3.3 Purchasing Cards
(Last Modified on August 7, 2019)
The University System of Georgia (USG) operates in a complex purchasing environment. It is governed by laws of the state of Georgia, policies of the Board of Regents, regulations of the Georgia Department of Administrative Services (DOAS), regulations of the Georgia Technology Authority (GTA), and regulations of the Office of the State Treasurer (OST).
Note: OST governs banking services described in this manual Section 9.0, Banking and Investments.
Rules and regulations for purchasing of all other items as prescribed by DOAS, GTA, and BOR policy are contained in this section. The GTA regulations govern all procurements related to information technology, hardware, software, and consulting services. The state Department of Administrative Services governs all other procurements except as exempted by state law, such as library books, medical equipment and supplies, and perishable items, as noted in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.), sections 50-5-50 through 50-5-81. These rules and regulations govern purchases from all funds except Custodial funds as noted in the BOR Policy Manual Section 7.7.1, Purchasing and Contracting Regulations/General Policy.
Note: Custodial funds are described further in Section 14.0, Custodial Funds.
(Last Modified on July 9, 2020)
When a need is determined for goods and/or services, a purchase requisition is submitted primarily electronically and on rare occasion by a paper requisition to the Institution’s Purchasing Department. Agency budget managers must review and approve requisitions prior to submission allowing the Institution purchasing department to take action on their behalf.
The State Accounting Office (SAO) provides guidance to state entities on when a purchase order is expected in the procurement of goods and services. A purchase order is required for all purchases of goods and services more than $2,500 except for certain types of purchases specified in this Accounting update. For additional detail, see the State Accounting Office’s Statewide Purchase Orders Policy.
Purchase orders must contain an authorized signature, correct payment and delivery terms, and the appropriate “purchase type” codes and commodity codes as prescribed in the Georgia Procurement Manual. In addition, all PO line descriptions must clearly identify what is being purchased (using quote, manufacturer, or item number alone are not acceptable).
3.1.1 Cost Limits and Related Processing Rules
(Last Modified on June 13, 2019)
Procurements under $25,000 do not have to be competitively procured. However, it is best practice to obtain three quotes when possible to ensure pricing is competitive.
Purchase over $25,000.00 unless exempt must be competitively bid. Competitive bids are conducted when other means of procurement, such as state or entity contracts are not available.
Request for Quotes (RFQs) are used when the goods or services can be clearly specified and is awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder.
Request for Proposals (RFPs) are used primarily for complex purchases, primarily services. The RFP process allows suppliers to propose their own comprehensive and innovative solution to the state’s needs described in the RFP. The RFP seeks to identify the “best value” for the state by using a combination of technical and cost factors to evaluate suppliers’ proposals.
Procurement personnel conducting solicitations should be trained and certified by State Purchasing Division (SPD). Institution Procurement Officers (CUPO) must follow the guidelines for certification outlined in the Georgia Procurement Manual (GPM).
Unless State Purchasing Division (SPD) has granted delegated purchasing authority to the institution to make the RFP certification on its own, or to use the Fast Track RFP Process, as detailed in Section 184.108.40.206 of the GPM, the institution must submit a written request and justification to SPD.
Prior to using the RFP process to establish a contract, the state must certify in writing that the use of competitive sealed bidding (i.e., the RFQ process) will not be practicable or advantageous to the state O.C.G.A. §50-5-67. Standard RFP certification language is included in all SPD RFP templates.
Each institution has a Delegated Purchasing Authority (DPA) limit, designated by SPD. For procurement actions expected to exceed the institutional limit, SPD must publish the required notices and manage the RFP process. In certain circumstances with prior approval, SPD will allow the institution to manage the solicitation process when the expected result exceeds the institutional limit, subject to review by SPD. The CUPO is responsible for ensuring the state entity does not exceed its DPA and that all conditions of the DPA are met.
Note: These limits do not apply to construction or public works contracts.
Purchases for services greater than $2,499.99 must have a notarized immigration affidavit prior to contract execution or issuance of a Purchase Order. Suppliers and state entities shall comply with the requirements of O.C.G.A. §13-10-90. Additional information regarding Immigration and Security Compliance can be found on the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts website.
Multi-year contracts are permitted, up to a maximum of five (5) years, as long as there is no commitment of debt by the institution. Exceptions to the five years must be approved in advance by SPD and the University System Office.
An example would be a food services contract with a third party supplier. See Section 3.4.2, Dining and Catering Contracts in this manual for additional requirements.
Every contract must have clauses that allow the institution to cancel the contract for cause and/or financial exigency.
