Policy BS14 Penn State Purchasing Card - Specific Restrictions of Goods and Services

Contents:

  • General
  • Conditional Uses
  • Prohibited Uses
  • GENERAL:

    The Purchasing Card has specific exclusions/inclusions of goods and services which may be purchased using the card.

    CONDITIONAL USES:

    The Purchasing Card may be used conditionally for the following types of purchases as noted below:
    Type of Purchase: USE FOR DO NOT USE FOR Notes:
    Alcohol
    • Purchases for uses as permitted by Policy AD18 and FN10, and only with unrestricted miscellaneous funds.
    • Purchases made by Penn State Hospitality Services.
    Any other purchases.

    Restrictions on use of University funds, and requirements for special permissions prior to purchase, require highly controlled purchases. 
    See:

    • Policy AD18 - Possession, Use and Distribution of Alcoholic Beverages
    • Policy FN10 - Other Business Expenses and Activities
    Amazon.com Purchases made through the Penn State Amazon Business Account Any other Amazon.com purchases Cardholder must enroll in the Penn State Amazon Business account for any Purchasing Card purchases to ensure tax exemption is applied. Please see https://purchasing.psu.edu/amazon-business for more information.
    Buses, Chartering Bus chartering/rentals only when the transaction meets the following criteria:
    1. The bus company appears on the list of companies approved by Risk Management (go to Vendors, then Charter Bus Lines link on Risk Management's website)
    2. Any contract with legal terms and conditions has been properly reviewed and approved by someone with the authority to sign contracts on behalf of the University (see Policy FN11).
    3. The total bus charges are less than the cardholder's transaction limit.
    Any other scenarios. Bus Companies must be approved by the department of Risk Management to confirm and certify that the carrier has adequate insurance. Pre-approved companies are listed on Risk Management's website. For non-listed companies, Certificates of Insurance must be received and approved by Risk Management prior to service. In addition, by University policy, only certain persons have authority to approve contractual documents.
    Carpet Area rugs or bound carpet Wall-to-wall or glued down Wall-to-wall or glued down carpet must be purchased through OPP and Purchasing to assure the carpet meets Fire Safety Standards.
    Cylinder Gases Permitted at non-UP locations.

    HY permits the purchase of nitrogen and liquid helium in specified sizes of Dewar flasks.

    Any cylinder gas procurement at University Park.

    Any other type of cylinder gas purchase at Hershey.

    Cylinder gas must be purchased through General Stores to maintain central tracking and reduce the number of trucks with hazardous material on campus.
    Equipment - Fabrication (Object Code 705) Fabricated Equipment purchases only Capital Equipment The fabrication number, e.g. 14-05, must be placed in the Purpose/Description area on PCard support form.  Cardholder must send Property Inventory copies of the purchase card receipts and support form.  Receipts may be sent via interoffice mail to:  101 Rider Building or via email to ccoproperty@ums.psu.edu. Document the fabrication number on each receipt.
    Gasoline Gasoline may be purchased when a rental vehicle is being used, provided that the cardholder is enrolled in the ERS system and has had travel limits added to their card.  NOT to be used to purchase gasoline for a rental vehicle if the cardholder is not enrolled in the ERS system and does not have travel limits added to their card.  May also not be used to purchase gasoline for personal vehicles – gas and other expenses for personal vehicle use are reimbursed based on mileage. A "Voyager" card may be used in place of a Purchasing Card for the purchase of gasoline ONLY when using a University vehicle (Card obtained through Fleet Operations).  The Voyager card may NOT be used to purchase gasoline when using a rental vehicle.
    Gift Cards

    Prepaid purchases are allowable IF Financial Officer approval has been given.

    Any other scenarios without Financial Officer approval.

    Sign off is required by the recipient of the gift card.

    Insurance for Rented Vehicles, Non-CONUS Travel Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and liability insurance should be purchased when renting vehicles for travel to Alaska, Canada, Hawai'i, or Puerto Rico

    Long-term truck leases.

    For insurance issues on long-term truck leases, please contact the Risk Management Department.

    When a truck is rented for a short term (NOT a long-term lease) from an agency such as U-Haul, Ryder, Penske or others, physical damage insurance SHOULD be accepted and paid for as a reimbursable expense (the P-Card may be used as a form of payment for the rental and related charges).
    Maintenance Agreements Maintenance agreements which do not require the agreement to be signed. Maintenance agreements which require the agreement to be signed.

    Special procurement requirements limit who can sign agreements. See:

    Meals

    Group meals and meeting expenses with a completed Group Meal form. [Reminder - Itemized receipts are required for all group meals.  Review FN10 regarding other limitations and policies regarding group meals, especially related to the purchase of alcoholic beverages as part of a group meal.]

    Meals for non-employees who are guests of PSU.

