Procurement Card User Manual – Section 1

Introduction

Welcome to the University of Connecticut MasterCard Procurement Card (“P-Card”) Program. The University P-Card issued by, JP Morgan Chase, is a credit card which acts as a procurement tool offering an alternative to the existing University procurement processes. It provides an extremely efficient and effective method of purchasing and paying for goods and services with a value less than $4,999.00. The University’s P-Card Program is designed to delegate authority and capability to quickly and conveniently purchase approved commodities directly from the vendors that accept MasterCard. This Program, co-sponsored by the Purchasing Department and Office of the Controller, was created with the assistance of many staff and faculty members, and is designed to more efficiently meet your purchasing needs and those of the University. The benefits of the P-Card to you and the University are significant and include:

Benefits to the Cardholder:

  • Allows you to obtain goods much faster and easier than before;
  • Significantly reduces workload related to the purchase of and payment for goods;
  • Allows you to be more efficient and to focus on the value added aspects of your job;
  • Significantly reduces clerical processing time and time associated with the approval process;
  • Provides end users with greater autonomy.

Benefits to the University:

  • Reduces the number of purchase orders, invoices and checks;
  • Enables Purchasing and Accounts Payable to focus on higher yield, value added activities;
  • Dramatically reduces the number of vendors in the University vendor database;
  • Prompt payment to the vendor results in better prices and improved vendor relations;
  • Significant reduction in the number of paper transactions;
  • Purchasing Department will have more time to negotiate better contracts.

Benefits to the Department/Fiscal Officer:

  • Only one (1) monthly statement will be received for verification and reconciliation;
  • No need to prepare and obtain approval signatures on internal renewal forms;
  • No purchase order is required, therefore no typing and tracking of individual purchase requisitions and receiving reports are required;
  • Monthly approvals required rather than individual purchase order and invoice approvals;
  • Receive orders immediately or within days instead of weeks.

The P-Card is designed to be used for purchases related to University business only. Use of the P-Card for personal purchases is strictly prohibited. The Purchasing and Accounts Payable departments are responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of the P-Card Program and user compliance with the procedures outlined in this manual. If you have any questions regarding the Program, or the appropriate use of the P-Card, please contact Nancy Patrylak, the University Procurement Card Program Administrator at:

Purchasing Department
3 Discovery Drive, Unit 6076, Storrs, Connecticut, 06269-6076

Nancy Patrylak
p  860.486.2622
f   860.486.5051
e Nancy.Patrylak@uconn.edu

or

Elise Fiorentino
p  860.486.5924
Elise.Fiorentino@uconn.edu

Back

How it Works

The P-Card simplifies the procurement and disbursement process by facilitating point-of-demand procurement. Purchasing authority is delegated to the ordering departments enabling the authorized Cardholders to place an order directly with the suppliers. The vendor validates purchases made with the P-Card at the point-of-sale. The MasterCard system validates the transaction against pre-set limits established by the University which include:

  • Number of transactions allowed per day – twenty (20);
  • Number of transactions allowed per month – One Hundred (100);
  • Single purchase limit not to exceed $4,999.00;
  • Spending limit per month – Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000);
  • All Merchants are assigned a Merchant Category Codes (MCC) that corresponds to their type of business (as established by the bank and encoded into the magnetic strip on the reverse side of the P-Card);
  • Travel and entertainment MCC’s are blocked.  The P-Card cannot be used for any travel related expenses.

*Exemptions to the above limitations may be granted on a case by case basis upon the approval of the Director of Procurement Services or his/her designee.

The authorization process occurs through an electronic system that supports the P-Card processing services under the University’s agreement with JP Morgan Chase.  In addition, the Procurement Card Administrator has the capability to view a large selection of daily reports to effectively monitor the use of P-Cards. The Purchasing Department will also identify opportunities to further maximize the University’s significant buying power through contract negotiations and contract administration.

Restricted Purchases

Purchases of the restricted items listed below and purchases in excess of $4,999.00 or more must continue to be processed in accordance with established procurement and disbursement policies and procedures.

The P-Card is not to be used for the following commodities:

