Policies and procedures

Policy No.
Financial Management
Authoring Organisational Unit
Finance - Central Unit
Date Approved
01/12/2017 Revised 04/12/2017
Next Review Date
Approving Body

The University of Western Australia

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University Policy on: Purchasing Card

Overtype “Policy Name” with the name of the policy.  This must convey specifically, accurately and succinctly what the policy addresses eg Award of Honours, Study Leave.


1 Purpose:


1.1 The purpose of this Policy is to

a) ensure that the requirements around legislative, audit and financial management compliance are met when spending the University’s funds using a Purchasing Card; and

b) contribute to maintaining a University culture of respect, integrity and inclusivity.


1.2 This Policy expresses the Purchasing Card:

definition                                                                           Section 2.0;

eligibility                                                                            Section 4.0;

application practice                                                         Section 5.0;

methods of payment                                                        Section 6.1;

permitted uses                                                                  Section 6.2;

non-permitted uses                                                         Section 6.3;

transactional disputes practice                                      Section 7.0;

limits review practice                                                       Section 8.0;

transfer practice                                                               Section 9.0; and

suspension and cancellation practice                         Section 10.0.


1.3 This Policy is to be read in conjunction with the following:

Purchasing Card Guidelines;

Purchasing Card Procedures;

Corporate Credit Card Policy;

Travel Policy;

Expenditure Reimbursement Policy; and

Entertainment Expenditure Guidelines.



2 Purchasing Card


2.1 A Purchasing Card is a mechanism to enable the secure purchase of goods and services, in support of business related, official, legitimate University expenditure relating principally to low value transactions.



3 Scope


3.1 Institutional Scope

a) This policy applies to the entire University.


3.2 Individual Scope

a) This policy applies to all members of the University Community when

approving eligibility for a Purchasing Card;

applying for a Purchasing Card;

using a Purchasing Card; or

managing the usage of a Purchasing Card.



4 Eligibility for Purchasing Card


4.1 The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or their delegate will have absolute discretion to determine who may receive (and/or retain) a Purchasing Card.


4.2 The University will only issue a Purchasing Card to an individual who meets all of the following criteria:

a) the individual is

a permanent Employee of the University; or

another member of the University Community, dependent upon their functional responsibility as approved by the CFO;


b) the individual has a regular and demonstrated need to expend University funds for business purposes;

c) the individual’s primary role is purchasing; and

d) the individual must not currently hold (nor be entitled to hold) a Corporate Credit Card.

5 Application for Purchasing Card


5.1 The individual applying for a Purchasing Card must accept and comply with the Purchasing Card Guidelines and Purchasing Card Procedures.


6 Purchasing Card Usage


6.1 Methods of Payment using a Purchasing Card


6.1.1 A Purchasing Card must only be used


a) in person where a valid tax invoice or receipt is obtained at time of purchase;

b) via telephone if a valid tax invoice/receipt can be obtained immediately upon entering into the transaction;

c) via the internet if:

there is a high confidence that the purchasing website is authentic and secure;

the transaction value is less than A$1,000; and

a valid tax invoice/receipt can be obtained immediately upon entering into the transaction.


6.2 Purchasing Card Usage that is Permitted


6.2.1 A Purchasing Card may be used for the following purposes:


a) one-off payments for items such as registrations, conference fees, memberships, subscriptions and sponsorships, that represent official University business;

b) general consumables other than stationery and office supplies or other expenditure categories available under preferred supplier contracts;

c) when a vendor requires payment in a very short time-frame which cannot be accommodated via the normal payment process;

d) procurement of technical parts, the use of which is of an irregular nature, specific to a particular business unit and required urgently (the urgency cannot be driven by insufficient forward planning); and

e) catering events and marketing events of a low value and irregular nature that are required to conduct official University business.


6.2.2 All anticipated expenditures must be directly related to the requirements of the applicable Business Unit and must relate to official University business.