3.1.2 Exemptions from the Competitive Procurement Procedure
(Last Modified on June 20, 2019)
The State Purchasing Division (SPD) has established a list of goods/services which are either exempt from the State Purchasing Act or represent goods for which SPD has waived the competitive bidding requirements (see the NIGP Code Exempt List on SPD’s website). SPD may update this list from time to time by posting a new version of the list. It is always a best practice to view the NIGP Exempt List online for up to-date exempt NIGP Codes. Additional information about NIGP Codes and Exemptions are located at http://doas.ga.gov/state-purchasing/purchasing-tools/nigp-codes
220.127.116.11 University System Service Level Agreements
Since competitive procurement procedures apply to agreements with external vendors or contractors, University System of Georgia (USG) institutions and the University System Office (USO) are exempted from these procedures when purchasing goods and services within the USG. Intra USG purchases of services shall be addressed through a simplified agreement Service Level Agreement written in plain language that describes: (1) Purpose of the agreement; (2) Nature of the services provided; (3) Nature of the financial consideration being provided in exchange for the services provided; and (4) Billing method and required billing documentation. Additional components may be added to the agreement; however, every effort should be made to minimize unnecessary or irrelevant additions. For example, it would be unnecessary to require one USG institution to provide another USG institution with copies of audited financial statements or budgets.
USG institutions should update their contracting, procurement and accounts payable policies and procedures to comply with this BPM revision. Agreements should only be signed by those with delegated authority to sign contracts, which, as a matter of course, do not require legal review.
18.104.22.168 Sole Source Procurements
DOAS policy permits sole source procurements. Research must be conducted and documented to identify other sources and justification of any excess cost. See the Georgia Procurement Manual Section 2.3.2, Sole Source Purchases, including Subsections 22.214.171.124 Justifying Sole Source Purchases and 126.96.36.199 Conducting Sole Source Purchases, for additional information regarding sole source procurement.
Some examples of when a sole source could be acceptable are:
- When only the proposed source can furnish the services because of its previous BOR experience and having an alternative source duplicating these capabilities would result in excess cost.
- When only one supplier can satisfy the technical requirements because of unique technical competence or expertise.
- When the item does not satisfy the requirements for sole source, but the use of any other manufacturer would result in excessive costs.
- When only one source possesses the patent(s) or exclusive right(s) to manufacture or to furnish the item or service.
188.8.131.52 Technology Procurements
Authority for processing technology procurements is assigned to the Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) through the Official Code of the Georgia Assembly (O.C.G.A § 50-25). In the same chapter O.C.G.A § 50-25-1(b)(1), the USG is specified as being exempt from this legislation. The establishment of the GTA intersected with the authority of the Department of Administrative Services (DOAS), which resulted in a memorandum of understanding between the GTA, DOAS, and the USG in 2007 granting delegated authority, with some constraints, for technology procurements to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. Section 10.1, General Policy on Information Technology of the BOR Policy Manual delegates authority from the Board of Regents to the USG VC/CIO to approve USG technology procurements on their behalf. Section 10.3.1, Delegation of Project Authorization Authority authorizes the USG VC/CIO to further delegate approval authority to institution presidents or their designee(s). This section of the Business Procedures Manual implements this BOR policy.
The USG VC/CIO delegates approval authority for individual IT purchases according to the following limits:
$500,000: Georgia Institute of Technology, Augusta University, Georgia State University and the University of Georgia.
$250,000: Columbus State University, University of North Georgia, Georgia Southern University, Kennesaw State University, University of West Georgia and Valdosta State University
$100,000: All other USG organizations.
IT Procurement Policies
Information Technology is defined in the USG IT Handbook located on the USG Information Technology Services website.
Procurement of technology-related goods and services should follow the relevant BPM procedures.
Authorization is not required for activities that are part of normal maintenance of an existing system.
Any purchase of software that necessitates an inbound data interface with any hosted or centrally supported USG enterprise application must be approved by the USG VC/CIO.
Purchases for goods or services that are likely to have a significant impact on the wide area network bandwidth allocated to the institution should be carefully planned with the USG VC/CIO.
Externally approved, grant-funded technology purchases that do not interact with USG enterprise applications or USG enterprise networks may be approved by the institution president or his or her designee for IT purchases.
Institutions may not divide large purchases into smaller packages to avoid the need for USG approval. Individual purchases that are below these amounts, but are part of a larger initiative that will eventually exceed these amounts, shall also require written USG VC/CIO approval; e.g., purchases of computers for various lab locations on a campus even if the purchases are for different buildings and from multiple fund sources.
USG VC/CIO approval of IT requests will expire one year after being granted.
If there is a revised cost estimate to a previously approved IT procurement request and that estimate increases by more than 10%, a new IT procurement approval must be obtained.
