Integrated CSU Administrative Manual



Section 3000 Policies

Policy Number:  3103.03

Policy Title: Procurement Cards

Policy Effective Date: January 1, 2012

Last Revision Date: September 19, 2012
(see revision history)


It is the policy of the CSU that procurement cards be used to improve the efficiency, flexibility and convenience related to purchasing, and paying for goods and certain approved services. Campuses must prepare written procedures that implement this policy.



Procurement cards provide an alternative procurement method of effecting purchases without the direct involvement of the CSU Procurement Offices. A procurement card is a university liability credit card that may be used for certain business-related purchases. Since the cards are a university liability, the bill is paid centrally by CSU for all balances, and no purchase order or reimbursement process is necessary.  For the purposes of this policy, “virtual” procurement card accounts shall have the same treatment as physical procurement cards. 
The procurement card programs cannot avoid or bypass any system wide or campus purchasing policies.  Procurement cards are to be used within the same statutes, rules, policies, and procedures as purchases using any other means of payment.

A single system-wide procurement card contract and related program will be administered by the Chancellor’s Office department of Contract Services and Procurement. 

Campuses must designate a single procurement card administrator responsible for the procurement card program on their campus.  Campuses must also create and maintain a procurement card operations manual specific to their campus. 

Procurement cards may be issued to and used by specifically authorized faculty and staff designated as “Cardholders” to enable efficient and rapid acquisition of goods and designated services. 

The procurement card program may also include the use in procuring travel related goods and services by allowing such services on the procurement card or by issuing a separate card under the system wide procurement card contract specific to such use.  All travel use will be governed by this policy, the CSU system wide Travel Policy and all campus specific travel policies and procedures. 

Procurement cards may only be used for approved CSU expenditures.  The use of a procurement card for any form of non-reimbursed personal purchases (regardless of any intent to repay the CSU for a purchase) is expressly forbidden, with misuse leading to employee disciplinary actions.

Campuses must train Cardholders with regard to the procurement card policy and procedures, and monitor the acceptable use of issued procurement cards. 

Campus procedures must require that:

  • Cardholders not allow a subordinate or any other person to make purchases using their procurement card.
  • The transactions of a Cardholder are approved only by the Cardholder’s supervisor or a higher reporting level.
  • Cardholders sign a document that specifically acknowledges agreement to comply with the policy and procedures established by each campus, including conditions for return of the card.  This document will serve as confirmation of training provided on acceptable use.
  • Each procurement card account is reconciled in a timely manner to avoid payment of unauthorized charges.

Campus payment(s) to the Procurement Card issuing bank for completed procurement card transactions must be made on a weekly basis prior to the closing of a monthly transaction cycle to take advantage of financial benefits related to the Procurement Card contract.
Note: the payment frequency stipulated is subject to change based on the fluctuation of current interest rates to ensure the maximum benefit of the rate of return.

Benjamin F. Quillian
Executive Vice-Chancellor/Chief Financial Officer

Approved: September 19, 2012






Useful Guidelines:

E.O. 760 - Procurement Cards

ICSUAM 5205.0 – Low Value Purchases – Contracting and Procurement


Related Principles:


Sound Business Practices:


Laws, State Codes, Regulations and Mandates:



CO Manager:

Tom Roberts
Director, Contract Services & Procurement
CSU Office of the Chancellor

Subject Expert:

Cathleen Austin
Manager, Accounts Payable
San Diego

Lorlie Leetham
Director, Fiscal Services
San Luis Obispo

Lauri Reilly
Manager, Accounts Payable
CSU Office of the Chancellor

Monica Shackelton
Manager, Accounts Payables and Recievables

Cora Wong
Director, Student Financial Operations
San Francisco

Affinity Group:

FOA (Financial Officers Association), PSSOA, Accounts Payable Managers