GOVERNING POLICY

This procedure is made under the Procurement Policy.

SCOPE

This procedure applies to all staff at the University involved in the purchase of goods and services (other than for buildings works) up to $150,000. Requirements for the procurement of assets are covered separately under the Asset Management Policy.

PROCEDURE

1. Internal procurement

1.1.    Purchasing goods and services from internal rather than external suppliers is encouraged.  Budget units can request goods or services from internal suppliers or other budget units by means of standard internal documentation, such as: Themis internal requisitions, internal orders, building requisitions and chargeouts. (Refer Supplier Payment and Goods Receipting Procedure)

2. External procurement

2.1.    The Strategic Procurement Unit will publish all preferred suppliers for the purchase of goods and services using University funds on their website.

2.2.    If staff are unable to achieve performance levels on price, product or service as specified in a University contract or agreement, staff must:

  • not outsource the contracted goods or services
  • raise the concern directly with the supplier for resolution
  • engage the Strategic Procurement Unit if a satisfactory outcome is not achieved directly with the preferred supplier.

2.3.    The authorising officer will ensure that a Pre-purchase Risk Assessment Checklist is completed and recorded in the iProcurement module, to ensure safety requirements are met.

2.4.    Hiring or leasing equipment is considered to be a purchasing expense (refer section 6 of this procedure for special requirements).

3. Purchases for goods and services less than $150,000

3.1.    The requirements for items purchased under $150,000 from either preferred or non-preferred suppliers are outlined in the Procurement Policy, Schedule A - Goods and Services Purchase Levels and Processes.

3.2.    Staff members must obtain quotations from external suppliers for goods or services that are valued over $5,000 and up to $150,000 in accordance with the Procurement Policy, Schedule A - Goods and Services Purchase Levels and Processes, where there is no preferred supplier on the University’s preferred supplier list.

3.3.    No verbal quotations are accepted. 

3.4.    Where quotations are required, staff must:

  • provide suppliers invited to quote with identical information to assist with the provision of comparable quotations and the selection process
  • attach all quotations and related decision making documentation to the requisition in the Themis iProcurement module prior to approval of the requisition and prior to Business Centre review of non-catalogue requests.

4. Evaluation of quotations

4.1.    Staff evaluating quotations must consider the following:

  • price
  • previous experience with supplier
  • any risks associated with purchase of the goods or services quoted
  • special factors dictated by a particular project, including conflict of interest
  • documented reasons when a quote which is not the lowest is accepted.

4.2.    The foreign exchange risk must be considered in the evaluation of quotations from overseas suppliers.

5. Purchasing requirements for expenditure greater than $150,000

5.1.    All purchases of goods and services which are greater than $150,000 must be referred to one of the following two tender boards:

  • the Minor Goods and Services Tender Board for purchases between $150,000 - $400,000, quotations, supporting documentation and the recommended supplier must be reviewed prior to selecting a supplier in accordance with the Tender Requirements Procedure
  • the Major Goods and Services Tender Board for purchases greater than $400,000 in accordance with the Tender Requirements Procedure.

6. Leasing or long term hire of equipment

6.1.    The head of budget division may approve an initial short term (less than 12 months) hire of equipment with a value up to $150,000.

6.2.    Long-term hire is considered to be for a period of 12 months or more. Repeated periods of hire less than 12 months are also considered to be long-term, and these contracts must be referred to the Major Goods and Services Tender Board for approval.

6.3.    Approval to either lease or commit to a long term hire of equipment is required from the Major Goods and Services Tender Board.

6.4.    Long term leasing of buildings must be reviewed by the Major Buildings Tender Board.

6.5.    Any proposal for leasing or long-term hire, regardless of costs, must be submitted to the Major Goods and Services Tender Board.

6.6.    Leasing or long-term hire must have tender board approval because:

  • financial leases are subject to State Government approval
  • operating leases do not allow title to pass and consequently there is no trade-in or salvage value
  • leasing increases the overall cost
  • unnecessary commitments many years hence are unwise
  • sources of finance are available within the University.

6.7.    Departments should be able to arrange bridging finance with their faculties, or with the chief financial officer in the case of administrative departments, as the amounts involved are generally not large. As a last resort, an application can be made to Finance Committee through the Major Goods and Services Tender Board for an internal loan to finance the lease or hire of equipment.

