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Welcome to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Purchasing Card (P-Card) Program. The Office of State Procurement (OSP) has developed this program to help state agencies better manage low dollar supply purchases and bring many benefits to the university, the State of Arkansas, and our vendors. The P-Card will facilitate the acquisition of low dollar goods and services needed for conducting official university business.
Procurement cards (P-Cards) are only distributed to specific individuals for departmental purchases of commodities/services for UALR official business purposes. To obtain a P-Card, full-time faculty or staff (students are not eligible) must complete the cardholder P-Card Employee Agreement. The P-Card Employee Agreement must be completed and signed by the cardholder, the unit (departmental) supervisor, and the vice chancellor of the unit (department). If a supervisor requests a P-Card, the P-Card Employee Agreement must be signed by his or her immediate supervisor.
Departments participating in the UALR P-Card Program will abide by the terms of these procedures unless prior written exception is requested and approved by the P-Card administrator. No policy and procedure statement can include all possible outcomes. Exceptions will be resolved as circumstances and prudent business practices warrant on a case-by-case basis. The P-Card Program’s success depends on participation and cooperation. Read and follow the processing procedure as delineated below.
New P-Card holders and coordinators are required to attend face-to-face training before a P-Card will be issued. New approvers have the option to complete the training online or to attend face-to-face training. Existing P-Card holders, approvers, and coordinators are required to complete training annually as set out in UALR’s Procurement Cards Policy 308.6. All participants must score at least 80% on the assessment. Annual training and subsequent testing will be required.
P-Card holders are required to store P-Cards in a safe, secure location. P-Card holders are not allowed to give their P-Card to anyone else to use.
If a P-Card is lost or stolen, the P-Card holder must immediately report the loss to the P-Card administrator and the P-Card holder’s direct supervisor. If the occurrence happens after business hours, the P-Card holder will immediately call the issuing bank and report the lost or stolen P-Card. The telephone number is located on the back of the P-Card and should be recorded and stored in an alternative location for accessibility in case of emergency.
Each individual P-Card has a single transaction credit limit (including shipping/freight and taxes) and a monthly expenditure limit. Limits may be increased or decreased depending on unit requirements with approval and may be adjusted to accurately reflect the spending level in accordance with authority and spending history.
The P-Card should only be used to purchase commodities/services that are not governed by other agreements and/or policies and when securing quality products and/or services at a competitive price without compromise. The following procedures ensure we are diligent in safeguarding our funds and performing our respective duties in an ethical manner.
Mandatory state contract items. Items covered by mandatory state contracts may not be purchased using the P-Card, unless the purchase is from the state contract vendor at or below the state contract price. Procurement Services can provide written documentation about state contract vendors willing to accept the P-Card.
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Non-mandatory or cooperative contract items. Items covered by non-mandatory or cooperative contracts may be purchased using the P-Card if purchasing from a contract vendor, except furniture. All furniture purchased must be coordinated by Procurement Services.
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Promotional items. Promotional or novelty items requiring an approved UALR logo/brand or an approved logo/brand of a specific program may not be purchased with a P-Card unless the item(s) are approved by the Office of Communications, ensuring branding and design meet university specifications and standards. The Office of Communications can assist with planning, designing, and proofing artwork. Please contact the Office of Communications one week prior to ordering to allow adequate time for designing and proofing.
All items purchased must abide by UA Board of Trustees policy and/or UALR policy. Some purchases may require accepted terms and conditions adhering to the approval process and an official UALR signature. The P-Card holder should never, under any circumstances, be involved or associated in such scenarios and should never execute a purchase using their assigned P-Card without consent of Procurement Services (e.g., the supplier asks you to sign an agreement as a condition of the purchase).
All commodities ordered via P-Card needing to be shipped must be delivered to a destination that is an official UALR address or verifiable off-site location due to a special project or grant activity. This internal process is necessary for preventing fraudulent activity.
The disputed items process allows P-Card holders to withhold payment of fraudulent charges appearing on the statement until the disputed items are resolved. Fraudulent charges are the only items the P-Card holder will be allowed to dispute.
If fraudulent charges are identified, it is the P-Card holder’s responsibility to contact Procurement Services. Procurement Services will notify the bank concerning any and all fraudulent charges.
Procurement Services recommends frequently reviewing all transactions to identify fraudulent charges as soon as possible. Detecting fraudulent charges promptly allows the bank adequate time in pursuing all investigations with efficiency.
If a transaction is declined, the cardholder should call the P-Card administrator for an explanation of the denial. The most common reasons for P-Card declinations include:
- Monthly spending limit exceeded;
- Restricted vendor; and
- Single transaction limit exceeded.
Accounting and Reconciliation of Expenditures
A detailed sales slip, receipt, or invoice shall be provided for each item on the P-Card holder’s statement. As purchases occur, it is prudent to obtain and secure these documents. Obtaining some form of official supporting documentation is crucial whether the purchase is made in person, via telephone, facsimile, postal service, or online. Any transaction the P-Card holder cannot provide said documentation or a notarized Missing Document Affidavit for will be considered a personal expense, and the P-Card holder will reimburse the university immediately. If not compliant, further disciplinary actions will be taken.
Cardholders should access their account throughout the open cycle and for each transaction:
- Reallocate the charge if the FOAPAL differs from the default accounting code;
- List all commodities/services bought in the Comments box;
- List the name(s) of event, grant, project, or program associated with the charges, if applicable, in the Additional Comments box; and
- List any and all transactions that are fixed assets for inventory purposes in the Internal Audit box.