6.3 Purchasing Card Usage that is Not Permitted


6.3.1 A Purchasing Card must not be used for the following purposes:


a) payment by way of linking a Purchasing Card to other merchant payment providers;

b) payment via direct debit from a Purchasing Card;

c) to obtain cash advances from banks, building societies, credit unions and/or automatic teller machines;

d) to obtain cash equivalents such as bank cheques, traveler’s cheques and electronic cash transfers;

e) personal transactions;

f) expenditure of a capital nature irrespective of cost, including but not limited to:


computer equipment;


mobile phones;




audio & visual equipment;

office furniture.


g) payment of air travel, unless it is in accordance with the Travel Policy;

h) payment of goods and services exceeding the threshold outlined in the Purchasing Card Guidelines;

i) expenditure of an ongoing, recurring nature which should be facilitated through the normal procurement to pay process of the University; and

j) splitting payments in order to circumvent normal Purchasing Card limits and/or to bypass standard procurement quotation requirements.



7 Transactional Disputes


7.1 Cardholder means a permanent Employee of the University or another member of the University Community, as approved by the CFO to hold a Corporate Credit Card or Purchasing Card.

7.2 Where a transaction is in valid dispute with the bank and/or supplier (for reasons of expected fraud or otherwise), the Cardholder must act in accordance with the Purchasing Card Guidelines and Purchasing Card Procedures.



8 Purchasing Card Limits Reviews


8.1 The University will set and review a Purchasing Card limit in accordance with the Purchasing Card Guidelines and Purchasing Card Procedures.



9 Request for Transfer of Purchasing Cards


9.1 Cardholders will not automatically retain the use of a Purchasing Card when taking up duties in a new position/role.


9.2 Requests for the transfer of a Purchasing Card between business units must be in accordance with the Purchasing Card Guidelines and Purchasing Card Procedures.


10 Suspension and Cancellation of Purchasing Cards


10.1 A Purchasing Card will be suspended for the following reasons:


a) a Cardholder fails to provide valid supporting documentation for their transactions;

b) Purchasing Card expenditure has not been acquitted within 60 calendar days from transaction date.  Any Purchasing Card not acquitted after this period will be automatically suspended and will only be re-activated when all available Purchasing Card statements have been acquitted;

c) the employment of a Cardholder is suspended, pending disciplinary action;

d) a Cardholder is not expected to use a Purchasing Card for a period of 60 or more calendar days (e.g. due to absences resulting from extended leave).  Cardholder should provide notification of such extended leave or similar instances;

e) a Cardholder has used the Purchasing Card in a way that is not permitted; or

f) any other reason as authorised by the CFO.


10.2 A Purchasing Card will be cancelled for the following reasons:


a) a Cardholder refuses to comply with relevant University policies, guidelines and procedures.

b) a Cardholder regularly fails to provide valid supporting documentation for outstanding transactions;

c) a Purchasing Card has remained suspended for 30 or more calendar days;

d) a Cardholder is no longer employed by the University;

e) The Cardholder is no longer a permanent employee of the University; or

f) any another reason as authorised by the CFO.



11 Breach of Policy


11.1 Failure to comply with this policy by a member of the University Community may be considered a breach of the Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct and may result in disciplinary action.


Provide a brief summary of the reasons for the policy and issues it addresses.  This section is designed to stand alone.  The aim is to provide the reader with enough information to make a decision about whether or not this is the policy they are looking for.  It must not be longer than 200 words. 

Example 1

This policy defines the nature and purpose of study leave provisions for academic staff and sets out eligibility criteria and other conditions that apply.

Example 2

This policy seeks to rationalise the award of honours across the University by addressing such issues as: entry standards, course content and structure, supervision, assessment, examination, grades, classifications, benchmarking and the maintenance and provision of documentation relating to these matters.  It is based on resolutions of the Academic Board flowing from the 1999 report of the Honours Working Party.

12 Definitions:


Cardholder is defined in section 7 of this policy.


Purchasing Card is defined in section 2 of this policy.


University Community means all individuals who use University Property for study, work, recreation, other activities and the performance of official duties for the University.


University Property means tangible and non-tangible things, belonging to, or contracted to the University or members of the University Community, including campuses, facilities and services.


University means the University of Western Australia.


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Policy or Procedure?

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13 Related Documents


Purchasing Card Guidelines

Purchasing Card Procedures



14 Associated Documents


Entertainment Expenditure Guidelines

Expenditure Reimbursement Policy;

Corporate Card Policy; and

Travel Policy.



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Contact position:

Melvyn Davison

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