases are strictly prohibited either by Official Code of Georgia, Annotated (O.C.G.A.), or to meet reporting requirements:

  1. Goods or services not directly related to job responsibilities or other official State of Georgia business (i.e. personal purchases).

  2. Data plans, software, or applications (apps) for non‐USG issued devices, including, but not limited to, smart phones, laptop computers, and tablets.

  3. Memberships at wholesale warehouses and shopping clubs (e.g. Sam’s, Costco, Amazon Prime)

  4. Cash advances

  5. Gift cards, stored value cards, calling cards, and similar products.

  6. Employee travel expenses related to lodging and meals, except as specifically covered under Allowable Purchases.   a. Certain Agencies may request an exception to this requirement in the event of a declared emergency.
      b. Use Special Approval Request, Form SPD‐PC003, for this request.

  7. Entertainment (e.g. in‐room movies for State employees traveling on business). This restriction does not apply to student activities or to items purchased for resale at bookstores.

  8. Alcoholic beverages or products except as permitted above

  9. Tobacco products

  10. Fuel, mechanical repairs, and maintenance for State‐owned or rental vehicles. Exceptions may be granted upon verification of procedures to enter costs into VITAL, the State’s fleet management system administered by the DOAS Office of Fleet Management.
      a. This restriction does not apply to non‐mechanical body shop repairs (e.g. dented bumper) not covered under the State’s vehicle maintenance contract.
      b. This restriction does not apply to auto parts for in‐house use (e.g. Entity‐operated repair shops) or for teaching purposes.

  11. Affiliated organization expenditures.

  12. Agency fund expenditures that have not gone through the requisition or pre-approval process.

  13. Purchases made from units of the institution. Purchases made from units within the institution should be handled using a cost transfer or other payment method. Use of the P-Card subjects the selling unit to the merchant fees associated with credit card sales and is not a cost-effective means of making intra-institution purchases. For example, an institution should not permit use of the P-Card for purchases made from the institution-managed bookstore.

  14. Split purchases. O.C.G.A. § 50‐5‐69 requires competitive bidding for all open‐market purchases anticipated to be $25,000 or more. However, §50‐5‐83 sets the legal Single Transaction Limit (STL) for P‐Card transactions at less than $5,000 (e.g. $4,999.99 or less) unless the purchase is from a Statewide Contract and in compliance with State procurement policy. However, policy requires the Single Transaction Limit (STL) for unplanned, non‐routine, or urgent point of sale P‐Card transactions be set at $1,000 and purchases that are preapproved and go through a requisition or pre-approval process prior to completing the purchase be set at under $5,000 (i.e. $4,999.99 or less). Point of sale transactions include purchases made at a physical store, in person, or over the phone.
      a. Cardholders are prohibited from splitting a transaction between two or more transactions on a single account, two or more transactions on multiple accounts, or two or more transactions using the P‐Card and a purchase order in order to circumvent competitive solicitation requirements. Refer to the GPM at <http://doas.ga.gov/statepurchasing/ law‐administrative‐rules‐and‐policies/gpm> for complete information on bid requirements and procedures.
      b. Cardholders are prohibited from splitting a transaction between two or more transactions on a single card number, two or more transactions on multiple card numbers, or two or more transactions using the P‐Card and a purchase order in order to circumvent the Single Transaction Limit imposed on the card regardless of the amount of the STL.

  15. Sales tax. O.C.G.A. §48‐8‐3 exempts purchases made by USG Institutions from State Sales and Use Tax when payment is made with appropriated funds. Cardholders must present the Department of Revenue Sales and Use Tax Exemption, Form ST‐5, to suppliers upon request. This form is available on the Department of Revenue website at http://dor.ga.gov by searching for ST‐5.

The requirement for out‐of‐state suppliers to charge Sales and Use Tax on shipments to purchasers in the State of Georgia does not apply to tax‐exempt State Entities. In order to avoid confusion, the cardholder must provide out‐of‐state suppliers with a copy of the ST‐5 prior to placing an order to be shipped into the State of Georgia. If the supplier refuses to remove taxes, the cardholder must make the purchase from a different supplier whenever possible.