  • Alcoholic beverages;
  • Animals;
  • Any vendor listed in the Huskybuy website;
  • Business, travel, and entertainment related expenses;
  • Cash advances of any type;
  • All phone and related monthly charges (including video/teleconferencing and net based telecommunication products, e.g., Skype, GoToMeeting);
  • All Clothing (including for promotional use);
  • Computers (any value, including, e.g., iPad, iPod, Netbooks, Nook, Kindle, and tablets);
  • Construction and Renovation Services (includes anything that requires installation);
  • Contract agreements of any type that involve a signature;
  • EBay or any other auction website;
  • Equipment (Valued over $4,999.00);
  • Food & Beverages consumed at vendor’s location (i.e., eating in at a restaurant or eating at an off campus location. Only take-out of food and non-alcoholic beverages are allowed);
  • Furniture of any type;
  • Gasoline (except for State vehicles);
  • Gifts/Donations (including flowers, gifts for life events, gifts for students, and milestones);
  • Gift Cards – MUST receive prior approval;
  • Internet Service Providers;
  • Invoice Payments when payment method was not identified at the time of purchase (considered unauthorized);
  • Items prohibited from purchase under grant or research contract;
  • Leases & Lease – Purchases or any other time payment;
  • Moving Services;
  • Personal use items (i.e., attachés, folios, pen/pencil sets, etc.);
  • Precious metals;
  • Prescription drugs and controlled substances;
  • Printing Services;
  • Radioactive Materials;
  • Rental of vehicles;
  • Reimbursements of any type;
  • Signage.

*Exemptions to these restricted purchases may be granted on a case by case basis upon the approval of the Director of Procurement Services or his/her designee.

If you have any questions regarding a restricted purchase please contact Nancy Patrylak, Procurement Card Program Administrator at (860) 486-2622 or e-mail to Nancy.Patrylak@uconn.edu or Elise Fiorentino at (860) 486-5924 or Elise.Fiorentino@uconn.edu.

Back

Approved Purchases

The following are examples of the types of items that may be purchased with the P-Card:

  • Advertisements;
  • Animal feed and bedding (purchase of animals is prohibited);
  • Catering Services (Held at UConn locations only, where a signed contract is not required)*;
  • Conference registrations with department dean/director approval;
  • Dues and Professional Membership(s) – (Business, Technical, Professional and Institutional memberships only);
  • Floor and Window Treatments;
  • Food (Take out or grocery store purchases for student activities & official business meetings held at a University campus location only).  Must provide: business purpose, list of attendees and agenda; and completed Business Meal Pre-Approval Form (for staff only meetings) for submission to the KFS PCDO edoc when realocating;
  • Gasoline (State vehicles only);
  • Hardware supplies;
  • Internet Purchases for Approved Items Only (must be a secure site)**;
  • Lab chemicals must follow procedure ***;
  • Maintenance Service/Repairs;
  • Office, Laboratory and Educational supplies (items not available through Central Stores and Huskybuy) ***;
  • Postage (non-metered mail up to $50.00 value);
  • Software and computer supplies for installation on and use with University owned device only;
  • Subscriptions (Departmental use only);
  • Tools, fixtures and miscellaneous apparatus;

P-Card Usage for Online Services and Emerging Technologies

Guidelines for Amazon.com Purchases

Although Cardholders may purchase a wide array of items from Amazon.com, careful judgement must be exercised before making an Amazon.com purchase with the P-Card.  Cardholders who must purchase from Amazon.com must use the following guidelines:

  • Only for items not on a University contract or not available through Huskybuy;
  • Accounts should be setup with a UConn email address;
  • Accounts should be setup as tax exempt;
  • Never use University Amazon account for personal purchases;
  • Ship Amazon.com P-Card purchases to a UConn Office or work location.

* Must have formal agenda, Business Meal Pre-Approval Form signed by the department head & detailed receipt as backup documentation for all food purchases. Food may only be purchased for an event held at a UConn campus location.

** The risks of using the P-Card over the Internet are similar to the traditional risks involved when using it in person or over the telephone with one important exception. When Cardholders make a purchase over the Internet, the information exchanged between the Cardholder and the supplier may be transmitted through a network of possibly dozens of sites. For this reason, it is important to encrypt (scramble) the data exchanged so only the supplier can decrypt the information. To minimize your liability, it is important to ensure that the supplier is running a “secure” server for purchases so any information entered is likely to be meaningless to sites in between. If the supplier has a “secure” server, the Cardholder should be directed to this site prior to entering information including P-Card number and expiration date. A dialog box informs the Cardholder they are switching to a “secure mode”. In addition to the dialog box, the web browser should have a visual aid indication a secure/non-secure mode. In addition to a “secure” site, Purchasing recommends that if a purchase is made over the Internet, it be with a company you have used via traditional methods in the past. If you are uncomfortable giving your number over the Internet, some companies leave the option of placing your order on the Web and following up with a P-Card number on the telephone.

*** Laboratory Chemicals for delivery to the Storrs and Depot campuses (with the exception of the Chemistry Department) should be ordered through HuskyBuy whenever possible to ensure the integrity of UConn’s Laboratory Chemical Inventory Program. If a P-Card must be used, the proper shipping information must be provided to the vendor so that items are shipped to Central Stores where they will be barcoded and repackaged for same day delivery to their final destination. See Shipping for Chemicals and Ordering/Shipping for Airgas.

