3215 Yale Purchasing Card

Responsible Official: 
Chief Procurement Officer
Responsible Office: 
Procurement
Effective Date: 
July 1, 1998
Revision Date: 
May 2, 2019

Policy Sections

3215.1 Requesting & Obtaining a Yale Purchasing Card

3215.2 Use of the Yale Purchasing Card

3215.3 Yale Purchasing Card Noncompliance

3215.4 Mandatory Cancellation

Scope

This policy establishes the rules and guidelines for appropriate use of the Yale Purchasing Card.  It applies to all Yale employees and departments applying for or holding a Yale Purchasing Card.

Policy Statement

The Yale Purchasing Card facilitates the purchase of small dollar goods and services for University business.  Yale Purchasing Card cardholders must comply with all applicable requirements.

Reason for the Policy

Yale recognizes the importance in providing flexibility and discretion when purchasing goods and services for University business.  This policy promotes discretion in spending and establishes the rules and guidelines for appropriate use of the Yale Purchasing Card.  This policy informs the Yale community of the University’s expectations regarding the use of the Yale Purchasing Card and emphasizes proper stewardship and judgment when utilizing Yale’s financial resources.

Definitions

Yale Purchasing Card (“PCard”)

The Yale Purchasing Card (“PCard”) is a corporate-liability payment card.  Yale University pays the issuing bank directly the balance for all charges incurred by cardholders.  PCards must only be used for University business.  Yale issues PCards to approved University employees or departments in the form of Individual PCards and Department PCards:

  • Individual PCard: Individual PCards are available to University employees authorized to purchase travel-related goods and services and/or small-dollar goods and supplies and limited services on behalf of the University, up to pre-approved limits.  These PCards are issued in the name of the employee and the employee assumes responsibility for the PCard.
  • Department PCard: Department PCards are available to departments as a mechanism to purchase travel-related goods and services, small-dollar goods and supplies, and limited services on behalf of the University department.  These PCards are issued in the name of the Department and can be shared with department members.  Yale issues each Department PCard to a department, but a primary user assumes responsibility for the PCard.

Yale Purchasing Card Cardholder (“cardholder”)

A Yale Purchasing Card cardholder (“cardholder”) is a University employee or department approved to hold and use a Yale PCard. 

Policy Sections

To acquire a Yale PCard, employees or departments must first apply and obtain approval.  See Procedure 3215 PR.01 Yale Purchasing Card Procedure for detailed information on the application process.

Upon approval, all prospective PCard cardholders must read and sign Form 3215 FR.01 Yale University Purchasing Card Cardholder Agreement (the “Agreement”).  By signing this Agreement, each cardholder agrees to comply with the terms and conditions of the Agreement.

All PCard cardholders must adhere to the following:

  • All purchases made with a PCard must comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and sponsor requirements, if applicable;
  • All purchases made with a PCard must comply with the requirements of this Policy and the requirements of all other applicable and University policies and procedures, as set forth below under Related Information;
  • All cardholders must use discretion and good judgment when making purchases and/or incurring expenses, and must only use PCards for University business;
  • All cardholders must provide documentation supporting the business purpose of PCard charges, as detailed in Procedure 3215 PR.02 Yale Expense Management (PCard and Out-of-Pocket Expenses);
  • All cardholders must only make PCard purchases within their dollar and transaction limits;
  • All purchases made with a PCard must comply with the Permitted Commodities (e.g. travel, entertainment, small dollar supplies) and Prohibited Commodities (e.g. gift cards, cash advances, traveler’s checks) lists maintained in Procedure 3215 PR.01 Yale Purchasing Card Procedure, unless the cardholder receives prior approval from the Controller’s Office;
  • All cardholders must immediately notify Yale Shared Services (“YSS”) (purchasing.card@yale.edu) or the issuing bank if their PCard is lost or stolen;
  • All cardholders are expected to prepare and submit expense reports for PCard transactions, with supporting documentation, within thirty (30) days from the date the expense is incurred, as described in Procedure 3215 PR.01 Yale Purchasing Card Procedure, Section 4;
  • All cardholders must not electronically store their PCard number with any online suppliers (e.g., Amazon), to minimize the risks associated with potential vendor data breaches;
  • All cardholders must not use a PCard to make a purchase from a Supplier if they have, or a member of their immediate family or partner has:
    • a family relationship or business affiliation with the Supplier; or
    • a financial or other interest in, or a tangible personal benefit from, a PCard transaction with that Supplier;

Such an action may be considered a Procurement Conflict of Interest.  All PCard purchases must comply with the University’s statement on Procurement Conflicts of Interest, as fully described in Policy 3201 General Purchasing;

