State University Procurement Card Policy and Guidelines
April 01, 2017
This policy item applies to:
The State University of New York procurement card program offers campuses an alternative method of purchasing small dollar items. This program is intended to allow campuses the flexibility to streamline local procedures and controls for procuring goods and services. Proper use of the procurement card significantly reduces the time between requesting, ordering, and receiving goods and services.
In addition to saving time, the procurement card program greatly reduces the volume of accounts payable transactions and the associated administrative costs. This is done by eliminating supplier invoices and consolidating multiple supplier payments into one monthly voucher payment to the procurement card vendor. Currently, the procurement card vendor is paid monthly through an automated clearing house (ACH) via electronic check from the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC). This process contributes to the overall efficiency and cost effectiveness of the program.
According to a study by the National Association of State Comptrollers (NASC), savings related to procurement card use ranges from $24 to $75 per transaction. A similar study conducted by a commercial procurement card vendor estimates it costs $67 to process a voucher compared to $11 with a procurement card — a savings of $56 per transaction. Using the lowest reported savings estimate, $24 per transaction, the University saved approximately $2.3 million in the 2004/05 fiscal year.
Operation of the University program follows the basic New York State Procurement Card guidelines as established by the Office of General Services (OGS). Due to the University’s flexibility, there may be minor differences in the operation between the New York State and the University program. Where the operation of the two programs are different, University guidelines, as noted in this policy manual, will take precedence.
Procurement card services must be obtained through participation in the State-wide contract administered by the State of New York OGS, Division of Standards and Purchases. As such, the University has adopted an identical Purchase Card Template for Excluded Items by Merchant Category Code (MCC). This MCC template is a comprehensive list of vendor types (e.g., airline, lodging, golf courses, etc.) that are not allowed when using the procurement card. If a cardholder attempts to purchase goods or services from a vendor with an excluded MCC the charge will be declined.
The procurement card is a non-transferable financial instrument assigned to University employees with appropriate purchasing authority. These employees must have proper security clearance within the State University Accounting System (SCSO), and be given access to the Web Procurement Card (Web P-Card) application, which is the procurement card reconciliation tool module in the University Finance and Management System (FMS).
Each campus utilizes a program administrator (PA) who is the liaison between the University, the suppliers, and Citibank. The PA is primarily responsible for cardholder training, account maintenance (e.g., name changes, creating department hierarchies, etc.), new card applications, and general procurement card issues. These campus PA’s must make certain that cardholders are aware of all the responsibilities and privileges associated with the program. Cardholder responsibilities include, but are not limited to, using the procurement card for authorized State transactions only, notifying Citibank and the campus PA immediately if the Visa card is lost or stolen, and following the policies and procedures established within this manual.
Training will be provided by the PA for all persons receiving a procurement card. This training will cover the use of the procurement card consistent with New York State policy, as well as University and/or campus purchasing practices. Training must be completed prior to issuance of the card.
Cardholders are issued a single procurement card, which is embossed with their full legal name. The University program does not allow for group or departmental cards. Before receiving the card, all cardholders must sign the New York State Citibank Travel Card / Purchasing Card Acknowledgement Form. This form ensures that cardholders have read and understand the terms and conditions of the program. All cardholders must surrender the procurement card to the University at the request of the campus PA or upon termination of employment.
Managerial review of all departmental transactions within Web P-Card is strongly suggested, however this process is optional. If charges are not reviewed by the department manager, they must be completely reviewed by the accounts payable department before final A/P certification.
Terms and conditions that constitute misuse and/or abuse of the procurement card are outlined in New York State Procurement Card guidelines. Campuses must refer to the appropriate sections of these guidelines for information on disciplinary steps, and should incorporate them into the written campus- specific procedures for procurement card use.
Voucher payments made to the procurement card vendor (Citibank) are automatically generated by System Administration at the end of each monthly billing cycle. Currently, the billing cycle consists of purchases made from the seventh of the month to the sixth of the following month. An e-mail is sent to members of the University procurement card program administrator, accounting, purchasing and accounts payable listserv’s, explaining that the voucher has been completed and transmitted to the Statewide Financial System (SFS). Campuses should expect to receive an IDL two to three business days after the voucher is completed by System Administration.
The University is responsible for all charges made within the billing cycle, except those related to alleged fraud or misuse. Procurement card bills containing charges related to fraud or misuse are paid in full by the campus. After investigation, if the charges are deemed to be fraudulent, the procurement card vendor will credit the campus billing account for the total amount of the fraud.