6.8.    The Delegations Policy outlines the expenditure approvals and Table 2 of the Procurement Policy, Schedule A - Goods and Services Purchase Levels and Processes provides a summary of purchase levels and authorisation for leasing.

6.9.    Subject to approval by the Minor Goods and Services Tender Board, the Chief Financial Officer and Director of Finance have authority to approve the leasing or long term hire of equipment, and short term hire of equipment, with a value between $150,000 and $400,000.

6.10.  The Tender Board Secretary must be consulted prior to committing to a lease.

7. Issuing and maintenance of purchasing/travel cards

7.1.    Purchasing/travel cards are issued on a needs basis based on a staff member’s position and responsibilities, and are available to staff at HEW 4 and above in accordance with a special and limited financial delegation.

7.2.    Travel cards may be issued to staff on a short-term basis for a particular project or trip.

7.3.    Purchasing/travel card applicants must complete both a Visa Purchasing Card Application and Agreement form and the NAB Visa Card Application.

7.4.    Purchasing/travel card applications must be approved by a level 2 delegate.

7.5.    To activate a new purchasing/travel card, the cardholder must meet with the Purchasing Card Administrator to:

  • collect and sign the card
  • confirm their clear understanding of the conditions of use
  • receive training in the use of the reconciliation software, i.e. the Themis iExpenses module.

7.6.    The Purchasing Card Administrator will provide purchasing card holders with an information booklet outlining the conditions of use, including the types of purchases precluded.

7.7.    Purchasing/travel card holders may nominate other staff who can access their card data to carry out administrative tasks on their behalf, however the cardholder must carry out the final submission of the expenditure claim in the Themis iExpenses module.

7.8.    Monthly purchasing/travel card expenditure must be authorised by the cardholder’s supervisor/manager with appropriate financial delegation.

7.9.    Purchasing/travel card single and monthly transaction limits are set as part of the application process in accordance with relevant financial delegations. Cards issued to staff at level HEW4 or HEW 5 will have a monthly limit of $6,000, including a limit of $2,000 per transaction. HEW4 and HEW5 staff may only use their purchasing card on the direction of the manager who authorises their monthly expenditure or the head of budget division.

7.10.  Purchasing/travel card holders must complete a Purchasing Cardholder Maintenance form for any change in details including a card limit increase.

7.11.  Purchasing/travel card holders who accidentally use their card for personal use must repay the funds promptly to their local University business centre or the National Australia Bank, before submitting their monthly expenditure claim via the Themis iExpenses module.

7.12.  Purchasing/travel card holders must not also claim reimbursement for expenditure incurred on the card.

7.13.  Purchasing/travel card holders must report loss or theft of the card immediately to NAB and to the Purchasing Card Administrator.

8. Purchasing/travel card responsibilities

8.1.    Purchasing/travel card holders must:

  • comply with the terms and conditions of use outlined in the purchasing card information booklet and relevant University policies and procedures
  • verify transactions and match these to the original documentation
  • resolve any transaction discrepancies by first contacting the merchant, then completing a  Purchasing Card Disputed Transaction Advice form as required
  • complete the monthly card expenditure statement via the Themis iExpenses module, including coding individual transactions
  • attach electronic copies of receipts to the Themis iExpenses expenditure statement
  • collate original receipts and forward them to the business centre for audit purposes
  • attach electronic copies of documentation to substantiate fringe benefits tax via the Themis iExpenses module
  • submit the monthly card expenditure statement in the Themis iExpenses module to the authorising manager or head of budget division, by the due date.

8.2.    Where nominated under section 7.7, the cardholder’s delegate must:

  • carry out the cardholder’s responsibilities outlined in section 8,1, except final submission of the monthly card expenditure statement in the Themis iExpenses module
  • forward the monthly card expenditure statement to the cardholder via the Themis iExpenses module for final submission.

8.3.    Authorising managers must ensure:

  • cardholders submit their card expenditure statement for authorisation via Themis iExpenses on a monthly basis
  • card expenditure and account allocations, including GST are reviewed and verified
  • electronic copies of receipts are attached to the card expenditure statement
  • necessary information has been provided for the purpose of FBT
  • any issues regarding the use of the card are promptly discussed and resolved with the staff member concerned
  • cards are cancelled where there is a deliberate or repeated breach of policy and procedures by the cardholder.