Cardholders are responsible for ensuring that merchants do not charge tax or provide a credit for inadvertent charges.
  1. If taxes are charged, the cardholder must contact the merchant to obtain a credit to the account. Sales tax cannot be disputed with the Bank.
  2. Credits cannot be obtained by any other method, including, but not limited to, cash, gift cards, or store credit.
  3. Documentation of attempts to obtain credit for any State Sales and Use Tax charged in error must be maintained with the documentation for the transaction where the tax was charged.

State Entities may apply to the Georgia Department of Revenue for a refund of sales taxes paid in error or because a supplier/merchant refuses to remove taxes. The form to use for this request is the Department of Revenue’s Claim for Sales and Use Tax Refund, Form ST‐12. In addition to the ST‐12, the State Entity must also submit either (1) a Waiver of Vendor’s Rights, Form ST‐12A, or (2) a Purchaser’s Claim for Sales Tax Refund Affidavit, Form ST‐12B. These forms contain instructions for their use and are located at http://dor.ga.gov.


3.3.3 Program Administration

(Last Modified on September 13, 2017)

The Institution Procurement Officer (CUPO) serves as the official liaison between the Insitution and State Purchasing Division personnel for all matters related to the Entity’s program. This individual usually serves as the P‐Card Program Administrator, although any or all of the following administrative responsibilities may be delegated to another individual or to one or more Card Program Coordinators, depending on the size and complexity of the Entity’s program.

3.3.3.1 Standard P‐Cards

Cardholders are limited to one active P‐Card. Cardholders must be permanent, part‐time or full‐time, State employees whose jobs require the use of a P‐Card or other account. Institutions may include additional restrictions if desired.

There will be no exceptions to the following:

  1. Neither cards nor accounts will be issued to employees of foundations associated with a USG Institution, student employees, temporary workers (e.g. hired from a temporary staffing agency), or contractors (e.g. person hired for a pre‐determined period of time for a specific project).
  2. Cards and other accounts will not be issued in the name of a Department or work unit (e.g. Facilities Maintenance) to be shared by multiple employees.
  3. Only the employee whose name is shown on the face of the card is authorized to make purchases with the card, either in person, on‐line, or telephone. Use by any other person, even if for State business purposes, is considered misuse of the card.

At a minimum, an employee’s supervisor, the Institution’s Card Program Administrator and the Institution’s Chief Financial Officer must approve a cardholder’s application for a P‐Card or other account as well as renewals of existing accounts. The appropriate P‐Card application form is the Purchasing Card Profile, Form SPD‐PC002, found on the SPD website: http://doas.ga.gov/state‐purchasing/statewide‐card‐programs/purchasing‐cards

The Chief Financial Officer, Card Approvers and potential cardholders must meet all training requirements as described in this policy. Approver and cardholder training must be completed prior to receiving the P‐Card or obtaining access to an account number.

3.3.3.2 Ghost Card Accounts

Ghost Card accounts are no longer allowable.

3.3.3.3 P‐Card Plan

Each USG Institution participating in the Card Program is required to have an approved P‐Card Plan. Items required in the Card Plan must include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Justification of need for each cardholder or job class.
  2. Justification of need for point of sale purchases based on job requirements.
  3. A scenario of card distribution that meets the statutory requirement of a maximum of 100 cards.
  4. Establish time limits for determining when to cut off or cancel dormant cards based on job requirements.
  5. Establish spending limits (with appropriate waiver requests) based on job requirements and business model.
  6. An overview of Internal Controls surrounding card use.
  7. Establish approval chain for each cardholder.

Amendments must be submitted for approval as business needs change. All P‐Card Plans and subsequent amendments must be reviewed and approved by the Institution’s President and submitted to DOAS for approval in conjunction with OPB. Compliance audits will be conducted against the plan.

3.3.3.4 Institution Presidents

Each President of a USG Institutions participating in the Card Program is responsible for reviewing and approving the Institution’s P‐Card Plan and all amendments prior to submission to DOAS/OPB. Institution Presidents cannot be issued a P‐Card.