     

    Individual employee meals, UNLESS the cardholder has had travel limits added to their card. Individual employee meal expenses are incorporated into calculated per diem per PSU travel policy.

    Limited capability to monitor expenses of individual employee meals precludes use in that case.
    See:
    Policy FN10 - Other Business Expenses and Activities,  for more detail on group meals.

     

     

     

    Meals- Catered Catering of events by approved, non-University catering services, if caterer is NOT reportable under IRS 1099 (generally requires that business is incorporated).

    Caterers that are 1099 reportable require the use of an SRFC.

     

    Only caterers approved by Risk Management can be paid using the Purchasing Card or by SRFC. (See list of approved, non-University caterers)
    Memberships

    Situations where the membership is an incidental result of the transaction, such as:

    • Conference Registrations where membership provides a net cost savings for registration (code as registration)
    • Journals or other data sources where membership is required to obtain the journal or information (code as books or journals)

    The object code used should reflect the reason for the purchase, and should not be reflected as a membership.

    Situations where the membership is paid for directly, such as:

    • Memberships where joining the organization is the primary purpose. These can be paid on an SRFC, or with a purchasing card at the discretion of the Financial Officer.
    • Memberships to gain access to benefits in future purchases (Amazon Prime, Sam’s Club, or similar)
    • Memberships to video subscription services (Netflix, Hulu plus, or similar)

    NOTES:

    Restrictions on use and acquisition. See:

    Online Auctions (eBay, etc) Purchases of items via online auctions such as eBay and other business selling online. Approval must be obtained from the Financial Officer PRIOR to making purchase Do NOT use for any other scenarios  
    Postage Non-UP locations, is permitted by your Financial Officer University Park; Mailing Services provides postal services Difficult to monitor expenses and proper use of "live" postage.
    Printing, copying and addressing
    • transactions below $250 (at University Park)
    • Non-University Park locations (Any amount)
    • Emergency printing or copying when the cardholder does not have access to a PSU location, such as while on travel or at a conference;when printing is being procured from a mandated or direct source such as a sponsor, government agency or non-profit organization
    any other purchases The Multimedia and Print Center (MPC) has been delegated the authority for the manufacture and procurement of printing, copying and addressing. Any exceptions must be pre-approved by the MPC. At this time, the MPC is granting an exception for all Non-UP locations and transactions at UP below $250.
    Rentals
    • Short-term passenger vehicle rentals (15 passengers or less) through National or Enterprise Car Rental only unless no National or Enterprise rentals are available at the rental location.
    • Short-term rental of items from rental companies.(Except those listed as prohibited.)
    • Short term non-passenger vehicle rentals, such as trucks and vans, including "U-Haul" type vehicles
    • Short-term passenger vehicle rentals (15 passengers or less) from sources other than National or Enterprise Car Rental unless no National or Enterprise rentals are available at the rental location.
    • Large passenger vehicles (greater than 15 passengers).
    • Long-term rentals (greater than 30 days).
    • Buses except as noted under Buses, Chartering
    • Tents from sources other than Best Event Rental
    Insurance and liability concerns precludes use for those prohibited rentals.
    Services Services not paid and reportable on an IRS 1099 - IRS 9 form. Services paid and reportable on an IRS-1099 - IRS9

    Special reporting requirements for services reportable on an IRS 1099 form precludes use. 
    See:

    • Decision Tool - Acquiring Services for the University for determination of eligibility.
    Telecommunications

    Purchasing cellular devices, as well as payment of monthly billings for recurring cellular services for University-owned cellular devices, provided that there is a strong and continuing business need per Policy FN21.  The CUA for a Pooled Device form must be completed and approved before the purchase is made.

    • The cost of a personal cellular voice/data plan/device, even when used for business purposes, is considered a personal expense for an employee and will not be directly paid for by the University unless certain business criteria are met, per Policy FN21.
    • The University will not pay for or reimburse employees for the cost of internet services at home, such as DSL or satellite services, from any University funds, per FN21.
     
    Temporary Services Services from these companies:
    • Adecco
    • Express Employment Professionals
    • HR Office
    • Manpower
    Any other sources of temporary services. Need to monitor and meet Penn State standards limits sources of temporary services.
    Travel Expenses
    • All travel costs permitted if cardholder has travel limits activated, has passed the Travel portion of the Purchasing Card Quiz and has signed the cardholder agreement.  For additional information, refer to the Travel Policy.
    • Lodging and meals for group travel involving non-employees (i.e.. team or student field trips), although use of a Purchase Order is encouraged.
    • Conference registration.
    • Travel expenses in accordance with PSU travel policies for non-employees who are guests of PSU.

