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Authorized employees of Howard Community College may be issued, in their name, a procurement card (PCard), similar to a credit card, for making small purchases.  The objective of the Pcard is to provide a convenient and less burdensome method than the standard purchase order process for procuring and paying for low dollar value goods and services.  The cards can be used when making purchases in person, over the phone, or via the Internet.  It is to be used only for college-related purchases for goods or services.  The cards may not be used for personal purchases.

When making purchases using the procurement cards, an employee shall follow the requirements in this procedure as well as applicable college purchasing policies and procedures.  As the college is a tax-exempt organization, it is the responsibility of the authorized user to ensure that all transactions are not charged Maryland sales tax. 

The procurement office reserves the right to take possession of a PCard from a cardholder who violates any provision of this procedure or misuses the card.  In addition, the employee is subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination, and may be subject to criminal prosecution.  Upon termination of employment with the college, the employee will surrender the card to the procurement office.  The procurement office will then cancel the card.

  The following actions are prohibited:

  • providing false statements concerning the use of a PCard;
  •  using the card for personal use or unauthorized transactions;
  • knowingly ignoring false charges and not reporting discrepancies between the employee log and the bank to the procurement office immediately;
  • not obtaining detailed receipts for expenses on a consistent basis; or
  • going over budget and not being able to cover the expenses within budget authority.

Each employee will be limited by a single transaction amount and a monthly transaction, not to exceed $1,000 and $4,999 respectively.  Any exceptions to these limits will be approved by the president’s team.  In addition, each employee may be assigned purchasing code restrictions to their cards.  A purchasing code is a category or type of allowed transaction.  Examples are food and beverages, supplies, or lodging and travel.  Limits and restricted use of the card will be provided in writing on the delegation of authority form signed by the college and the employee. 

The following types of purchases are not allowed:

  • purchases of personal items or services for any reason;
  • personal telephone calls;
  • local purchase of gasoline;
  • alcoholic beverages;*
  • cash advances;
  • rentals or lease of land or buildings;
  • flowers or gifts of any kind;
  • salaries and wages; or
  • legal services. 

Exceptions to these disallowable purchases will be made on a case-by-case basis with pre-approval by the president.  Should an employee require an exception to their disallowed purchases, the procurement office should be contacted immediately.

*All restaurant/hotel charges must be detailed for auditing purposes.  

It is the responsibility of the card user to ensure there is adequate budget for all purchases prior to making purchases on the card. 

Employees are responsible to report lost or stolen cards immediately to the bank and to the procurement office, via email. 

The college will not be responsible for any misuse of a procurement card by an employee.


Cardholder/Authorized User:  Person assigned the PCard whose name appears on the card.

Cost Center Manager:  The person designated on the chart of accounts as having authority to charge expenses to a cost center.

Monthly Statement: A listing of all transactions by cardholder received monthly from the bank.

Cardholder Log: A listing of all transactions by cardholder kept from date of request.

Procurement Office: Procurement office personnel authorized to issue and monitor card activity on behalf of the college.

Policy Manual Review/Revision:   07/01/10