Cardholders must immediately report all transaction disputes to the campus PA. The PA must then contact the procurement card vendor directly and complete the Citibank Government Cardholder Dispute Form. This dispute form must be filled out completely and forwarded to Citibank within 60 calendar days of receipt of the campus invoice.
The following information is required to complete the dispute form:
In some cases, the Citibank Fraud Protection Unit determines when fraud occurs before charges appear on cardholder statements. This proactive approach may eliminate the need to complete the transaction dispute form. However, it does require Citibank to cancel the current card account number and reissue a new account. New cards will be sent to the campus PA within a few days. The new card account number will automatically be active and the cancelled card will reflect that it was deactivated in the University Web P-Card application within the FMS.
Before cardholders give any type of account information over the telephone, they must be completely certain that they are speaking with a Citibank representative. If there is any question whether the caller is on a phishing expedition for personal information, hang up and call Citibank Government Customer Service at 855-241-0728.
Web P-Card Transaction Sub-objects
The University Controller’s Office has constructed a crosswalk between the Merchant Category Code (MCC) that is provided by Citibank and University sub-object codes. This process enables campuses to better track purchases made using the procurement card. For example, if a cardholder purchases office supplies from a vendor with MCC XXXX the corresponding University sub-object will be applied to the transaction within Web P-Card.
The Vice President’s designee, generally the purchasing director at each campus, acts as the campus program administrator (PA). This campus PA is responsible for managing all aspects of the procurement card program. The PA is the liaison between the campus, the suppliers and Citibank.
The campus PA evaluates cardholder, department and vendor compliance within the statewide procurement card program. The PA may also be involved in evaluating enhancements to policies and the Web P-Card application within the University FMS.
Additional responsibilities of the position include:
The PA is responsible for ensuring that all employees receiving a procurement card are properly instructed on card usage and responsibilities. The PA is also responsible for ensuring that all cardholders and their immediate supervisor/manager attend training prior to issuance of the card. The University Controller’s Office, with the assistance of the Office of General Services (OGS) and Citibank, will provide the necessary literature and training to the campus. These training sessions are designed as a “train-the-trainer” course for the campus PA and the procurement staff. The PA, with the assistance of the procurement staff, will provide necessary campus end-user training.
Cardholder training will cover the use of the procurement card consistent with New York State policy, as well as University and campus specific procurement practices. Each cardholder will also be given instruction in the use of the Web P-Card application.
Upon completion of the training, the cardholder will sign a copy of the Citibank Cardholder Acknowledgement Form. By signing this form, the cardholder acknowledges that he or she has read and understand the terms and conditions of the program.
By activating and signing the procurement card, the employee agrees to participate in the State University procurement card program and assumes responsibility in accordance with program guidelines. Failure to abide by these terms may be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. These responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:
The procurement card may not be used for:
If you have questions regarding the appropriate use of the procurement card, contact your campus PA.
To make a purchase using the New York State Procurement Card, follow the same general procedures used for any type of credit card purchase.
All purchases made using the procurement card should be supported by store receipts, Visa® charge slips, shipping detail, etc. The documentation must be maintained and stored for reconciliation, auditing and tax purposes. In addition, these documents will be necessary to resolve billing and shipping disputes.
At the end of each billing cycle, cardholders are instructed to download their billing activity statement from CitiManager (PDF). The cardholder activity statement includes a listing of purchases made and credits received during the monthly cycle. The activity statement is a reference document and not a bill. The cardholder is responsible for verifying all activity listed on the activity statement is accurate. The cardholder may need to refer to previous orders to reconcile credits that may have been posted on the current activity statement.
Cardholder reconciliation procedures include:
There are no definitions relevant to this policy.
In support of this procedure, the following links and/or references to additional resources for related information are included:
Citibank P-Card Guidelines - OGS
Citibank Credit Card MCC Templates
Citibank List of all MCC Codes
Citibank Online Statement Guide
Chip and PIN – Cardholder FAQ
Chip and PIN – Administrator FAQ
Citibank Contact Information
Credit Card Program Setup Checklist
Employee Liability for State Charges
NYS Training Presentation
New York State Procurement Guidelines
Program Administrator Reference Guide
Warning – Phishing Scams
There are no procedures relevant to this policy.
Where applicable, this section contains links and/or references to forms as they relate to this procedure:
Card Acknowledgment Form
Citibank Cardholder Transaction Dispute
Program Administrator Setup
NYS Tax Exempt Letter
Where applicable, this section contains links and/or references to the authority governing this procedure:
Office of the University Controller accounting requirements
Policy initially enacted on September 01, 2004 and updated on April 1, 2017.
There are no appendices relevant to this policy.