    See also:

    • Cardholder cannot use for travel expenses if cardholder has not signed the Purchasing Card agreement for travel, and hasn't activated the travel option on their card.  Instead, such expenses can be paid via personal credit card with reimbursement upon completion of travel.  For additional information, refer to the Travel Policy.
    • Group travel or lodging for employees - such as retreats - should be coordinated through Purchasing Services.
    • Short-term passenger vehicle rentals except as noted under Rentals.
    • Buses except as noted under Buses, Chartering
    Limited capability to monitor these prohibited expenses precludes use in those cases.
    Utilities Small dollar utility bills. Permission from Financial Officer is required. Large dollar utility bills, or those not approved by a Financial Officer. Use an SRFC to pay utility bills not permitted on a Purchasing Card.

    PROHIBITED USES:

    The Purchasing Card may not be used for any of the following:

    Type of Purchase Notes
    Advances Limited capability of monitoring advances by credit card precludes use.
    Aircraft (including helicopters) or Watercraft, Chartering All such charters must be approved by the department of Risk Management to confirm and certify that the carrier has adequate insurance. Certificates of Insurance must be received and approved by Risk Management prior to service. This precludes the use of a credit card.
    Animals (live animals)

    Restrictions on acquisition and care of animals, and requirements of animal caretakers, precludes use. See:

    • Policy RA15 - Care and Use of Vertebrate Animals
    • Policy SY23 - Occupational Health and Safety Program for Animal Care Personnel
      Policy SY24 - Use of Biohazardous Materials in Research and Instruction
    Capital Equipment (includes Object Codes 710, 711, 712, 715, 716, 740, 751, 781, 782, 783, 784, 785 and 786) Item cost exceeds Purchasing Card limits, and Property Inventory must identify, tag and track capital equipment through the purchase order process.
    Consulting Services

    Special procurement and payment requirements precludes use. See:

    • Policy BS17 - Use and Procurement of External Consultants
    Entertainment Expenses

    Restrictions on use of University funds, and requirements for special permissions prior to purchase, precludes use. See:

    • Policy FN10 - Other Business Expenses Expenses and Activities
    Firearms and Ammunition Special procurement requirements precludes use. University Police must review and approve all requests and procurement must be done with the involvement of Purchasing Services.
    Honoraria

    Special IRS reporting requirements precludes use. See:

    • Decision Tool - Acquiring Services for the University
    Leases

    Special procurement requirements precludes use. See:

    Medications (Over-the-Counter and Prescription) Areas may NOT maintain any form of medication (oral, inhaled, prescription or non-prescription) in first aid kits for use by the general population of University employees or students. For restrictions on acquisition and use, see Policy SY21, First Aid Kits.
    Personal Purchases Prohibited by University policies.
    Portable Electric Heaters (PEHs) The only PEHs permitted to be obtained and used are those that are provided by the Office of Physical Plant (OPP).
    Prepaid Purchases Purchasing Cards may not be used to purchase a card, certificate or token, or any other item having a monetary value which may be redeemed for cash, credit or merchandise.  See Policy FN10 – Other Business Expenses and Activities.
    Purchase Agreements Special procurement requirements precludes use. See:
    Radioactive Material Special procurement requirements precludes use. See Policy SY14
    Unmanned Aircraft (Drones)

    Such purchases must first be reviewed and approved by the Risk Management Office. See

    Recent changes:

    • June 14, 2017- In CONDITIONAL USES, clarified the parameters in the USE FOR for "Printing, copying and addressing," per the directive of the Purchasing Card Director.

    Revision History (and effective dates):