Purchases over $1 million will require a business case to be submitted for review and approval.
184.108.40.206 Professional and Personnel Services
Professional services and personnel services do not have to go through the competitive procurement process, but the definitions of professional services and personnel services are very limited.
Professional services are defined by O.C.G.A. §14-7-2, §14-10-2(2), and Title 43 as follows:
Profession means the profession of certified public accountancy, architecture, chiropractic, dentistry, professional engineering, land surveying, law, psychology, medicine and surgery, optometry, osteopathy, podiatry, veterinary medicine, registered professional nursing, or harbor piloting.
Generally, professionals that are certified in their fields can be hired non-competitively to do work in the certified field for which they are specifically licensed. Examples include:
- A CPA may be hired to provide accounting services, but not management consulting without a competitive process.
- An architect may be hired to design a building, but may not develop a campus plan without a competitive process.
Payments to professionals should be charged to the appropriate fee and per diem accounts.
Personnel employment services are those services rendered by a person who works full-time or part-time for and under the control of the state and receives compensation as a salary in direct payment from a department, agency, or institution of state government; e.g., work performed by BOR employees.
(Last Modified on June 20, 2019)
Procurement, utilization of, and disposition of motor vehicles is subject to regulation by DOAS and OPB Policy Memorandum #10, “Rules, Regulations and Procedures Governing the Use and Assignment of Motor Vehicles, Purchase, Operation and Disposal of Motor Vehicles and Associated Record-keeping”. Generally, this OPB policy provides major provisions associated with the following:
Vehicle Assignments – Individual Assignments and Institution Pool Vehicles
Record Keeping Requirements
Acquisition of Motor Vehicles including disposals and transfers
Registration and Licensing
Maintenance and Repairs
A copy of OPB Policy Memorandum #10 can be located at https://opb.georgia.gov/purchase-and-use-motor-vehicles.
Normally, only new vehicles may be purchased. DOAS has authority to grant permission to purchase used vehicles or to enter into lease agreements for vehicles, but the institution must provide justification if seeking such permission. All vehicles must be ordered using DOAS statewide contracts.
The transfer of vehicles between USG institutions is allowed with the proper inventory transfer records maintained since the entire university system operates like one state agency. If an institution desires to transfer a vehicle to an agency outside of the USG, then the institution must submit a State Surplus Property Transfer form and invoice via DOAS for approval.
3.2.1 Vehicle Allowances
(Last Modified on September 5, 2017)
Cash vehicle allowances are always taxable. The recipient may be allowed to deduct expenses for business use of his/her vehicle on their personal tax return. No amounts included in income will be treated as salary for retirement system purposes.
(Last Modified on June 20, 2019)
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 and the Statewide Purchasing Card Policy, 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 pre-approved 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.
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 official that 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 of this manual 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 220.127.116.11, 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 June 21, 2019)
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.
18.104.22.168 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:
Goods and services used in the furtherance of a USG institution’s mission.
Purchases of goods or services intended for official State of Georgia work‐related use that are not otherwise excluded by the Section 3.3.2, Prohibited Uses of Purchasing Card of this manual.
22.214.171.124 Allowable Purchases – Restrictions Apply
- 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 126.96.36.199 of the Georgia Procurement Manual b. Parking
- 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.
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.
- Vehicle‐Related Transactions
Car washes are permitted provided the Institution allows this type of purchase in the internal policy.
- 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.
- 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 June 21, 2019)
The following types of purchases are strictly prohibited either by Official Code of Georgia, Annotated (O.C.G.A.), or to meet reporting requirements:
Goods or services not directly related to job responsibilities or other official State of Georgia business (i.e. personal purchases).
Data plans, software, or applications (apps) for non‐USG issued devices, including, but not limited to, smart phones, laptop computers, and tablets.
Memberships at wholesale warehouses and shopping clubs (e.g. Sam’s, Costco, Amazon Prime)
Gift cards, stored value cards, calling cards, and similar products.
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.
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.
Alcoholic beverages or products except as permitted above
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.
Affiliated organization expenditures.
Agency fund expenditures that have not gone through the requisition or pre-approval process.
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.
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 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.
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 June 21, 2019)
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.
188.8.131.52 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:
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
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.
184.108.40.206 Ghost Card Accounts
Ghost Card accounts are no longer allowable.
220.127.116.11 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:
- Justification of need for each cardholder or job class.
- Justification of need for point of sale purchases based on job requirements.
- A scenario of card distribution that meets the statutory requirement of a maximum of 100 cards.
- Establish time limits for determining when to cut off or cancel dormant cards based on job requirements.
