Purchasing and Credit Card Policy

Approval Date
17 February 2022
Approved By
Adam La Hood, Chair, Otago Polytechnic Limited.
Next Review
1 February 2023
Deputy Chief Executive: Corporate Services
Baldrige Criteria

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 Otago Polytechnic Limited (Ltd), including any controlled entities, and applies to the Otago Polytechnic Limited 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


Application Process

  1. A staff member in conjunction with their Formal Leader 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.
  2. New cardholders will be required to complete a Card-holder Agreement Form Conditions of Use Appendix 1.  This will then be authorised by the Deputy Chief Executive (DCE): Corporate Services and the Director: Financial Services.
  3. Individual card limits are set in conjunction with the staff member and their Formal Leader and will be the minimum necessary to enable the cardholder to undertake their duties for Otago Polytechnic Limited.



  1. The cardholder is responsible for adhering to the Purchasing Card parameters, including the individual billing cycle limit as applicable.
  2. Each card is issued in the name of the cardholder, and they (the cardholder) must abide by the terms and conditions of card use advised by the bank at the time of issue and any subsequent amendment.
  3. Card details should not be saved online unless required for regular subscription/service provision.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 an 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.
  6. The cardholder 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 Director: Financial Services.
  7. The cardholder 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 Director: Financial Services or a Senior Financial Analyst.
  8. The cardholder is responsible for timely notification of disputed transactions appearing on the cardholder statement, in accordance with Westpac’s timelines.


  1. The cardholder 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.
  2. The cardholder is required to surrender their card upon resignation or termination of employment with Otago Polytechnic Limited.


Approvals of expenditure

  1. Card expenditure must be approved in line with Appendix 1 of the Delegations from Council to the Chief Executive and Authorities and Sub-delegations from Chief Executive This should be by a staff member senior to the cardholder where possible and should be given before the expenditure is incurred wherever practical.
  2. 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.
  3. The use of the Chief Executive’s card should be reviewed and authorised by the Chair of the Otago Polytechnic Limited Board.
  4. In approving any expenditure on any Otago Polytechnic Limited card, the individual approving must be satisfied that it has been used for a justified business purpose.


Director: Financial Services responsibilities

  1. The Director: Financial Services is responsible for:
    • Monitoring and reporting on card use
    • Ensuring that cards are cancelled with the bank when they are no longer required
    • Ensuring that cards are physically destroyed when they are no longer required
    • Maintaining a register of cardholders
    • Applying standard card limits for each area of responsibility
    • Recording on the register any variation to the agreed card limit
    • Reporting the list of cardholders and limits annually to the Audit and Risk Committee

The Director: Financial Services may delegate these responsibilities to a Senior Financial Analyst.

Card reconciliations and documentation

  1. The cardholder is required to review the monthly cardholder 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.
  2. 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.
  3. If any of the supporting documentation is missing the cardholder 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.

Adam La Hood Signature

Approved by:
Adam La Hood
Chair: Otago Polytechnic Limited Board
17 February 2022



POLICY VERSION: V5 Previously Coded: MP0352