    • October 13, 2016- In CONDITIONAL USES, revised "Memberships" to clarify the situations where the Purchasing Card may NOT be used.
    • February 17, 2016- In CONDITIONAL USES, "Telecommunication" purchases has been revised to coincide with changes to policy FN21.
    • June 5, 2015 - Unmanned Aircraft (Drones) have been added to PROHIBITED USES, as such purchases must first be reviewed and approved by the Risk Management Office.
    • January 16, 2015 - Gift Cards have been added to CONDITIONAL USES, as prepaid purchases such as gift cards are allowable IF Financial Officer approval has been given, and the recipient signs off upon receipt of the gift card.
    • February 24, 2014 - Equipment has been redefined to explain what types of purchases can or cannot be made with the Purchasing Card. Equipment- Fabrication (Object Code 705) has ben added to the list for CONDITIONAL USE. Equipment (Capitalized) has been changed to "Captial Equipment " in the PROHIBITED USES section, along with a revised list of object codes that cannot be purchased on a Purchasing Card.
    • November 4, 2013 - In CONDITIONAL USES, Preferred Staffing has been replaced by Express Employment Professionals under “Temporary Services” as one of the companies providing Temp services to PSU.
    • April 4, 2013 - In PROHIBITED USES, "Prepaid Purchases" has been added to the list of prohibited purchases. Purchasing Cards may not be used to purchase a card, certificate or token, or any other item having a monetary value which may be redeemed for cash, credit or merchandise.
    • November 20, 2012 - In PROHIBITED USES, "Medications (Over-the-Counter and Prescription)" has been added to the list of prohibited purchases. Areas may NOT maintain any form of medication (oral, inhaled, prescription or non-prescription) in first aid kits for use by the general population of University employees or students, in accordance with policy SY21.
    • April 4, 2012 - In CONDITIONAL USES, revised the "DO NOT USE FOR" section for "Telecommunications," to clarify restrictions (there's no longer a taxable allowance for cell phones, and NTUA forms no longer have to be sent to Payroll for this allowance). Also in the CONDITIONAL USES section, revised the "DO NOT USE FOR" section for "Travel Expenses," to clarify restrictions for use of the Purchasing Card if the cardholder has not signed the Purchasing Card Agreement for Travel (use of Corporate American Express is no longer an option).
    • ebruary 7, 2012 - In CONDITIONAL USES, revised the "Do Not Use For" guidelines for "Memberships" to reflect the use (and control) of the Purchasing Card in paying for memberships. (Previously, only the use of the SRFC was documented).
    • June 7, 2011 - In CONDITIONAL USES, distinguished between "Meals" and "Meals-Catered," specifying "Use For" and "Do Not Use For" guidelines. Utilities has been moved from Prohibited Uses to CONDITIONAL USES, with the appropriate guidelines for use.
    • April 13, 2011 - Animals has been revised in the PROHIBITED USES list. "Preserved" animals has been removed as being prohibited, per directive of the Purchasing Card Coordinator, in consultation with the Research Protection and Animal Research Program directors. Only the purchase of "live" animals is prohibited using the Purchasing Card.
    • March 14, 2011- In Conditional Uses, addition of "Catering of events by approved, non-University catering services" under Meals.
    • June 8, 2009 - Editorial changes; removed reference to Guideline FNG06 (obsoleted and replaced by new FN10). Clarified restrictions/reporting of expenses in the DO NOT USE FOR section of "Meals."
    • April 24, 2009 - Portable Electric Heaters (PEHs) has been added to the PROHIBITED USES list of items that cannot be purchased with a Purchasing Card.
    • March 11, 2009 - In Conditional Uses, revised the "DO NOT USE FOR" section for Gasoline, to clarify restrictions.
    • February 16, 2009 - Added Enterprise Car Rental to "Rentals" in the Conditional Uses section.
    • December 16, 2008 - Moved Memberships from the list of Prohibited Items to the Conditional Uses section, with the appropriate resttrictions, per DCAA Audit Findings.
    • July 16, 2008 - "Insurance for Rented Vehicles, Non-CONUS Travel" Category added to CONDITIONAL USES section.  "Rentals" category also revised accordingly. Temporary Services list updated.
    • May 14, 2008 - Editorial changes to "Alcohol," "Meals," "Online Auctions," "Telecommunications," and "Travel Expenses."
    • October 24, 2007 - Revised "Meals" category in the Conditional Uses list, to coincide with the Employee Reimbursement System and related policy guidelines.
    • October 23, 2007 - Moved the "Gasoline"category from the Prohibited Uses list to the Conditional Uses list, to clarify when the Purchasing Card and the Voyager Card can be used to purchase gasoline.
    • October 16, 2007 - Revised "Travel Expenses" category in the Conditional Uses list, per the establishment of the new Travel Policy and the Employee Reimbursement System.
    • June 1, 2006 - Added 'Printing, copying and addressing' to the Conditional Uses list.
    • November 2, 2005
      • Bus chartering/rentals allowable only under specifc criteria.
      • Because National Car Rental is the University's contracted car rental agency, short-term passenger vehicle rentals (15 passengers or less) are now permitted, regardless of method of reservation, for National Car Rentals only unless no National rentals are available at the rental location.
      • Added limitations to chartering buses, and prohibits the chartering of aircraft and watercraft, and the rental of tents.
      • Prohibits the procurement of fire arms and ammunition.
      • Tents are permitted to be rented from Best Event Rental because of a master rental agreement the University has with that company.
      • Manpower was added as an allowable temporary services company.
      • Maintenance agreements allowed if no agreement is required to be signed.
      • Online Auctions was added, with prior approval of the Financial Officer.
    • 13 March 2003 - Prohibited chartering of any aircraft or watercraft. Restricted chartering of buses to only those bus companies approved on Risk Management's website.
    • 15 October 2002 - Moved 'Alcohol' from Prohibited Uses to Conditional Uses.
    • 1 October 2002 - New listing.

    Business Services

    Effective Date: 

    Monday, February 5, 2018