8.4.    Serious or repeated failure by a cardholder to fulfill their responsibilities will result in the cancellation of the staff member’s travel/purchasing card. Intentional breaches of purchasing card terms and conditions may result in action for a criminal offence.

8.5.    Accounting Operations must:

  • arrange payment of credit cards and clear the Purchasing Card Clearing Account within the general ledger
  • follow up any disputed transactions with NAB
  • advise budget divisions of failure to submit authorised monthly statements and other performance deadlines.

8.6.    The compliance review of monthly travel and purchasing card statements must not be carried out by the same staff member responsible for coding and submitting the statement for authorisation.

8.7.    Original supporting documentation must be retained by the budget division for the period prescribed in the Records Retention and Disposal Procedure.

9. Cancellation of purchasing/travel card

9.1.    Purchasing/travel card holders must surrender their card:

  • when requested by an authorised officer of the University, or
  • when they resign or transfer to a position not requiring the use of the purchasing card.

9.2.    When a purchasing/travel card is cancelled, the cardholder or authorising manager will:

  • appoint a delegate to code and submit all outstanding transactions
  • destroy the purchasing card by cutting it up in the presence of the budget division manager
  • complete an F49 Purchasing Cardholder Maintenance form
  • ensure the F49 form contains the signature of both the cardholder and authorising manager to certify that the correct procedure for cancellation of the card was followed.

10. Cabcharge

10.1.  Budget divisions may have a Cabcharge account for taxi use. 

10.2.  Budget divisions may contact Cabcharge directly to set up the account.

10.3.  The establishment bond will be waived by Cabcharge.

10.4.  A Cabcharge account operates with both vouchers and personalised cards.

10.5.  The heads of budget division must ensure adequate security and control is maintained over the issue of Cabcharge vouchers which are accountable documents.

10.6.  Budget divisions must keep a register of cards and vouchers issued.

10.7.  Cabcharge cards must be returned to the budget division manager upon resignation or transfer of the staff member to another budget division.

10.8.  Budget divisions must ensure documents are forwarded to Accounts Payable in adequate time for processing and payment to Cabcharge. Late payment fees are payable by the budget division.

11. Fuel card

11.1.  The fuel card, which is administered by the Fleet Officer in Property and Campus Services, is issued to each University vehicle to pay for all petrol and maintenance costs associated with the vehicle. Purchasing cards must not be used to pay for these costs.

11.2.  Transactions are debited on a monthly basis for all transactions made with the fuel card. Copies of these accounts are available to budget divisions for reconciliation.

11.3.  Lost, damaged or stolen cards must be reported immediately to the Fleet Officer, who can arrange for new or temporary cards to be issued.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

DEFINITIONS

Term Definition
Major Goods and Services Tender Board Board established to review all non-building related proposals to purchase goods and services over $400,000 (including GST).
Minor Goods and Services Tender Board Board established to review all quotations for non-building related purchases of goods and services between $150,000 and $400,000 (including GST).
preferred supplier Supplier who provides goods or services under agreements established through a competitive tendering process.
procurement The acquisition of goods, services or building works by way of purchase, lease or other contractual arrangement.
purchase A single decision to follow a course of action, regardless of how many individual purchases are involved.
purchase order An online order and authorization for the purchase of goods, services or building works generated from the Themis Finance System.
purchasing card A National Australia Bank Visa card issued to a staff member under authorisation from the University for employment-related expenditure in accordance with the Procurement Policy. Purchasing cards are not linked to membership reward programs.
travel card

A type of purchasing card for which authorised expenditure is limited to:

  • expenses related to travel on University business
  • entertainment
  • books, subscriptions and journals.

IMPLEMENTATION OFFICER

The Manager, Accounting Operations, Finance and Planning Group is responsible for the promulgation and implementation of this procedure in accordance with the scope outlined above. Enquiries about interpretation of this procedure should be directed to the Implementation Officer.

REVIEW

This procedure is to be reviewed by 30 November 2014.

VERSION HISTORY

Version Approved By Approval Date Effective Date Sections Modified
1 Senior Vice-Principal 24 Aug 2012 24 Aug 2012 New version arising from the Policy Simplification Project. Loaded into MPL as Version 1.
2 Vice-Principal Administration and Finance
on behalf of Senior Vice-Principal
4 Apr 2014
7 Apr 2014
Amendments throughout document to reflect new procurement processes.
Definitions and Related Documents sections updated.
Responsible Officer section removed.
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