WEBSTER COUNTY PURCHASING CARD POLICY

Policy

This policy lists the procedures for using Webster County purchasing cards on behalf of the county for making daily operational purchases as well as paying for approved travel expenses when on County business as outlined in Procedures/Requirements 4.

The three primary goals of this policy are to consolidate County purchases onto one card and thereby eliminate numerous cards held in the County’s name at multiple retailers, allow the County to do business with vendors who no longer allow purchase order payments and now require credit card, and finally to take advantage of cost-saving opportunities by being able to purchase on the Internet and through catalogs, as this practice is much more prevalent than in past years.

Scope

This policy applies to all departments that currently use or could potentially use credit cards such as MasterCard or Visa, or account cards such as Sears, Office Max, or various gas cards for future County purchases.

Procedures/Requirements

1.) CARD DISTRIBUTION: Department Heads and Elected Officials will be responsible for distributing County purchasing cards to employees as needed and will assume responsibility for those employee’s purchases as well. Before receiving and /or using a county purchasing card, employees will sign a Webster County purchasing card agreement setting forth their obligations under this program. This release will need to be signed semi-annually by all employees who take possession of a purchasing card or by an employee checking out a card from the department each time it is used.

2.) CREDIT LIMIT.Wells Fargo will establish the initial spending limit per card and per transaction as recommended by the Board of Supervisors. Only through written justification by the department head or elected official will the credit limit or transaction limit be adjusted with the Board of Supervisors approval.

3.) COMPETITIVE BIDDING. Purchasing cards should not be used to make purchases that under normal circumstances would require a competitive bid. All competitive bidding procedures will remain in place. If the need for expenditure over $500 arises, pre-authorization should be obtained for the purchase from the Department Head or Elected Official over that area to be sure that the purchase is not for something that would normally have been bid.

4.) TRAVEL USAGE. Purchasing cards can only be used in paying for eligible travel expenses as noted below.  All per diem amounts and restrictions within the travel policy are still applicable. Any other use while traveling is prohibited.

Motel/ Hotel expenses and guarantee of reservation
County car expenses
 Meal’s as authorized in employee hand book
Airline reservations
Registration Fees
Car rental with prior approval from the Department Head


5.) PERSONAL USE PROHIBITED. Employees are prohibited from using County purchasing cards for personal expenses. Even if the employee intends to reimburse the County later, it is still prohibited. Charging personal expenses on County cards is a misuse of County funds and will result in disciplinary action or termination.

6.) SUPPORTING DOCUMENTION. Department Heads and Elected Officials are responsible for ensuring that payment vouchers include supporting documentation such as receipts, invoices, etc, when turned into the Auditor’s office for payment. The County’s standard claim form should still be used. Each purchasing charge should be listed separately on the claim form along with a description to avoid late fees. Claims will not be paid without supporting documentations.

7.) CONTEST CHARGES. If charges appear on the purchasing card statement that should not be there the department head or elected official should notify the Wells Fargo. If needed to avoid late fees, etc., the statement can be paid in full. When the disputed charges have been resolved, a credit to the account will appear on the next monthly statement.

8.) LOST CARDS. If a purchasing card is lost, the department head or elected official should notify Wells Fargo immediately.

9.) SURRENDER OF CARDS. When changing departments or ending employment with the county, purchasing cards should be turned into the Department Head or Elected Official, or to the Board of Supervisors. If requested by the Department Head or Elected Official for any reason, the card must also be turned in. Use of the purchasing card or its account number for any purpsose after it is turned in is prohibited.

10.) SUMMARY. These are overall guidelines for Webster County. Departments may implement more restrictive policies and procedures. These guidelines and procedures cannot cover every possible situation that may occur in using County credit cards. Always use common sense and good judgment as you are acting as an agent for Webster County.