3.3.3.5 Chief Financial Officer

The Chief Financial Officer of the Institution participating in the P-card program is responsible for overseeing the card program. Duties of the Chief Financial Officer include:

  1. Successful completion of the CFO Card Program Training module
  2. Submission of the completed CFO Card Program Acknowledgement form
  3. The appointment of an Entity Card Program Administrator
  4. Approval of qualified cardholders and approvers
  5. Review and approval of the Annual Self Audit of the Institution’s Card Program as defined by DOAS.
    Note: CFO duties do not include oversight of audits performed by external or internal auditors authorized by statute or charter.
  6. Review and approve policies in conjunction with the CUPO and Card Administrator annually.
  7. Review and approval of Institution’s P‐Card Plan and all amendments
  8. Submission of the Plan to the Institution’s President

3.3.3.6 Card Program Administrator

The Card Program Administrator serves as the main point‐of‐contact for all card program personnel and serves as a liaison between Institution management, CFO, the State Purchasing Division, and other card program personnel. In some cases, responsibilities may be shared and/or delegated to a Card Program Coordinator. The Institution must provide a Designation of Card Program Administrator, Form SPD‐CC001, and the Card Program Administrator Acknowledgement form to the State Purchasing Division within 30 days of any changes in Administrators or Coordinators if the coordinator serves as a point of contact with the State Purchasing Division. Information on all official Program forms and how they are to be used can be found on the SPD website: http://doas.ga.gov/state-purchasing/statewide-card-programs

The Card Program Administrators/Coordinators fulfill responsibilities in the following areas:

  1. Card Management
      a. Develops and maintains the Institution’s internal P‐Card policy to address policy areas unique to the institution or that are not covered by the Statewide Purchasing Card Policy or USG Business Procedures Manual.
      b. Cannot be a P‐Card holder.
      c. Works with management, including the Institution’s CFO, to identify job titles or positions that require a P‐Card or would be good candidates for use of the card and/or other accounts.
      d. Develops internal procedures for requesting new cards and/or changes to existing cards (e.g. change in spending limits).
      e. Works with management and the CFO to determine appropriate cardholder spending limits based on budget restrictions, job requirements, historical spending patterns, and overall procurement practices.
      f. Evaluates cardholder spending limits against actual usage at least annually and terminates cards that show consistently low usage.
      g. Identifies cards with little or no usage to determine if cards are needed.

  2. Reconciliation Procedures The Card Program Administrator is responsible for developing the following internal procedures:
      a. Reconciliation process that ensures timely payment and/or allocation of transactions to the General Ledger at least monthly.
      b. Documentation, including use of Works™ Payment Manager or other P-Card plan approved systems for reconciliation of transactions.
      c. Disputing a transaction with the Bank.

  3. Compliance with Laws and Policies
      a. Establishes written internal procedures to ensure compliance with State procurement laws, the Georgia Procurement Manual, the Statewide Purchasing Card Policy, USG Business Procedures Manual and the internal P‐Card policy.
      b. Develops written internal procedures for requesting exceptions to either State or internal policy requirements using the Special Approval Request, Form SPD‐PC003.
      c. Develops internal procedures for requesting exceptions to both Institution and internal policies, if allowed.
      d. Submits all P‐Card Plan amendments and requests for exceptions to the Statewide Purchasing Card Policy to the Institution’s CFO for submission to cardprograms@doas.ga.gov for approval by DOAS and OPB.

  4. Internal Controls
      a. Develops the Institution’s internal P‐Card procedures in compliance with the principles of sound internal controls.
      b. Ensures that the Institution has sufficiently documented internal controls and other measures (e.g. audits) to prevent and/or detect misuse or abuse of the P‐Card and other accounts.
      c. Develops written procedures for ordering cards and canceling cards when lost or stolen or when a cardholder leaves employment.
      d. Develops written procedures for reporting and documenting actual and/or potential cardholder abuse or misuse.
      e. Ensures that transactions are audited at least annually during the required self‐audit process outlined in section 3.3.7.