- Establish spending limits (with appropriate waiver requests) based on job requirements and business model.
- An overview of Internal Controls surrounding card use.
- 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.
18.104.22.168 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.
22.214.171.124 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:
- Successful completion of the CFO Card Program Training module
- Submission of the completed CFO Card Program Acknowledgement form
- The appointment of an Entity Card Program Administrator
- Approval of qualified cardholders and approvers
- 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.
- Review and approve policies in conjunction with the CUPO and Card Administrator annually.
- Review and approval of Institution’s P‐Card Plan and all amendments
- Submission of the Plan to the Institution’s President
126.96.36.199 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:
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.
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.
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 email@example.com for approval by DOAS and OPB.
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.
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.
188.8.131.52 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.
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.
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
184.108.40.206 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Other Responsibilities
Maintain knowledge of State, USG and internal procurement policies and procedures related to use of the P‐Card
220.127.116.11 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.
18.104.22.168 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
22.214.171.124 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.
126.96.36.199 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.
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 June 21, 2019)
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:
- Develop and maintain institutional P-Card policies and procedures that fully incorporate current DOAS and USG policies and procedures.
- 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.
- Ensure that P-Cards are not issued to employees of Foundations and other affiliated organizations associated with the institution.
- Ensure that a P-Card is issued only to a named individual and not to a department or office.
- Ensure that cardholders do not share the P-Card or P-Card number for use by other employees.
- Separation of duties between ordering cards (program administrators), making transactions (cardholders), and review or approval of transactions for payment (supervisors/approving officials).
- 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.
- Establish penalties for misuse of the P-Card to include a written system that documents warnings, suspensions, terminations, and permanent P-Card revocation.
- Require cardholders to obtain receipts for all purchases made on the P-Card. The receipt should include:
- Vendor name
- Transaction amount
- 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.
- 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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Follow all federal laws applicable to the reporting of spending with 1099 vendors.
- 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.
- Ensure that P-Card purchasing records are retained for at least seven (7) years.
- Report any misuse of P-Cards in compliance with the provisions as outlined in BPM Section 16.4, Fraud, Waste, and Abuse.
- 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](http://doas.ga.gov/state-purchasing) website.
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:
- Formally designate P-Card roles and responsibilities to include P-Card program administration, approving officials, and cardholders.
- Formally identify job positions within the institution that would require the use of a P-Card.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 June 21, 2019)
188.8.131.52 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
184.108.40.206 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). To gain access to the LMS, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also reference State Entity Purchasing Training on the DOAS website.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
220.127.116.11 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.
(Last Modified on September 5, 2017)
This section presents selected BOR policies in a highly summarized format. It should be considered a guide and used as a source of information for further research. For specific authority on executing contracts, the reader should also research the BOR Policy manual, as well as reviewing written documents delegating authority to the local institution to sign contracts.
3.4.1 Authority to Execute Contracts
(Last Modified on September 5, 2017)
Prior to any delegation of authority, only the Chancellor and the Chancellor’s designee are authorized to:
Enter into rental agreements as tenant or landlord where the total rent to be paid by or to the BOR does not exceed $25,000 per month or $35,000 per month during any subsequent renewal terms.
Sign contracts, agreements, deeds, licenses, or other instruments related to the purchase or gift of real property where the purchase price or gift value does not exceed $1,000,000.
Accept gifts, bequests, agreements or declarations of trust in those instances where the initial gift or trust estate is $100,000 or less. The Chancellor may, at his/her discretion, delegate the authority to execute said documents to the Treasurer or to the presidents of the individual USG institutions. However, the Chancellor is not authorized to delegate to the presidents the authority to accept gifts of real property.
Act as contracting officers for and on behalf of the Board of Regents in the execution of construction contracts, contracts for professional services, selection of architects and engineers, execution of contracts for new buildings, etc. However, the authority so delegated shall not exceed the sum of $5,000,000 for any one contractual obligation.
The Chancellor and the Chancellor’s designee are authorized to delegate any or all of the above authority to act as contracting officers to the individual USG institutions. Current levels of institution delegated authority for capital project authorizations, consultant services procurement, BOR design review requirements and construction contracting can be found at http://www.usg.edu/facilities/resources/levels_of_delegated_authority.
Generally, the authority to sign contracts for the day-to-day operations of an institution has been delegated to the individual institutions. It is imperative that the documented authority is available in the permanent files of the institution as proof of such authorization.
(Last Modified on September 5, 2017)
Personal use of institutional procurement channels is not permitted. The USG Policy Manual states:
Absent a specific and approved exemption, employees of the University System shall not purchase goods or services for personal use through channels used in the purchase of goods and services for the operation of the University System.
