Procurement Card User Manual – Section 1


Welcome to the University of Connecticut MasterCard Procurement Card (“P-Card”) Program. The University P-Card issued by, JP Morgan Chase, is a credit card which acts as a procurement tool offering an alternative to the existing University procurement processes. It provides an extremely efficient and effective method of purchasing and paying for goods and services with a value less than $4,999.00. The University’s P-Card Program is designed to delegate authority and capability to quickly and conveniently purchase approved commodities directly from the vendors that accept MasterCard. This Program, co-sponsored by the Purchasing Department and Office of the Controller, was created with the assistance of many staff and faculty members, and is designed to more efficiently meet your purchasing needs and those of the University. The benefits of the P-Card to you and the University are significant and include:

Benefits to the Cardholder:

  • Allows you to obtain goods much faster and easier than before;
  • Significantly reduces workload related to the purchase of and payment for goods;
  • Allows you to be more efficient and to focus on the value added aspects of your job;
  • Significantly reduces clerical processing time and time associated with the approval process;
  • Provides end users with greater autonomy.

Benefits to the University:

  • Reduces the number of purchase orders, invoices and checks;
  • Enables Purchasing and Accounts Payable to focus on higher yield, value added activities;
  • Dramatically reduces the number of vendors in the University vendor database;
  • Prompt payment to the vendor results in better prices and improved vendor relations;
  • Significant reduction in the number of paper transactions;
  • Purchasing Department will have more time to negotiate better contracts.

Benefits to the Department/Fiscal Officer:

  • Only one (1) monthly statement will be received for verification and reconciliation;
  • No need to prepare and obtain approval signatures on internal renewal forms;
  • No purchase order is required, therefore no typing and tracking of individual purchase requisitions and receiving reports are required;
  • Monthly approvals required rather than individual purchase order and invoice approvals;
  • Receive orders immediately or within days instead of weeks.

The P-Card is designed to be used for purchases related to University business only. Use of the P-Card for personal purchases is strictly prohibited. The Purchasing and Accounts Payable departments are responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of the P-Card Program and user compliance with the procedures outlined in this manual. If you have any questions regarding the Program, or the appropriate use of the P-Card, please contact Nancy Patrylak, the University Procurement Card Program Administrator at:

Purchasing Department
3 Discovery Drive, Unit 6076, Storrs, Connecticut, 06269-6076



How it Works

The P-Card simplifies the procurement and disbursement process by facilitating point-of-demand procurement. Purchasing authority is delegated to the ordering departments enabling the authorized Cardholders to place an order directly with the suppliers. The vendor validates purchases made with the P-Card at the point-of-sale. The MasterCard system validates the transaction against pre-set limits established by the University which include:

  • Number of transactions allowed per day – twenty (20);
  • Number of transactions allowed per month – One Hundred (100);
  • Single purchase limit not to exceed $4,999.00;
  • Spending limit per month – Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000);
  • All Merchants are assigned a Merchant Category Codes (MCC) that corresponds to their type of business (as established by the bank and encoded into the magnetic strip on the reverse side of the P-Card);
  • Travel and entertainment MCC’s are blocked.  The P-Card cannot be used for any travel related expenses.

*Exemptions to the above limitations may be granted on a case by case basis upon the approval of the Director of Procurement Services or his/her designee.

The authorization process occurs through an electronic system that supports the P-Card processing services under the University’s agreement with JP Morgan Chase.  In addition, the Procurement Card Administrator has the capability to view a large selection of daily reports to effectively monitor the use of P-Cards. The Purchasing Department will also identify opportunities to further maximize the University’s significant buying power through contract negotiations and contract administration.

Restricted Purchases

Purchases of the restricted items listed below and purchases in excess of $4,999.00 or more must continue to be processed in accordance with established procurement and disbursement policies and procedures.

The P-Card is not to be used for the following commodities:

  • Alcoholic beverages;
  • Animals;
  • Biological Select Agents and Toxins (except for exempt quantity toxins);
  • Business, travel, and entertainment related expenses;
  • Cash advances of any type;
  • All phone and related monthly charges;
  • All clothing (including for promotional use);
  • Computers/tablets (any value, any device that can access the internet.  Also includes components that are purchased with the intent of building a computer.);
  • Computer monitors
  • Construction and Renovation Services (includes anything that requires installation);
  • Contract agreements of any type or value that involve a signature;
  • Controlled Substances and Prescription drugs;
  • EBay or any other auction website;
  • Equipment on the EHS Restricted Equipment list
  • Equipment valued over $4,999.00
  • Food & Beverages consumed at vendor’s location (i.e., eating in at a restaurant or eating at an off campus location. Only take-out of food and non-alcoholic beverages for events/meetings held at a UConn campus location are allowed);
  • Furniture of any type;
  • Gasoline (except for State vehicles);
  • Gifts/Donations (including flowers, gifts for life events, gifts for students, and milestones);
  • Gift Cards – MUST submit PCard Gift Card Preapproval form on HuskyBuy and receive prior approval;
  • Internet Service Providers;
  • Invoice Payments when payment method was not identified at the time of purchase (considered unauthorized);
  • Items prohibited from purchase under grant or research contract;
  • Leases & Lease – Purchases or any other time payment;
  • Memberships (lifetime or multiple years);
  • Moving Services;
  • Personal use items (i.e., attachés, folios, pen/pencil sets, etc.);
  • Precious metals;
  • Printing Services;
  • Promotional Products/Apparel (UConn branded items)
  • Radioactive Materials;
  • Rental of vehicles;
  • Reimbursements of any type;
  • Signage
  • Software – MUST receive written approval from Procurement prior to making the purchase.