  5. Card Program Training
      a. Develops Institution specific training for all cardholders, supervisors, and other approving officials.
      b. Develops appropriate refresher training to be delivered at least annually.
      c. Ensures that all card program personnel receive notification of changes in State, USG, and internal policies, including Official Announcements from the State Purchasing Division.

3.3.3.7 Supervisors / Approving Officials

Supervisors or other persons responsible for reviewing transactions must have a thorough knowledge of the cardholders’ job responsibilities in order to determine if purchases are job related or otherwise authorized. All approving officials are required to complete the Approver Card Program Acknowledgement form.

  1. Monthly Reconciliation
      a. Before approving the P‐Card transactions, either by signing a transaction log or statement or signing off on transactions electronically, the supervisor or approving official must carefully review all documentation to ensure that all documentation meets the minimum requirements as explained in Section VII.A. of the Statewide Purchasing Card Policy.
      b. Ensure that passwords are not shared or delegated for others to use in order to review and approve transactions.
      c. Sign off on all transactions in Works™ Payment Manager or other P-Card plan approved systems, as appropriate, within the timeframe established by the Card Program Administrator.
      d. Ensure all documentation is submitted according to internal procedures and State requirements. See Section VII of the Statewide Purchasing Card Policy.

  2. Other Responsibilities
      a. Maintain knowledge of State, USG and internal procurement policies and procedures related to use of the P‐Card.
      b. Coordinate the following with the Card Program Administrator:
        i. Ordering and canceling cards for employees
        ii. Establishing reasonable spending limits

3.3.3.8 Cardholders and Related Account Users

All cardholders are de facto purchasing agents for the USG Institutions. All card program personnel must have a minimum understanding of State procurement laws and the requirements of the Georgia Procurement Manual and USG Business Procedures Manual.

  1. Card Usage
      a. Ensure that no other persons have access to any card information (i.e. card account number, expiration date, security code).   b. Ensure that all purchases comply with State and internal policies.
  2. Monthly Reconciliation
      a. Ensure that all invoices and receipts meet minimum requirements for adequate documentation of transactions.
      b. Sign off on all transactions in Works™ Payment Manager or other P-card plan approved system, as appropriate, within the timeframe established by the Entity’s Card Program Administrator.
      c. Ensure all documentation is submitted according to internal procedures and State requirements. See Section VIII.A. of the Statewide Purchasing Card Policy.
  3. Other Responsibilities
    Maintain knowledge of State, USG and internal procurement policies and procedures related to use of the P‐Card

3.3.3.9 Legal Issues

All procurement laws in the Official Code of Georgia, Annotated, and administrative rules found in the Georgia Procurement Manual apply to the use of the P‐Card. Cardholders, program users, CFOs or supervisors/approving officials who knowingly, or through willful neglect, fail to comply with the following may be subject to suspension or termination of account privileges or other Statewide Purchasing Policy disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment and criminal prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.

  • Official Code of Georgia, Annotated (O.C.G.A.), sections related to governmental purchasing
  • Applicable requirements of the Georgia Procurement Manual (GPM)
  • Statewide Purchasing Card Policy
  • USG Business Procedure Manual
  • Institutions policies and procedures governing procurement and the Purchasing Card Program.

The State Cards Program Director and State Purchasing Division reserve the right to withdraw any authority or delegated approval due to non‐compliance with applicable laws, rules, regulations, policies, and procedures, or the terms of any conditional approval.

3.3.3.10 Personal Purchases Prohibited

Cardholders and other program personnel are prohibited from using the P‐Card for the purchase of any goods or services not directly or indirectly related to official State of Georgia business. Intentional use of or approval for the use of the card for personal purchases will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination from State employment and criminal prosecution.

  1. The Official Code of Georgia, Annotated (O.C.G.A.), §50‐5‐80 states that any person who knowingly uses state funds for personal purchases under $500 is guilty of a misdemeanor.
  2. A person who knowingly uses state funds for personal purchases of $500 or more is guilty of a felony punishable by one to 20 years in prison.
  3. Supervisors or other approving officials who knowingly, or through willful neglect, approve personal or fraudulent purchases are subject to the same disciplinary actions as those making the purchases.