Fixed assets are defined as any and all furniture, vehicles, equipment, and other state property having a useful life expectancy of one year or greater and a valued cost of $500 or greater. Any and all tablets are considered fixed assets no matter the valued cost.
Depending on the number of monthly transactions, a P-Card holder may prefer to reallocate and add the required comments/information on a daily or weekly basis.
All supporting documentation must fit onto an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. If smaller, then the receipt must be securely taped on all edges to an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. The tape should secure only the receipt’s edges and shall never be placed over the receipt’s documentation. The entire receipt must be visible.
Each month at the end of each billing cycle, the original signed P-Card holder activity report and the original supporting documentation for each transaction will be forwarded to Procurement Services not later than the deadline listed on the Credit Card Billing Cycle Timeline.
Reconciliation process is required. If a transaction has not been reconciled, Procurement Services will send out a notification of possible non-compliance. If requested documentation is not submitted to Procurement Services within the noted time frame, the P-Card will be suspended until such time as the documentation is submitted and has satisfied the requirement. See Compliance Process.
Procurement Services has an established process for notification of possible P-Card non-compliance and violations.
Non-compliance and violations may result in one or more of the following: verbal or written warnings; suspension or cancellation of the P-Card; disciplinary action (including loss of employment); and civil or criminal penalties.
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Split purchasing. Split purchasing is the splitting or fragmenting of a purchase greater than the daily limit on the card or $10,000, whichever is lower, and paying for the item(s) in separate payments of less than the daily limit on the card or $10,000, whichever is lower over an interval of time, to allow for a larger purchase on the P-Card or exceeding of bid threshold. Individual purchases to any merchant may not exceed the daily limit on the card or $10,000, whichever is lower. Purchases exceeding the daily limit on the card or $10,000, whichever is lower, must be purchased utilizing the requisition to purchase order process. Intentional splitting of a purchase to circumvent UALR procurement policies and procedures will result in cancellation of the P-Card (in addition to any other disciplinary action) and may result in civil or criminal penalties.
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Unauthorized sharing of a P-Card. An unauthorized sharing of a P-Card includes but is not limited to, allowing another person to use an individual’s P-Card. Previous delegation orders on file with UALR Procurement Services are no longer valid as of October 1, 2016.
P-Card Non-Allowable Purchases
There are items that may not be purchased with the P-Card due to existing state contracts, restrictions imposed by Constitutional Amendment 54, and university policy.
Note: If ANY of these items are purchased on a P-Card, it will result in an immediate strike on the P-Card holder’s status.
- First strike: Card will be shut down for 30 days.
- Second strike: Card will be shut down for 60 days.
- Third strike: Card will be shut down indefinitely and cardholder may not reapply for a university-issued P-Card.
In the event that ANY purchases appear to be fraudulent in nature, the P-Card Administrator reserves the right to immediately shut down the card and contact university administrators to alert them to potential fraud.
Restricted Items List
Procurement Services has developed the following list to make users aware of restricted items. The list does not include all non-allowable items and is subject to change.
- Printing. Printing is restricted by Constitutional Amendment 54, and therefore, the P-Card should never be used for printing purchases of any type. Contact UALR Printing Services for all printing needs.
- Decorative items (for non-public areas). Items such as wall-hangings, plants, lamps, clocks, etc., that are intended for use in non-public areas. Faculty and staff offices and employee break rooms are not considered public areas.
- Computers, laptops, and tablets. Any information technology related purchased must be pre-approved by IT Services and P-Card utilization must be pre-approved by Procurement Services.
- Items for personal/staff use. Items for non-university use are not permitted. For example, narcotics, prescriptions, and other over-the-counter medications; party and holiday decorations, greeting cards, supplies and food for birthday, retirement, or other celebrations; personal office supplies such as flowers, plants, personalized office supplies; small appliances such as microwaves, toasters, refrigerators, coffee makers; candy, soft drinks, juice, coffee, etc.
- Cash advances.
- Fuel. Excluding bulk fuel purchases for the campus.
- Travel expenses. Any expenses related to travel, such as airfare, lodging, rental cars, etc.
- Hazardous materials. Radioactive, biohazard, explosive, or any other hazardous materials.
- Employee meals. Employee meals not associated with a UALR official function.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Mandatory contract items. Items on mandatory state contracts must be purchased from the contracted vendor at contract pricing or below. For example, paper products, such as paper towels, toilet paper, facial tissue, copy paper, etc., must be purchased as allowed by state contract. For ease of purchase, many of these items are carried by UALR Central Stores.
- Gifts, contributions, sponsorships, and pledges.
- Gift cards.
- Other. No construction, remodeling, capital equipment, or tagged assets.
This list may be adjusted and evaluated from time-to-time. Please contact Procurement Services for any questions prior to making a purchase on the card.
It is understood there may be cases when the use of the P-Card may be expanded outside the traditional policy. All requests for exceptions to the policy and procedures established in this guideline must be by a written submission to Procurement Services via email to the P-Card administrator. Procurement Services will review any and all requests and notify the requestor of the approval or denial. Keep any and all copies of documentation pertaining to said request.
Questions or Assistance
Please direct any questions, inquiries, or problems regarding P-Cards to Procurement Services at 501.537.0053.