(Last Modified on September 5, 2017)
Purchases made by University System of Georgia institutions related to normal campus operations or purchases for resale are not subject to sales taxes. Some purchases utilizing agency funds, however, will be subject to sales taxes. The Georgia Department of Revenue determines what purchases are subject to sales taxes, and should be contacted if an interpretation is required.
Sales tax exemption forms should be provided to vendors to eliminate sales tax from appearing on invoices or from being collected at the time of sale. The timing of when to provide the sales tax exemption form is influenced by the type of purchasing activity. There are two basic types of purchasing activity, as indicated below:
Invoiced Sales: Generally these are sales to the institution from vendors that have an ongoing sales relationship with the institution. Once a standard sales tax exemption form has been provided to the vendor, no further action is required. As a normal policy, purchases initiated via purchase order also provide notice to the vendor that it is a tax-exempt sale.
Miscellaneous purchases, including petty cash purchases and purchasing card purchases: Without receiving some notification at the time of the sale, these types of sales are likely to appear to be sales to individuals by the vendor and therefore subject to sales tax. It is very important that institutional personnel provide a tax exemption certificate to the vendor at the time of making the purchase. Each institutional procurement office must insure that all personnel making these types of purchases are given adequate instructions and proper forms to eliminate sales taxes from being charged to the institution.
Generic Sales Tax Exemption forms may be obtained from the Georgia Department of Revenue. However, institutions are encouraged to print their own sales tax exemption forms that include institution-specific information such as name, address, and sales tax ID number.
3.1.3 Background Checks of Supplier Employees
(Last Modified on November 4, 2020)
As required by Board of Regents’ Policy 18.104.22.168 - Background Check Requirements for Selected Suppliers, University System of Georgia (USG) institutions shall review and assess the risk of services provided to the institution by a supplier when the services require regular interaction with students, employees, monies, sensitive/confidential data, or regular access to secured facilities containing critical institutional-level infrastructure. In instances when the institution determines that the scope of work being performed by a supplier’s employee is such that a background check should be required, the institution must seek appropriate contractual protections, including requiring the supplier to obtain appropriate background checks for all such supplier employees. This provision does not apply to construction contractors and subcontractors, which are covered by Board of Regents’ Policy 22.214.171.124. Examples of services requiring “regular interaction,” as anticipated by Board of Regents’ Policy 126.96.36.199 and this BPM Provision, may include the following situations that could reasonably occur; however, in each case, the assessment of risk must be an integral part of the evaluation process:
• Supplier services are provided in an area where children, students, or employees have access and are likely to be present at the same time. This might include summer camps, housing, dining, classroom, office, or recreational facilities.
• Supplier services are provided in an area where funds, credit card machines, or banking information is maintained, such as in a campus Bursar’s office, Bookstore or other Auxiliary retail outlet.
• Supplier services require direct access to any personally identifiable, health, banking, or credit card information, such as in a call center.
• Supplier services require access to secured facilities containing critical infrastructure, such as a data center containing the institution’s servers and other vital information technology equipment.
Suppliers maintain full responsibility for the actions of their employees and will be fully responsible for enforcing and implementing an appropriate background check requirement which conforms to State, Federal, Local and USG Guidelines. The vendor will review the results of the background check. The institution should not obtain the results of these checks. If appropriate, the requirement for a supplier to conduct background checks on its employees and defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the institution for the actions of supplier employees must be specified in the contract for services.
USG institutions shall develop procedures to ensure that the supplier employee background check requirement under Board of Regents’ Policy 188.8.131.52 is considered during the contracting process for each contract and implement the procedures beginning January 1, 2021, and forward. Although other procedures may be implemented to meet this requirement, Appendix I illustrates a contract routing form that both meets and documents this consideration during the contracting process. Review of the routing form by Legal or other persons responsible for review of contracts will alert the need for the appropriate background check and indemnification contract language. See Appendix II for suggested contract language.
The renewal forms for these contracts shall include attestation language that the background check requirement for the previous year was met as a requirement for renewal. See Appendix III for an example of a contract renewal form with the background check compliance language.
3.4.2 Dining and Catering Contracts
(Last Modified on February 21, 2020)
3.4.2 Dining and Catering Contracts
University System of Georgia (USG) institutions utilize the Georgia Procurement Registry managed by the Department of Administrative Services for procurement of dining and catering services. Institutions must follow the procedures outlined in this section when developing procurement materials for contracts beginning on or after July 1, 2017. Institutions with contracts that are not fully compliant with these procedures must obtain any required amendments to their existing contracts or conduct a new procurement for services beginning no later than July 1, 2019.