Note: Suspected malfeasance must be reported to the University System Office in accordance with the procedures outlined in the BPM Section 16.4.

3.3.3.11 Cardholder Background Checks

O.C.G.A. §50‐5‐83 requires criminal background checks on all employees hired for positions that are eligible for P‐Cards. Background investigations should be conducted in compliance with USG Background Investigation policy as outlined in the USG HRAP.

3.3.3.12 Cardholder Credit Checks

In addition to background checks for all cardholders, O.C.G.A. §50‐5‐83 requires credit checks on all employees issued a purchasing card. Credit checks must be conducted through existing Statewide contract vendors and procedures including standardized reports that indicate acceptance or denial of the employee’s request for a card based on predefined criteria established by DOAS. Each Institution must establish an escalation path for denials to provide potential cardholders an opportunity to dispute inaccurate data found.

3.3.3.13 E‐Verify

The Georgia Security and Immigration and Compliance Act, O.C.G.A. §13‐10‐91, requires suppliers to file an affidavit that the supplier and its subcontractors have registered and participate in the federal work authorization program known as E‐Verify. This program is intended to ensure that only lawful citizens or lawful immigrants are employed by the supplier or subcontractor. All State Entities are required to obtain this signed and notarized affidavit from suppliers prior to entering into any service contract $2,500 or greater involving the supplier’s physical performance of services within the State of Georgia. The State of Georgia Attorney General’s Office has interpreted this to include one‐time P‐Card transactions for services.

For P‐Card transactions that meet this definition, the cardholder or another person within the USG Institutions are responsible for ensuring receipt of this affidavit. A copy of this affidavit must be included with all transaction documentation.


3.3.4 Purchasing Card Account Code

(Last Modified on September 5, 2017)

A limited number of merchants feed “item description” into the WORKS reports, but a large portion of the transactions do not have an “item description”. Although difficult, each USG institution is tasked with appropriately distributing P-Card expenses to the appropriate expense code based on items/services purchased.


3.3.5 Purchasing Card Program Compliance

(Last Modified on September 7, 2017)

Each institution is responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable laws, rules, regulations, and policies governing P-Cards. Ensuring compliance shall, at a minimum, include the following controls:

  1. Develop and maintain institutional P-Card policies and procedures that fully incorporate current DOAS and USG policies and procedures.
  2. Ensure that P-Cards are issued only to permanent part-time or full-time employees of the institution whose jobs require the use of a P-card. Institution may include additional restrictions if desired.
  3. Ensure that P-Cards are not issued to employees of Foundations and other affiliated organizations associated with the institution.
  4. Ensure that a P-Card is issued only to a named individual and not to a department or office.
  5. Ensure that cardholders do not share the P-Card or P-Card number for use by other employees.
  6. Separation of duties between ordering cards (program administrators), making transactions (cardholders), and review or approval of transactions for payment (supervisors/approving officials).
  7. A minimum of two approvers required before a purchase is made (usually supervisor and fiscal) for all routine purchases and non-routine over $1,000.
  8. Establish penalties for misuse of the P-Card to include a written system that documents warnings, suspensions, terminations, and permanent P-Card revocation.
  9. Require cardholders to obtain receipts for all purchases made on the P-Card. The receipt should include:
    • Vendor name
    • Transaction amount
    • Date
    • Itemized list of items purchased

    Copies or facsimiles of the original receipt may be acceptable if the original is not available. A screen-print or order confirmation e-mail is required when making Internet purchases, or a copy of an order-form that was mailed to a vendor to request an item. The screen print/order confirmation must include the shipping date and be signed as received.

    The institution shall centrally maintain receipts and supporting documentation for P-Card purchases or may assign this responsibility to approving officials, departments, etc. Receipts and supporting documentation shall be maintained for a period of seven (7) years and shall be made available as needed for audit or review. It is recommended that institutions centrally maintain the receipts and supporting documentation.
  10. Require cardholders to maintain a log in the cardholder’s name showing:
    • Each P-Card purchase
    • Relevant vendor’s name
    • Item(s) purchased
    • Date of the purchase
    • Amount of the purchase
    • Name of the employee for whom the purchase was made
    • Intended business use
    • Grant or project to which the purchase is applicable
    • Other information as required
    The cardholder shall be required to maintain copies of this log for seven (7) years or the institution may centrally maintain copies of the log. The log shall be made available as needed for audit or review.

