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Credit and Purchasing Cards

Approval Date
3 March 2021
Approved By
Adam La Hood
Next Review
1 April 2022
DCE: Business Services
Baldrige Criteria
Process management

To provide guidelines and procedures for staff who hold purchasing cards for use in limited procurement of goods and services. Purchasing cards include credit cards, fuel cards and any other cards that are used to pay for goods or services.


This policy encompasses all the activities and operations of the Polytechnic, including any controlled entities, and applies to the Polytechnic Board members, employees (including permanent, fixed term and casual), secondees, contractors and consultants.


1. All card expenditure is to meet standards of probity and financial prudence and should be considered in conjunction with the Sensitive Expenditure policy.

Application Process

2. A staff member in conjunction with their manager may apply for a purchasing card, on demonstration of a business need. This includes regular travel off campus and other valid expenditure payable by purchasing card that is not covered by the purchase order process.

3. New cardholders will be required to complete a Card holder Agreement form (Conditions of use) – Appendix 1 – this will then be authorised by either the DCE Corporate Services or the DCE Business Services and by the Finance Manager.

4. Individual card limits are set in conjunction with the staff member and their manager and will be the minimum necessary to enable the card holder to undertake their duties for the Polytechnic. 


5. The card holder is responsible for adhering to the Purchasing Card parameters, including the individual billing cycle limit as applicable.

6. Each card is issued in the name of the card holder and they (the card holder) must abide by the terms and conditions of card use advised by the bank at the time of issue and any subsequent amendment.

7. Card details should not be saved online unless required for regular subscription/service provision.

8. The card is to be used only for business-related purchases. Personal charges should not be made against the card.  If this happens in error, the charges must be reimbursed as soon as possible.

9. Where improper use of a purchasing card is suspected the purchase record will be discussed and verified with the card holder’s formal leader. This will alleviate the issues that may arise from emergency or inadvertent misuse. However, if proven to be improper use this will be considered as misappropriation of the organisation’s funds and is likely to result in disciplinary action and/or revocation of the card. Fraudulent use may result in the instigation of legal proceedings.

10. The card holder may not use the card to obtain cash, either directly or indirectly, from ATM’s, EFTPOS terminals and bank branches except with prior authorisation by the DCE Corporate Services or the DCE Business Services.

11. The card holder is responsible for adequately securing the card from loss and theft. However, if this occurs, they must immediately notify the Card Provider to indemnify the organisation from further debt, then advise the Finance Manager and/or the DCE Business Services.

12. The card holder is responsible for timely notification of disputed transactions appearing on the cardholder statement, in accordance with Westpac’s timelines.

13. The card holder is the only person entitled to use the card and is responsible for all charges made against the card while it is in their possession.

14. The card holder is required to surrender their purchasing card upon resignation or termination of employment with the Polytechnic.

Approvals of expenditure

15. Card expenditure must be approved in line with Appendix One of the Delegations Policy.  This should be by a staff member senior to the card holder where possible and should be given before the expenditure is incurred wherever practical.

16. Expenditure at a function should be paid using the card of the most senior person attending and should be approved by a staff member who is not at the function.

17. The use of the Chief Executive’s card should be reviewed and authorised by the Chair of the Board.

18. In approving any expenditure on any Otago Polytechnic Ltd card, the individual approving must be satisfied that it has been used for a justified business purpose.

Finance Manager responsibilities

19. The Finance Manager is responsible for:

19.1 Monitoring and reporting on card use

19.2 Ensuring that cards are cancelled with the bank when they are no longer required

19.3 Ensuring that cards are physically destroyed when they are no longer required

19.4 Maintaining a register of card holders

19.5 Applying standard card limits for each area of responsibility

19.6 Recording on the register any variation to the agreed card limit

19.7 Reporting the list of card holders and limits annually to the Finance and Audit Committee

The Finance Manager may delegate these responsibilities to a Senior Financial Analyst.

Card reconciliations and documentation

20. The card holder is required to review the monthly card holder statement within the nominated time frame through the online web expenses system. This includes uploading copies of supporting documentation to verify the transactions recorded against the purchasing card and allocating a General Ledger code for each transaction, thereby enabling your designated approver to verify and authorise the transactions.  Authorisation is to be completed within four working days of the month following the end of the billing period.

21. Documentation requirements are no different to normal procurement processes involving invoices and purchase orders. This is to provide a valid audit trail and evidence for subsequent review and GST claims. The documentation needs to be a valid tax invoice not just an EFTPOS docket.

22. If any of the supporting documentation is missing the card holder must complete and sign a “No supporting document” form available on Tūhono and this must be signed off by the delegated authoriser. Reoccurring instances of missing documentation will result in the card being cancelled.


Cardholder Agreement Conditions of Use



Delegations from the Board to the Chief Executive and Authorities and Sub-delegations from Chief Executive

Procurement and Purchasing

Sensitive Expenditure

Disclosures of Interests


Approved by:
Adam La Hood
Chair: Otago Polytechnic Limited Board