184.108.40.206 Financial Model
220.127.116.11.1 Required Supplier Proposals
Requests for Proposals (RFPs) must require that suppliers submit proposals on a fixed cost basis (per meal/item or per plan) that reflects all the supplier’s fixed and variable costs. Institutions may require additional pricing models, including fee-based proposals.
Institutions may add to the supplier fixed price reasonable charges, necessary for associated lease payments, and for direct and indirect dining and catering expenses not covered by the supplier. If commissions are to be paid by the supplier, the rate must be based on all gross sales, including retail and catering sales, and may be variable based on sales volume.
18.104.22.168.2 Affordability and Efficiency
Dining and catering services must be structured with student affordability and operational efficiency as essential criteria for successful suppliers. Institutions must be able to demonstrate that overhead costs, including the administration of dining dollars, are reasonable and comparable to peer institutions.
Dining and catering contracts should be structured to enable a self-liquidating dining auxiliary, reserve balances sufficient to meet reserve requirements for lease financings and unique institutional needs as outlined in the 5 year dining auxiliary business plan, and to fulfill any lease payment obligations reliant upon dining revenues.
22.214.171.124.4 Performance Management
Supplier compensation must include a performance component and should be measured using campus designed performance measures or indicators that reflect customer satisfaction. Supplier should be responsible for any participation incentives.
126.96.36.199.5 Qualified Management Agreements
All RFPs must require that vendors certify their proposal is a Qualified Management Agreement in accordance with IRS Rev Proc. 2016-44. Opinion of bond counsel must be obtained prior to execution of the contract.
Institutions may not provide any meal plan purchase minimums or volume guarantees to suppliers.
188.8.131.52.2 Non-student Pricing
Meal plan and retail pricing for any party other than a student must not be less than charges paid by students.
184.108.40.206.3 Residential Student Meal Plan Pricing
Institutions may require students living in housing to purchase a meal plan. Actual utilization of dining options by students required to purchase meal plans will be reviewed as a part of the annual rate approval process.
220.127.116.11.4 Dining Dollars
Dining dollars may come with meal plans or be an optional charge that students may elect to add to their meal plan. Any unused dining dollars must be tracked by the Institution. Unused dining dollars (other than nominal amounts less than $10) must be refunded to the student no later than upon separation from the institution.
18.104.22.168 Term and Renewal Options
Contracts must be annually renewable. Renewal options in excess of 9 years require the approval of the BOR Strategic Sourcing Director. Institutions are required to review contracts prior to exercising a renewal option to ensure the contract terms remain competitive.
22.214.171.124 Catering Services
Catering allowances should be sized according to institutional size and mission and should be utilized and tracked under the direction of the Chief Business Officer. Contracts shall allow for unused balances to rollover to subsequent years. Maximum annual allowances, exclusive of any rollover amount, for each sector are as follows:
- Research and comprehensive institutions: $85,000
- State universities: $70,000
- State colleges: $55,000
Catering allowances are considered institutional funds (see BPM 19.8). Prior to utilization of catering allowances, institutions should seek voluntary contributions from suppliers and cooperative organizations to support advancement and other events.
126.96.36.199 Grants and Scholarships
Contracts shall not allow the provision of grants, scholarships, or complimentary meals. Complimentary meals do NOT include meals provided to students in return for serving as live-in, residence life staff. Limited guest passes for parents of students purchasing meal plans are not considered complimentary.
188.8.131.52 Capital Improvements
184.108.40.206.1 Capital Allowances
Request for Proposals for Dining and Catering Services that include a total capital allowance in excess of the institution’s delegated project authorization level must undergo facilities integrated review prior to contract award. This requirement applies to the total capital allowance regardless of the size of the individual projects contemplated. Institutions shall submit a Project Concept Proposal to start the review process with as much detail related to the future projects as is known at the time of the procurement. All capital allowances must be fully amortized over the life of the contract.
220.127.116.11.2 Capital Improvements in Leased Facilities
Capital improvements in leased facilities are typically funded through an increase in the rental agreement. All capital improvements in excess of the institution’s delegated project authorization, including those performed by a third-party in a leased facility, require submittal of a Project Concept Proposal. Capital improvements in leased facilities within the institution’s delegated project authorization level require the prior approval of BOR Fiscal Affairs, Finance Office.
Institutions must fully reserve any amount of capital allowance utilized if the contract requires the repayment of unamortized balances in the event of non-renewal. These reserve balances are in addition to any amounts held in a repair and replacement reserve. Institutions must reflect these reserves in account 329200 Reserve for Deferred Gift Revenue from Auxiliary Vendor (Unrestricted). Other non-renewal fees or penalties are not allowed.
