Procurement Policy (MPF1087)

  • Category: Finance and Procurement
  • Review due by: November 30, 2014
  • Version: 2
  • Approved on: April 4, 2014
  • Effective date: April 7, 2014
  • Status: Published


This policy applies to all staff at the University and covers the purchases of all goods, services and building works; irrespective of the origin of the funding. Requirements for procurement of assets are covered separately under the Asset Management Policy.


1. Procurement

1.1.    Staff procuring the following items on behalf of the University must comply with the relevant procedure:

1.2.    Staff must use the Themis iProcurement module for procurement of all goods and services, unless the items being procured are specified as an exception in the List of Exceptions for iProcurement.

1.3.    Staff must procure goods and services, including building works, utilising preferred suppliers under existing University contracts and agreements.  The Strategic Procurement Unit will maintain details of contracts and agreements in the Themis iProcurement module.

1.4.    Orders for goods and services relating to building works and projects must be placed either through, or directly by, Property and Campus Services (PCS).

1.5.    Staff must engage the Strategic Procurement Unit for all critical purchase requirements or for purchases of $150,000 or greater.

1.6.    Any purchase between $150,000 and $400,000 (whether under an existing preferred supplier agreement, or new business), must be considered by one of the minor tender boards prior to a supplier being appointed or purchase being made in accordance with the Tender Requirements Procedure.

1.7.    Staff must follow a major tender process in accordance with the Tender Requirements Procedure for:

  • the purchase of either goods or services which are greater than $400,000
  • building works and projects which are expected to cost more than $400,000 from contractors, consultants and suppliers.

1.8.    The value of goods, services and building works must not be split into components to a lesser value in order to avoid the requirements of the procurement, tendering or financial approval processes.  The only exceptions to this requirement are:

  • the Baillieu Library in respect of library acquisitions
  • controlled entities which have their own criteria for assessing purchases of up to $150,000.

1.9.    Staff members must ensure that purchases on behalf of the University comply with relevant safety requirements and building standards in respect of goods, services and building works.

1.10.  Expenditure must only relate to University activities and must not be of a personal nature.

1.11.  Proposals for leasing or long-term hire of equipment, regardless of costs, must be submitted to the relevant tender board.

1.12.  Proposals for leasing of buildings up to the value of $100,000 must be submitted to the Vice-Chancellor for approval.

1.13.  Proposals for leasing of buildings and acquisition of land must be submitted to Finance Committee for endorsement and recommendation to Council for approval.

2. Payment authorisation and process

2.1.    Staff will use the Themis iProcurement module to manage the authorisation of transactions for goods and services. Faculties and business units will establish their own approval hierarchy, which must comply with the financial delegations outlined in Schedule A – Goods and Services Purchase Levels and Processes. The approval for the purchase transaction in iProcurement is the requisition approval.

2.2.    Authorisation of transactions for building works must be in accordance with financial delegations as outlined in Schedule B – Building Works Purchase Levels and Processes.

2.3.    Authorising officers:

  • must ensure relevant University policy and procedures are complied with when authorising expenditure
  • are responsible for the consequences of all transactions they authorise, including on-line transactions within the University systems authorised under a staff member’s login
  • must exercise due diligence before authorising a transaction.

2.4.    Payment to suppliers are to be in accordance with the Supplier Payment and Goods Receipting Procedure.

3. Purchasing cards, travel cards, Cabcharge and fuel cards

3.1.    Only University of Melbourne employees are eligible to hold a University purchasing card. Contractors, associate academics and visiting academics are ineligible to hold a University purchasing card.

3.2.    Purchasing cards may only be used for business-related expenditure up to $5000.

3.3.    There are 2 approved uses for University purchasing cards:

  • cards nominated as travel cards may be used in accordance with section 3.4
  • cards nominated for procurement may be used in accordance with section 3.5

3.4.    Travel cards may only be used to pay for the following:

  • expenses related to travel on University business, where no daily travel allowance has been paid to the cardholder
  • entertainment
  • books, subscriptions and journals.

3.5.    A head of budget division or nominee may nominate a purchasing  card for use in the business centre or equivalent for procurement of goods and services limited to the following:

  • ’one–off’ low value transactions that are not covered by an existing University agreement
  • low value transactions where the supplier does not already exist  in Themis and it is not cost effective to enter into a formal supplier arrangement
  • foreign currency transactions up to $5000.

3.6.    In addition to the provisions of section 3.4, honorary staff may be issued with a travel card to access grant income at the discretion of the head of budget division and subject to approval by the Director, Finance or the Chief Financial Officer. Honorary staff must use the Themis iProcurement module (not their travel card) for procurement of goods and services, where required.

3.7.    Staff must not use a purchasing card for the following:

  • the cost of travel paid to the employee as a travel allowance or per diem via the payroll
  • internal purchases from budget divisions within the University
  • purchase of a physical asset over $1,000
  • personal expenditure
  • cash advances
  • purchase of bank cheques, traveller’s cheques or money orders.

3.8.    The University will provide for the use of Cabcharge by budget divisions and fuel cards for each University work vehicle.  Staff using Cabcharge or fuel cards must comply with usage conditions outlined in the Procurement of Goods and Services Procedure.

3.9.    The University may cancel a  purchasing card at any time without prior notice and/or without giving any reason.




Term Definition
building works Works involving grounds, campus operations, services, equipment, maintenance, buildings and infrastructure under the responsibility of Property and Campus Services.
long term hire Long term hire is considered to be for a period of 12 months of more.
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 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 this 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, where no daily travel allowance has been paid to the cardholder
  • entertainment
  • books, subscriptions and journals.



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


This policy is to be reviewed by 30 November 2014.


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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