6212 Procedure – Procurement Cards Procedure

Procurement cards will be issued only to the administrator who has budget authority for a school, a department, or a program.  The cards will be issued in the name of the Bellingham School District, with the name of the school or department administrator also embossed on the card.   A school or department may request multiple cards; however, cards with a low annual usage may be canceled.


Each card will have a cardholder, who is the administrator with budget authority for the card. The cardholder is responsible for approving all card purchases and for authorizing the payment of monthly charges.

Card Custodian:

Each card may also have a card custodian, who will be responsible for the day-to-day control of the card.  The card custodian is responsible for maintaining and preparing the proper documentation for the reconciliation of monthly statements by the cardholder.

Card User:

The card user is the individual that actually uses the procurement card. In some rare occasions, one individual could be the cardholder, card custodian, and card user.


Principal – Cardholder

School Secretary – Card Custodian

Teacher needing the card for a field trip – Card User



Allowable Purchases:

The procurement card may be used only to make purchases that are currently allowable under the purchase order, imprest account, or expense reimbursement processes.  Purchases are for district use ONLY.

The procurement card shall not be used for:

  • Salaries or wages
  • Cash advances
  • Personal services
  • Consultants
  • Gifts
  • Donations
  • Capitalized equipment, i.e., single item of equipment costing $800 or more
  • Items on “Theft Sensitive Items” inventory list (see attached)
  • Meals (unless prior permission granted by Business Services Director)

Generally, the procurement card will be accepted wherever credit cards are accepted, however, the district has the ability to limit the use of the card by vendor category.  If for any reason a vendor refuses to accept the district’s procurement card, please contact the Business Services Director at 676-6529.  We will determine the reason for the refusal and attempt to resolve the issue with the vendor.

Credit Limits:

The standard credit limits are as follows:




Per Transaction

Maximum Per Card

Per Month

Elementary $999.00 $  5,000.00
Middle $999.00 $  7,000.00
High $999.00 $10,000.00
Departments $999.00 $10,000.00
Maintenance $999.00 $10,000.00


Do not attempt to circumvent these limits by asking the vendor to split the order.

Administrators may request an increase to their credit limit for a particular purchase by contacting the Director of Business Services at 676-6529.


To request a procurement card, the building/department administrator completes:

  1. “Request for Issuance of Procurement Card” form (6212F-1)
  2. “Cardholder/Card Custodian Authorization Form”(6212F-2)
  3. “Procurement Card User Agreement” (6212F-3)
  4. “Procurement Card Controls Assessment” (6212F-4). This form will be completed by the cardholder and Director of Business Services before cards are distributed to the cardholder.

A copy of each document must be retained by the building/department and the originals returned to the Purchasing Department.


At the building or department level, procurement cards may be checked out from the cardholder or card custodian for authorized usage.  Procurement cards that are checked out can be used for purchases with local vendors, online, or for field trips.

A cardholder may authorize the card custodian to make purchases on behalf of the building/department up to the specified dollar amount or check the card out to an employee (card user) for authorized use.  An employee wishing to use a procurement card (card user) must follow these procedures:

  1. Sign a “Procurement Card User Agreement.” This Agreement must be kept on file with the card custodian.  There must be a “Procurement Card User Agreement” on file for every employee that has been authorized to use the card.
  2. Check out a card from the cardholder or card custodian and sign out on the Procurement Card Sign Out Sheet” (6212F-5).
  3. Ensure the original purchase receipts are returned with the card to the card custodian in a prompt manner.

Only district employees are allowed to use a district procurement cards.


At a minimum, each school or department using procurement cards must maintain the following documents at their site:

  • “Procurement Card Controls Assessment Form.” (copy)
  • “Procurement Card User Agreement” – signed by every district employee who is allowed to use the card. (copy)
  • “Procurement Card Sign Out Sheet.” (original)

All purchases must be documented to show the vendor name, items purchased, and the amount paid.  The State Auditor’s Office requires original, detailed receipts to substantiate each purchase.

  • Documentation showing approval of purchase by administrator, i.e. weekly reconciliation of card purchases.
  • For local purchases, original detailed receipts, and signed credit card slip.
  • For telephone/Internet purchases, receipt or confirmation slip and packing slip (usually must request vendor to provide receipt or confirmation slip).
  • Faxed receipts are acceptable for orders placed by telephone as long as they are detailed.
  • All phone orders or Internet orders will be shipped directly to the building.
  • Phone and Internet orders must be checked in at the school.
  • All forms and backup documentation will be kept at the building or department for review and audit.


Weekly Review:

Schools and departments must reconcile procurement card charges at least weekly and no later than the last working day of the week.  The cardholder and the card custodian at each school or department will have access via the Internet to the BMO/Harris Bank System that displays current transactions on cards issued to that site.

  1. The card custodian must match transactions in the electronic statement to original receipts on file. Each card will have a default account code, which will be displayed along with every transaction.  In most cases, the default will be the appropriate account for the purchase.   However, if corrections are needed, the account code can be changed online at this point to reflect the correct account for individual purchases.
  1. It is the card custodian’s responsibility to ensure that all charges have been reviewed and to obtain approval from the cardholder for payment. The box marked  “Reconciled” must be checked for every transaction.  Failure to reconcile and approve payments consistent with these procedures may result in cancellation of the card.
  1. After reconciling, the card custodian will print out a copy of the reconciled transactions from the prior week. The cardholder must review, sign, and date this hard copy.  Forward the original to the Purchasing Department.  Retain a copy along with the other procurement card documentation (original receipts, signed credit card slips, etc.).  These should be filed by month for easy access and review by the auditor.

Monthly Review:

Schools and departments must also reconcile procurement card charges monthly.  The cardholder and the card custodian at each school or department will have access via the Internet to the BMO/Harris Bank system that displays monthly transactions and monthly totals on the cards issued to the site.  Each statement must be reviewed, initialed, and dated by the cardholder.  Forward the original to the Purchasing Department.  Retain a copy with your weekly transaction reports for that month.

Dispute Resolution:

If incorrect charges are found during the weekly reconciliation, contact the vendor immediately to resolve any discrepancies.  If you cannot resolve the issue with the vendor within one business day, call the Purchasing Department.  The Purchasing Office will contact BMO/Harris Bank and pursue resolution on your behalf.  The disputed item will be reflected in subsequent statements’ outstanding balance, but will not be included in the total amount due.

BMO/Harris Bank will send a letter to the Purchasing Department requesting specific information regarding the disputed charge.  The cardholder or card custodian will provide detailed information to be returned to BMO/Harris Bank.

When the dispute has been resolved, any credit will be put on the next statement with an explanatory note.  The outstanding balance will be adjusted by the credit amount to reflect the final settlement of the disputed item.


Procurement cards must be kept in a locked secure storage area when not in use.

In case of theft or loss, the cardholder or card custodian must notify BMO/Harris Bank immediately at 800-270-7760 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year).  Also report the loss to the Director of Business Services (676-6529) immediately but not later than the following business day.

In the event of a transfer or a separation from employment of a cardholder, card custodian, and/or card user, notify Purchasing immediately and return the card to the Purchasing Department.  A replacement card will be issued to the new administrator following the steps outlined in Section 1 of these procedures.

Misuse of the procurement card may result in any or all of the following actions:

  • Cancellation of the card
  • Discipline of the cardholder
  • Personal liability for improper charges
Adopted: 10/24/08
Revised: 10/24/08