18.104.22.168.4 Institutional Funding of Dining Capital Improvements
Institutions may propose in their 5 year dining auxiliary business plan to accumulate dining auxiliary unrestricted fund balances to self-fund capital improvements. Institutions should evaluate the cost-benefit of self-funding compared to vendor-financed improvements.
Institutions must provide notice of intent to proceed with a dining and catering services Request for Proposal to the BOR Strategic Sourcing Director at least 90 days prior to submission to the Department of Administrative Services.
Any variances from these procedures must be pre-approved by the USG Chief Fiscal Officer.
3.4.3 USG Ethics Policy Reference in Contracts
(Last Modified on June 21, 2019)
Cooperative organizations, vendors, and contractors shall certify compliance with the USG Ethics Policy by written agreement. The ethics policy should be specifically referenced as a condition with which the vendor will comply. The following language must be included in all contracts:
Ethics: Offeror shall comply with the University System of Georgia Board of Regents Ethics Policy (Board Policy 8.2.18). The University prohibits any form of discrimination, harassment or retaliation against or by any member of the faculty, staff, administration, student body, volunteers, or visitors based upon race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, whistle-blower status, disability, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law. Offeror and Offeror’s employees will be required to know and adhere to the Title IX policy.
To review the USG Ethics Policy in its entirety, click on the following link:
3.1.4 Federal Procurement Requirements
(Last Modified on June 20, 2019)
In accordance with the Uniform Guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), purchases funded by Federal grant funds must adhere to regulations found in 2 CFR 200 Uniform Guidance as a condition of receiving funds and to meet annual audit compliance. All University System of Georgia institutions must implement the new procurement guidelines for all Federal purchases made under federal research grants, agreements and contracts effective July 1, 2018. Please note there is potential for an institution to be granted a waiver to portions of the Uniform Guidance from the applicable Federal Granting Agency. Federal waiver documentation must be maintained by the USG Institution.
The USG promotes objectivity in College/University research by establishing processes that provide a reasonable expectation that the design, conduct, and reporting of sponsored research is free from bias resulting from financial conflicts of interest of the College/University employee involved in the research.
22.214.171.124 Code of Conduct and Conflict of Interest
USG institutions must maintain written standards of conduct covering conflicts of interest and governing the actions of its employees engaged in the selection, award and administration of contracts. No employee or agent of USG may participate in the selection, award, or administration of a contract funded by federal grant dollars if he or she has an actual or apparent conflict of interest.
A “Conflict of Interest” exists whenever personal, professional, commercial, or financial interests or activities outside of the College/University have the possibility (either in actuality or in appearance) of influencing a College/University employee’s decision or behavior with respect to teaching and student affairs, appointments and promotions, uses of College/University resources, procurement and business transactions, or other matters of interest to the College/University or of biasing the design, conduct or reporting of College/University research. An essential step in addressing a Conflict of Interest is for the College/University employee involved to make full disclosure of relevant information related to any actual or potential conflict of interest so that interested parties inside and outside of the College/University may evaluate such information. The BOR Policy Manual contains the USG Ethics Policy and outlines Code of Conduct and Conflict of Interest/Commitment requirements. This information is located at: 8.2.18 Personnel Conduct
The USG Business Procedures Manual provides information on Reporting Wrongdoing at: 16.4 Reporting Wrongdoing
126.96.36.199 Federal Funds Procurement Types
- Micro-purchases - the acquisition of supplies or services, the aggregate dollar amount of which does not exceed $10,000.
- Small purchase - the acquisition of supplies, services or equipment in the range of $10,001 to $150,000.
- Sealed bids - For acquisitions costing more than $150,000, bids are publicly solicited and a firm fixed price contract is awarded to the responsible bidder whose bid is the lowest price.
- Competitive proposals - For acquisitions costing more than $150,000, conducted with more than one source submitting an offer, and either a fixed price or cost-reimbursement type contract is awarded. Contracts must be awarded to the responsible firm whose proposal is most advantageous to the program with price and other factors considered.
- Noncompetitive proposals - procurement through solicitation of a proposal from only one source. A waiver must be granted by submitting the Sole Source Intent to Award Justification Form. Sole Source justification may be used when a procured item or service is only available from a single source, during a public emergency, approved by Federal agency, or when competition is deemed inadequate after solicitation from a number of sources.
All five procurement types must comply with the Procurement Standards in 2 CFR 200 Uniform Guidance Section 200.318, which can be summarized generally as follows: (1) the purchase complies with the non-Federal entity’s documented procedures in place, (2) purchases are necessary, (3) open competition (to the extent required by each method), (4) conflict of interest policy and (5) proper documentation for the purchases.
