|A properly executed requisition, with appropriate signature approval, provides authority for the Purchasing Department to proceed with the procurement process. Purchasing Department personnel will review the requisition, solicit bids (if necessary), select the vendor (in cooperation with the requesting department) and prepare a purchase order.|
Sinclair’s Procurement Cards (also known as P-Cards) are issued, to individuals through the College, by an area bank in the name of the College and the employee. Using a P-Card is the preferred method to purchase low-value, non-capital expense items. Many items previously acquired by using Petty Cash, Purchase Orders or Check Requests should be targeted for the P-Card.
The P-Card Program is not designed to replace the current purchasing process. Instead, the P-Card is simply another purchasing tool–-designed to provide the requester with an easier and faster method to purchase goods. It can be used to make purchases in person; by phone, fax, or mail, and over the Internet.
From an accounting and purchasing viewpoint, the P-Card has good control, reporting and data interface features, which allow reduction in overhead costs. In addition, suppliers benefit as they are paid in two to three days and do not have to prepare, send and track invoices, or wait 30 to 45 days for payment.
The Cardholder should purchase from College contract vendors, identifiable by contacting the Purchasing Department, whenever possible to take advantage of pricing and terms negotiated on a College-wide contract basis.
Please note that all purchases are subject to the rules and procedures contained in this Manual.
1. Guidelines for Card Use
Senior Vice Presidents, Vice Presidents, Deans and Directors should establish restrictions on card use for individuals within their departments. Such restrictions must be monitored by the appropriate Budget Manager.
Purchases may be made at merchants and suppliers who accept Sinclair’s card type. Examples of the types of purchases the P-Card may be used for include:
Do NOT use your P-Card for these transactions:
Please note that Services is not an allowable expense on the P-Card.
It is not the intent of the Purchasing department to prevent the efficient operations of any department within the college. However, we are in an area that is highly scrutinized. The most recent Board approved policies are dated July 2008, so very little has changed in recent years.
Transactions that require special permission and must have written approval prior to the purchase include:
As previously noted, personal purchases may not be made with the P-Card, even if the requester's intent is to reimburse the College.
Should any personal charges be unintentionally charged on the P-Card, the user must immediately prepare a personal check made payable to Sinclair Community College. This check must be made for the amount of the personal charges and note the same account number that was used for the P-Card transaction. The check should be hand-carried to the Purchasing office which will make the deposit with the Bursar and will copy all documentation to attach to the Cardholder’s corresponding Transaction Review report.
THE P-CARD IS NOT TO BE USED IN THE CAMPUS BOOKSTORE. The Tartan Card is to be used for all purchases in Sinclair’s Bookstore.
THE P-CARD IS NOT TO BE USED FOR PURCHASES WITH ARAMARK. A "Food Services Request" form, located under "College Forms" must be processed.
2. Consequences for Failure to Comply with Program Guidelines
Cardholders who violate Purchasing Policies and Procedures as outlined in this Manual may be subject to:
A written notification will be sent to the cardholder and the signature authority on the account if P-Card privileges are to be restricted, suspended or revoked. Notification will also be sent to the Cardholder’s supervisor if other than the signature authority.
Some violations include:
3. Control Mechanisms with the P-Card
A P-Card is a special type of credit card. The Program Administrator has the ability to control its use in the following ways:
Credit card companies classify all merchants by a Merchant Category Code (MCC). The College has chosen to block certain MCC codes for purchases on the P-Card.
If you attempt to make a purchase with one of these merchants, your transaction will be declined. Should a legitimate purchase be rejected, however, contact the Program Administrator to get the problem resolved.
4. General Instruction for use of P-cards
h. If changes to the information on the P-Card account are necessary i.e. changes to spending limit, account number, etc., the Supervisor of the Cardholder should contact the P-Card Administrator in writing or fill out a new Procurement Card Account Application Form, obtain the appropriate signatures, and file the form with the P-Card Administrator.
To ensure the continued success of the P-Card Program and meet Sinclair’s audit requirements,a stringent periodic review of each Cardholder’s transaction file and monthly summaries will be conducted by the Purchasing Department. An outside auditing firm will also conduct a yearly audit of the P-Card program.
6. Credit Card Security
The card should always be treated with the highest level of care.
7. What if the Cardholder Leaves the College or cannot Process the Report?
When the Cardholder leaves Sinclair, the user’s card must be turned in to the P-Card Administrator along with all receipts of transactions purchased to date. The P-Card Administrator will cancel the card by notifying the bank.