  • All cardholders must not share their PCard account information with anyone else;
  • All cardholders must not use their PCard to make purchases from or issue payments to any individuals or companies in an embargoed country (current embargoed countries/regions are: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the Crimea region of Ukraine/Russia), unless they receive prior approval from the Director, Export Controls.  Please note, even when pre-approval is obtained from the Director, Export Controls, a PCard may not be accepted in embargoed countries;
  • All cardholders must not claim reimbursement by another means (e.g., petty cash, check reimbursement, or treasury services) for any charges expensed to a PCard; and
  • All cardholders must not split transactions in an attempt to circumvent single purchase dollar limits.  For appropriate purchases, cardholders may obtain temporary approval to raise single purchase dollar limits.  See Procedure 3215 PR.01 Yale Purchasing Card Procedure, Section 3.

Improper use of the Yale PCard may lead to suspension or cancellation of PCard privileges or other disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.  The circumstances under which this may occur include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • the cardholder violates any of the requirements of Section 3215.2, above;
  • the cardholder leaves PCard transactions (charges and credits) unprocessed for more than ninety (90) days;
  • the cardholder shares Pcard account information with someone else;
  • the cardholder uses the PCard for personal expenses or for any other charges outside of policy;
  • the cardholder consistently does not provide necessary receipts;
  • the cardholder uses the PCard for contract suppliers when the preferred purchasing method is requisition/purchase order; or
  • the cardholder uses the PCard for any prohibited commodities without receiving prior approval.

Yale University may terminate the privilege to use a Yale PCard at any time, for any reason.  In addition, a cardholder’s lead administrator (or designee) is authorized to request the cancellation of a PCard at any time.  Cancellation of a PCard shall be in consultation with the Chief Procurement Officer and Controller’s office.

For further detail on PCard suspension, cancellation, and other disciplinary processes, refer to Procedure 3215 PR.01 Yale Purchasing Card Procedure.

A cardholder’s lead administrator (or designee) must request the cancellation of a PCard if:

  • the cardholder is transferring to a different department within the University;
  • the cardholder is leaving the University; or
  • the cardholder’s position no longer requires the use of a purchasing card.

For further detail on PCard cancellation, refer to Procedure 3215 PR.01 Yale Purchasing Card Procedure.

Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Controller’s Office, in consultation with the Chief Procurement Officer, Provost’s Office, or Office of the General Counsel, as appropriate.

Roles & Responsibilities

Cardholders

  • Cardholders are responsible for exercising sound judgment and discretion when making purchases with their PCard.
  • They are responsible for being familiar with, and for complying with, this and all other University policies and procedures.

Lead Administrators and Business Offices

  • Business offices, at the direction of lead administrators, are responsible for maintaining a sound and adequate system of internal controls and processes for the use of PCards and the processing and approval of PCard transactions. 
  • Lead administrators are responsible for requesting suspensions, cancellations, and reactivations of PCards belonging to cardholders in their units, when appropriate.
  • Lead administrators may, through designations, authorize other appropriate individuals (e.g., Operations Managers) to perform duties for which the lead administrator is responsible.

Chief Procurement Officer and Procurement Department

  • The Chief Procurement Officer is responsible for the content and oversight of this policy.
  • The Chief Procurement Officer approves exceptions, where appropriate.
  • The Chief Procurement Officer has the right to delegate authority to perform any function.
  • The Procurement Department, with oversight from the Chief Procurement Officer, is the central process owner for the Yale Purchasing Card program.
  • With oversight from the Chief Procurement Officer, the PCard Office monitors the issuance, use, suspension, and cancellation of PCards.
  • The Procurement Department is responsible for training all faculty and staff on the proper use of PCards. 
  • The Procurement Department is responsible for reviewing and approving temporary exceptions up to $10,000 for a single purchase limit.

Yale Shared Services (“YSS”)

  • YSS processes the PCard applications submitted by requestors.
  • YSS issues PCards in accordance with the limits established by this policy.
  • YSS processes requests for the temporary and or permanent changes in limits in consultation with the Procurement Office.
  • YSS implements reversal of any temporary limits.
  • YSS executes the cancellation or suspension of PCards after consultation with the Procurement Office and Controller’s Office

Controller and Controller’s Office

  • The Controller’s office is responsible for reviewing and approving all suspensions and/or cancellations due to a violation(s) of this policy and or other related policies of the University.
  • The Controller’s office grants temporary exceptions above a single purchase limit of $10,000.
  • The Controller’s Office approves exceptions, where appropriate, in consultation with the Chief Procurement Officer, Provost’s Office, or Office of the General Counsel, as appropriate.