188.8.131.52 Procurement Procedures
Federal and /or private grant funds are not exempt from the State Purchasing Act. The rules of competitive bidding still apply and institutions must follow the order of precedence outline in the Georgia Procurement Manual.
Purchases less than $10,000 (Micro-purchase)
The buyer/requester should identify potential suppliers. When possible, Statewide Contracts should be used.
Note: Installment payments less than $10,000 towards a total purchase price greater than $10,000 does not count as micro purchases. The total dollar amount of purchase must be considered. Purchases should not be split to circumvent procurement requirements.
Purchases between $10,001 and $24,999 (Small purchase)
A minimum of two (2) price quotes must be obtained and be the basis for supplier selection prior to making a purchase. Documentation needs to be in writing from the suppliers and can include screen shots from websites, copies of published price lists and advertised pricing in established magazines or journals. When possible, buyers/requesters should use Statewide Contracts. When State-wide Contracts are used, two price quotes are not required.
Purchases between $25,000 and $150,000
Bids will need to be posted to the Georgia Procurement Registry per the guidelines below. Goods and services classified by DOAS as statutory exemptions will follow the Uniform Guidance (UG) requirements for Small Purchases.
|Public Posting Guidelines|
|If the Estimated Contract Value is…||Then, the Posting Period is…|
|$25,000 - $99,999.99||Minimum of Three (3) Business Days|
|$100,000 - $249,999.99|
(UG $150,000 or more requires sealed Bid)
|Minimum of Five (5) Business Days|
|$250,000 or more||Minimum of Fifteen (15) Calendar Days|
Purchases $250,000 or greater
The institution will follow the State Purchasing Division competitive bid requirements outline in the Georgia Procurement Manual.
Sole Source Purchases
There may be times when competitive bids are not appropriate and the requirement for obtaining them may be waived. Failing to anticipate needs resulting from poor planning is not an exception to competitive requirements. For an exception to be valid, a clear statement of justification for waiving the competitive bidding process must be submitted in writing for approval by completing the Sole Source Intent to Award Justification Form.
Note: The Sole Source form is not required for procurements $10,000 or less or for DOAS statutory exemptions.
Situations that would justify purchases without the competitive bid process are:
- The supplier is obviously a sole source for the item. Examples:
- The item is available only from a single source
- Unusual and generally unavailable used equipment
- Specialized scientific equipment and instruments
- A specialized service (e.g. consultant) where the supplier has a one-of-a-kind ability to provide the required service due to demonstrably unique circumstances (knowledge, contacts, experience)
- Continuation of a current service where changing suppliers could result in excessive cost
- The federal awarding agency or pass-through entity expressly authorizes noncompetitive proposals in response to a written request from the non-Federal entity; or
- After solicitation of a number of sources, competition is determined inadequate.
- The item will be physically connected to existing equipment or the purchase is an upgrade to existing equipment/software.
- The public urgency or emergency for the requirement will not permit a delay resulting from competitive solicitation. Examples:
- Human life, health or University property is in jeopardy
- Repairs are immediately needed for equipment where delay would lead to higher expense.
- Subcontracts whereby the agreement to work with another individual or institution was written into the grant award.
184.108.40.206 Contract Provisions
Institution contracts funded with Federal Funds must contain the applicable provisions described in the Uniform Administration Requirements in Appendix II to Part 200- Contract Provision for non-Federal Contracts under Federal Award. Additionally, all contracts must address administrative, contractual or legal remedies for violations or breaches with appropriate penalties and/or sanctions, and the contract must address termination for cause and convenience with the manner of exercising these provisions.
For contracts in excess of $100,000 using federal dollars, the contract must contain the following provisions:
Applicable for bids/awards with federal dollars exceeding $100,000:
Byrd Anti-Lobbying Amendment. Pursuant to 22 CFR Part 227, Contractor agrees to: (a) sign and submit to the BOR (i) upon signing of this Agreement, the required certification that it has not used and will not use federal appropriated funds to influence various government officials in making certain federal awards, using the “Certification Regarding Lobbying” form, and (ii) the “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities Form”, if it uses or has agreed to use funds other than federal appropriated funds for this purpose; (b) sign and submit to IAVI at the end of each calendar quarter the Standard Form LLL, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities Form, if (i) it uses or has agreed to use funds other than federal appropriated funds and/or (ii) an event occurs that materially affects (as defined in 22 CFR Part 227) the accuracy of any information contained in any Disclosure Form previously submitted by the Contractor to IAVI. This provision must be included in all contracts, subcontracts or sub-awards exceeding $100,000 awarded hereunder.