If an employee has to be out of the office temporarily, regardless of the reason (e.g., vacation, business travel, conference, illness, etc.), all P-Card report deadlines still apply. This is also true for employees who have been given the responsibility to process someone else’s report (e.g., for an employee who has resigned or retired but still has outstanding transactions on the card).
In addition, nine-month employees must make arrangements for turning in all reports on-time during the summer – regardless of whether the Cardholders are on campus or not. Failure to turn in a report can result in suspension of the card.
8. What if errors appear on the statement or are otherwise discovered?
Accounts Payable will pay all charges on all cards on a monthly basis, issuing one check to the bank.
|C.||Purchases Requiring Prepayment|
There may be rare situations when it is necessary to make payments in advance of receiving goods or services although this practice is not generally appropriate. Examples may include membership fees, registration fees, professional fees, subscriptions and personal services such as speaker honorariums, etc.
Any requisition requesting prepayment must have attached to it evidence of the cost of the item (e.g., a price sheet or Proforma Invoice).
|D.||Blanket Purchase Orders|
Blanket Purchase Orders typically cover a specified time period with an established dollar limitation. Capital equipment may not be purchased on blanket orders.
A request for a blanket order should identified by the initiating department through the requisitioning process. Persons authorized to purchase from the order and the dollar limit must be identified.
Generally, Blanket Orders may not be issued for any period beyond the current fiscal year and may not be for more than $25,000. Often, Blanket Orders for construction projects may extend past the fiscal year and exceed $25,000.
The vast majority of purchasing activity for the College should be done via Purchase Orders or P-card transactions. In the rare event that a purchasing transaction does not justify a formal Purchase Order or cannot be processed by credit card, a Check Request may be processed.
The transaction would typically involve the following to qualify for a check request:
To initiate a check request:
1. Complete the form Requisition to the Purchasing Department.
2. In bold letters across the description section, write Check Request.
3. Forward the form along with appropriate back-up information (invoice, application, etc.) through the usual approval process.
All such requests must include the complete detail of goods and services received. Credit card slips or cash register receipts lacking specific, itemized detail will result in the request being rejected.
Since a check request does not result in a purchase order being printed, there will not be a copy returned to the department. Special care must be taken by the person initiating the request not to duplicate the request. It is common for the businesses involved in some of the above transactions to send a stream of requests or notices to their customers.
|There are unscrupulous businesses which prey upon inexperienced purchasers. Purchasers should order only from known, legitimate businesses in order to avoid unscrupulous businesses. Contact with the Purchasing Department is recommended when in doubt.|
|G.||Modification or Cancellation of Orders|
Once a purchase order is received and accepted by a vendor, it becomes a binding contract between the vendor and the College. The only persons who may institute cancellation or changes to the order are Purchasing Department personnel.
Requests for a change on an order by the requisitioning department can be initiated verbally but must be immediately confirmed in writing. All contact with the vendor on these matters will be made by the Purchasing Department.
Vendor requests for price changes on a purchase order may be approved/rejected by the Purchasing Department if the net change does not exceed $500.
Changes of more than $500 require the initiating department to submit a requisition amending the original order. Normal signature approvals are required. The Purchasing Department will then issue a purchase order addendum to the original order.
Emergency situations arise which may not allow time for normal purchasing procedures to be completed. These situations may include the following:
If, for any of the above reasons, an immediate commitment of funds is required or if the emergency must be handled during non-business hours, the requesting department must deliver the necessary documentation to the Purchasing Department during the next regular business day.
The expenditure of College funds for certain items is prohibited and requests for these items will be rejected by the Purchasing Department. These items include, but are not limited to the following:
Most institutional memberships and subscriptions are an appropriate use of College funds if there is a direct benefit to the College and respective department. Rarely, would a personal membership or subscription qualify as an allowable expense.
In the event that the personal membership or subscription met a public purpose (e.g., notary, CPA, etc.), approval may be warranted through the President or a Senior Vice President.
Payments for memberships in social organizations (e.g., golf clubs, fitness clubs) are strictly prohibited.
Responsibility for the purchasing process does not end until the goods are received in satisfactory condition and all conditions of the contract have been completed. It is imperative, therefore, that the Purchasing Department be contacted when any vendor follow-up is required. Reasons for follow-up may include the following:
The Purchasing Department is responsible for all vendor contact once a purchase order has been issued.
|The Purchasing Department handles all complaints or questions addressed to vendors and involving purchase order transactions. College employees should communicate with the Purchasing Department at the earliest possible time when problems or questions arise.|
VIII. Purchase Contracts