(Note: this restriction does not apply to the ordering of compressed gasses; microbiology media such as agars, broths and serums; buffers; test kits; radioisotopes; drugs and cleaning products.)

Back

Contract Compliance

While the P-Card is a procurement tool, it does not signal a change in policy regarding compliance with University and State contract suppliers. All University departments are obligated to order required goods or services from those suppliers who are authorized contract suppliers to the University. These vendors are listed on the Purchasing Department’s home page under University Contracts. State Contract vendors can be found on the DAS Website. If you have any questions as to whether an item is on contract, any of the buying teams in Purchasing can help you. If the contract vendor can’t supply your required goods and services you can go elsewhere but you should keep documentation in your P-Card log sheet as to why you did not use the contract vendor.

Back

Responsibilities of Use

Responsibilities of the Cardholder

Cardholder is defined as an authorized University employee designated by the Department Reporting Authority to receive a P-Card and make P-Card purchasing transactions on behalf of the University.  The Cardholder is responsible for:

  • Completing a P-Card Application Form and obtaining approval signatures from Reporting Authority;
  • Responsible for all purchases made with the P-Card and for making such purchases in accordance with the procedures outlined in the User manual;
  • Using the P-Card for University purchases and approved items only;
  • Recording all purchases on the P-Card Log Sheet and maintaining all supporting documentation (e.g., Proper receipts, vendor order forms, cash receipts, etc.);
  • Only the Cardholder is authorized to use the P-Card or may designate up to two (2) secondary users. The Cardholder remains responsible for all purchases made by authorized secondary users;
  • Ensuring receipt of goods and following up with the vendor to resolve disputes and arranging for returns credits, delivery problems, etc.;
  • Reporting lost or stolen P-Card immediately;
  • Safeguarding P-Card security at all times, including, but not limited to, protecting P-Card number and online purchases on secure websites only;
  • Responsible for repayment of improper charges and personal liability for misuse;
  • Ensuring the reconciliation of the P-Card Log Sheet to the bank statements and KFS on a monthly basis, unless this responsibility has been delegated to the Record Manager;
  • (Note: The reconciliation process shall be completed within ten (10) business days from receipt of bank statement. The combined process of reconciliation and re-allocation shall not exceed 15 business days from receipt of statement.)
Responsibilities of the Record Manager

Record Manager is defined as that individual designated to receive and maintain daily documentation (e.g., receipts, packing slips, etc.), from Cardholders for purposes of reconciling completed P-Card transactions.  The Record Manager is responsible for:

  • Completing a Record Manager Designation Form and attending the mandatory training session with the Cardholder;
  • Reconciling the P-Card Log Sheet to the bank statement and KFS on a monthly basis, if delegated this authority by Cardholder;
  • Assisting Cardholder in verifying and resolving returns, credits, and discrepancies, as needed;
  • Maintaining the P-Card Log Sheet with reporting documentation in a secure location at all times (locked cabinet is preferred);
  • Collecting and maintaining receipts from Cardholder(s) ensuring timely retrieval for auditing purposes;
  • Completing the re-allocation process to input proper accounts/object codes for each transaction by the 15th of the month following the P-Card statement month;
  • Assisting Cardholder in resolution of problems or questions about purchases, as needed;
  • Retaining documentation at specified location, in compliance with State, University or grant guidelines for record retention (minimum of seven (7) years), unless the grant calls for a longer timeframe. Prior to disposal of documents, the Record Manager must receive permission from the UConn archivist within the Dodd Center.
Responsibilities of the Fiscal Officer

Fiscal Officer is the department’s financial representative responsible for reviewing P-Card transactions after reconciliation and processing by the Record Manager.  The Fiscal Officer is responsible for:

  • Reviewing, and if compliant, approving P-Card transactions reconciled and routed from the Record Manager. Note: Once a Record Manager approves and routes a P-Card transaction to the Fiscal Officer, the Fiscal Officer receives an e-doc in their action list that requires approval in KFS;
  • Approving the e-doc once a compliant P-Card transaction is approved by the Record Manager;
  • Assuring that correct object codes are used on transactions; and that sales tax is coded correctly;
  • Reviewing validity of a transaction by scrutinizing the submitted receipt;
  • Preparing various reports for Cardholders, division administrators, etc.;
  • Maintaining archived Purchasing Card documents at the business office for audit.
Responsibilities of Reporting Authority

Reporting Authority is defined as that individual who has oversight responsibility for purchases and for administering the department’s budget (e.g., the dean, director or department head).  The Reporting Authority is responsible for:

  • Designating one (1) or more individual(s) in the department to act in the capacity of the Record Manager;
  • Identifying potential Cardholders;
  • Approving all P-Card Application Forms;
  • Overseeing P-Card Program for their respective department.

Back