    Require approving officials to review assigned cardholder P-Card purchases on at least a monthly basis. The approving official should provide evidence of his or her review through a signature on the P-Card purchasing log and/or the monthly Bank of America statement. It is recommended that the approving official monitor P-Card purchases on a more frequent basis using the WORKS program.
  11. Delegation of the approver duties is unallowable. Should an approver be on leave or otherwise unavailable to approve a purchase or transaction, another trained approver already assigned approver responsibility may assume those duties temporarily.
  12. All transaction reconciliation is to be done electronically, either in Works™ Payment Manager or other system approved in the P-Card plan depending on the Institution’s accounting system. Transactions must be reconciled and allocated to the General Ledger within 30 days of the statement billing date.

    Note: All Institutions are required to use the Works™ Payment Manager system provided by the Bank for card administration and account maintenance. Institutions must use WORKs Payment Manager for Cardholder sign-off and supervisory approval of transactions, unless another system was approved in conjunction with P-Card plan.

  13. Follow all federal laws applicable to the reporting of spending with 1099 vendors.
  14. It is the responsibility of each institution participating in the P-Card program to put in place procedures to comply with any federal tax laws regarding 1099 reporting. Please note that the P-Card may not be used for professional services as outlined in BPM Section 3.3.2.
  15. Ensure that P-Card purchasing records are retained for at least seven (7) years.
  16. Report any misuse of P-Cards in compliance with the provisions as outlined in BPM Section 16.4, Fraud, Waste, and Abuse.
  17. The Statewide Purchasing Card Policy and the USG Business Procedures Manual serves as the Policy for the P‐Card Program on a system wide level and is not designed to be specific to an individual Institution. Each Institution must develop its own internal policy to address areas that the Statewide Purchasing Card Policy and USG Business Procedures Manual cannot and does not address. The Card Program Administrator or the Institution Procurement Officer in conjunction with the CFO must evaluate the internal policy at least annually using the Policy Risk Evaluation workbook found on the State Purchasing Division website at http://doas.ga.gov/state-purchasing/purchasing-tools/process-improvement-tools

3.3.6 Purchasing Card Program Safeguarding of Assets

(Last Modified on September 7, 2017)

Each institution is responsible for ensuring that the institution’s assets are safeguarded from fraud, waste, and abuse. Ensuring the safeguarding of assets shall, at a minimum, include the following controls:

  • Ensure that rebates or refunds from vendors shall be the property of the institution and shall be paid promptly into the institution’s accounts.
  • Perform criminal and consumer background checks in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 50-5-83. The institution shall ensure that the results of a criminal background check and consumer credit check are provided the privacy protections required by law. Institutions shall comply with the provisions of the Human Resources Administrative Policy Manual in implementing a background check requirement.
  • Require cardholders to personally reimburse the institutions for purchases made that are not appropriately documented. Approving officials also may be required to reimburse the institution if the approving official approved the purchase.
Note: Habitual loss of receipts/documentation may require personal reimbursement by the cardholder and/or approver, and may also result in termination of the P-Card.
  • Ensure that any items of value purchased for distribution to students be allowed only in support of the educational objectives of the institution. Additionally, ensure that the cardholder maintains sufficient documentation so as to identify the individual receiving an item.
Note: The requirement to track individual recipients does not apply to items of de minimis value.
  • Ensure that P-Cards are promptly cancelled upon employee transfer or termination.
Note: Suspected malfeasance must be reported to the University System Office in accordance with the procedures outlined in the BPM Section 16.4.

3.3.7 Purchasing Card Program Effectiveness and Efficiency

(Last Modified on September 7, 2017)

Each institution is responsible for providing effective and efficient administration of the P-Card program in support of the institution’s educational objectives. Ensuring effective and efficient administration shall, at a minimum, include the following controls:

  1. Formally designate P-Card roles and responsibilities to include P-Card program administration, approving officials, and cardholders.
  2. Formally identify job positions within the institution that would require the use of a P-Card.
  3. Develop a training manual on the use of P-Cards that shall instruct cardholders and approving officials on the maximum value utilization of P-Cards, applicable policies and procedures, and purchasing rules that may impact P-Card usage.
  4. Require initial and refresher training for both cardholders and approving officials. Failure to participate in initial training shall result in non-issuance of the P-Card, and failure to participate in refresher training shall result in card suspension until the training is completed.
  5. Review not less than annually all P-Cards issued to employees, and eliminate P-Cards for employees who demonstrate consistently low usage of P-Cards or no longer have a demonstrated business need for the P-Card.
  6. Limit the number of cardholders for which an approving official may be responsible to a reasonable number over which the approving official may exercise sufficient oversight. It is recommended that the number of cardholders for which an approving official is responsible not exceed ten (10) cardholders.
  7. Ensure that a sample of P-Card purchases are independently reviewed by the P-Card program administrator, campus internal auditor, or other trained personnel independent of the approving official and cardholder under review at least annually.
  8. Provision for annual audit or self‐audit of the P‐Card program by the Card Program Administrator or Internal Audit unit must be submitted annually to DOAS no later than December 1st. Guidelines for the annual self‐audit can be found at http://doas.ga.gov/state-purchasing/statewide-card-programs Self‐Audits must include adequacy of:

    a. internal policies and procedures
    b. cardholder spending limits
    c. monthly reconciliation procedures
    d. documentation for transactions


3.3.8 Card Program Personnel Training

(Last Modified on September 7, 2017)

3.3.8.1 Institution Training

Each Institution’s Card Program Administrator is responsible for developing and implementing training for cardholders and supervisors or other approving officials specific to that Institution’s needs. Training must include relevant portions of the following:

a. Georgia Procurement Manual
b. Statewide Purchasing Card Policy
c. USG Business Procedures Manual
d. Internal procurement and P‐Card policies

The Institution’s Card Program Administrator is responsible for developing and implementing refresher training to be conducted at least annually for all cardholders, supervisors, and approving officials.

All cardholders must sign a cardholder agreement that contains the terms and conditions for use of the P‐Card and any other account. The mandatory cardholder agreement is available at http://doas.ga.gov/state-purchasing/statewide-card-programs

3.3.8.2 Statewide Training

The Professional Development Unit of the State Purchasing Division provides additional training for cardholders, supervisors, approving officials, CFOs, and Card Program Administrators. All training courses are updated at least annually and are available in the SPD Learning Management System (LMS) at http://doas.rollbook.com. To gain access to the LMS, send an email to training@doas.ga.gov.

  1. Introduction to P‐Card Principles provides the information necessary to understand the purpose of the P‐Card, its benefits, and the procurement regulations that apply to using the P‐Card. This course is required as either initial training or annual refresher training, or both, for Card Program Administrators, cardholders, and supervisors/approving officials for those State Entities that do not provide training.
  2. Evaluating P‐Card Program Management provides guidance to Institution Procurement Officers, Card Program Administrators, and auditors on evaluating P‐Card policy and internal controls and auditing transactions.
  3. P‐Card for the CFO training module provides an overview of the card program and the CFO’s roles and responsibilities related to the program.

3.3.8.3 Works™ Payment Manager

Bank of America is responsible for delivering training on Works™ Payment Manager when the system is initially implemented. The Institution’s Card Program Administrator is responsible for training new cardholders or other users. Personnel from the State Purchasing Division’s Professional Development and/or Process Improvement units are also available.


3.3.9 Records Retention Requirements

(Last Modified on September 7, 2017)

The University System of Georgia maintains the official Records Retention Schedule for the State of Georgia. This information is available at http://www.georgiaarchives.org/records/retention_schedules.

  • Documents related to transactions (e.g. receipts) are accounting records and must be maintained according to the requirements of Accounts Payable Files.
  • Documents related to the issuance of accounts to employees (e.g. profile forms) are accounting records and must be maintained according to the requirements of Credit Card Administration Records.

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