*Exemptions to these restricted purchases may be granted on a case by case basis upon the approval of the PCard Administrators.

If you have any questions regarding a restricted purchase, please contact our Procurement Card Program Administrator at


Approved Purchases

The following are examples of the types of items that may be purchased with the P-Card:

  • Advertisements;
  • Animal feed and bedding (purchase of animals is prohibited);
  • Catering Services (Held at UConn locations only, where a signed contract is not required)*;
  • Computer supplies, upgrades, replacement parts, for existing University-owned computers. Should be purchased in Husky Buy when possible. Components purchased with the intent to build a computer are not allowed;
  • Conference registrations with department dean/director approval;
  • Dues and Professional Membership(s) – (Business, Technical, Professional and Institutional memberships only, Lifetime and multiple year memberships are restricted);
  • Floor and Window Treatments;
  • Food (Take out or grocery store purchases for student activities & official business meetings held at a University campus location only).  Must provide: business purpose, list of attendees and agenda; and completed Business Meal Pre-Approval Form (for staff only meetings) for submission to the KFS PCDO edoc when realocating;
  • Gases under pressure (an Airgas purchasing job aid is available for HuskyBuy orders, which is our preferred method)
  • Gasoline (State vehicles only);
  • Hardware supplies;
  • Internet Purchases for Approved Items Only (must be a secure site)**;
  • Laboratory chemicals (Storrs and Depot campuses must follow EHS procedures)***
  • Maintenance Service/Repairs;
  • Office, Laboratory and Educational supplies (items not available through Central Stores and Huskybuy)
  • Postage (non-metered mail up to $50.00 value);
  • Subscriptions (Departmental use only);
  • Tools, fixtures and miscellaneous apparatus;

* Must have formal agenda, Business Meal Pre-Approval Form signed by the department head & detailed receipt as backup documentation for all food purchases. Food may only be purchased for an event held at a UConn campus location.

** The risks of using the P-Card over the Internet are similar to the traditional risks involved when using it in person or over the telephone with one important exception. When Cardholders make a purchase over the Internet, the information exchanged between the Cardholder and the supplier may be transmitted through a network of possibly dozens of sites. For this reason, it is important to encrypt (scramble) the data exchanged so only the supplier can decrypt the information. To minimize your liability, it is important to ensure that the supplier is running a “secure” server for purchases so any information entered is likely to be meaningless to sites in between. If the supplier has a “secure” server, the Cardholder should be directed to this site prior to entering information including P-Card number and expiration date. A dialog box informs the Cardholder they are switching to a “secure mode”. In addition to the dialog box, the web browser should have a visual aid indication a secure/non-secure mode. In addition to a “secure” site, Purchasing recommends that if a purchase is made over the Internet, it be with a company you have used via traditional methods in the past. If you are uncomfortable giving your number over the Internet, some companies leave the option of placing your order on the Web and following up with a P-Card number on the telephone.

*** Individuals purchasing laboratory chemicals at the Storrs and Depot campuses (except for the Chemistry Building) should follow the purchasing instructions in HuskyBuy to comply with the Laboratory Chemical Inventory Program. If HuskyBuy cannot be used, the Procurement Card Laboratory Chemical Purchase Instructions must be followed. Individuals at other regional campuses must only follow the standardized procedures in the Procurement Card User Manual.

(Note: this restriction does not apply to the ordering of compressed gasses; microbiology media such as agars, broths and serums; buffers; test kits; radioisotopes; drugs and cleaning products.)

P-Card Usage for Online Services and Emerging Technologies

Guidelines for Amazon Business Purchases

Although Cardholders may purchase a wide array of items from Amazon Business, careful judgement must be exercised before making a purchase with the P-Card.  Cardholders who must purchase from Amazon Business must use the following guidelines:

  • Accounts should be set up using the cardholder’s UConn email address;
  • Never use University Amazon Business account for personal purchases;
  • Ship Amazon Business P-Card purchases to a UConn Office or work location.


Contract Compliance

While the P-Card is a procurement tool, it does not signal a change in policy regarding compliance with University and State contract suppliers. These vendors are listed on the Purchasing Department’s home page under University Contracts. State Contract vendors can be found on the DAS Website. If you have any questions as to whether an item is on contract, any of the buying teams in Purchasing can help you. If the contract vendor can’t supply your required goods and services you can go elsewhere but you should keep documentation in your P-Card log sheet as to why you did not use the contract vendor.


Responsibilities of Use

Responsibilities of the Cardholder

Cardholder is defined as an authorized University employee designated by the Department Reporting Authority to receive a P-Card and make P-Card purchasing transactions on behalf of the University.  The Cardholder is responsible for:

  • Completing a P-Card Application Form and obtaining approval signatures from Reporting Authority;
  • Responsible for all purchases made with the P-Card and for making such purchases in accordance with the procedures outlined in the User manual;
  • Using the P-Card for University purchases and approved items only;
  • Attach all supporting documentation to the CBS report in Concur (e.g., Proper receipts, vendor order forms, cash receipts, etc.);
  • Only the Cardholder is authorized to use the P-Card or may designate up to two (2) secondary users. The Cardholder remains responsible for all purchases made by authorized secondary users;
  • Ensuring receipt of goods and following up with the vendor to resolve disputes and arranging for returns credits, delivery problems, etc.;
  • Reporting lost or stolen P-Card immediately;
  • Safeguarding P-Card security at all times, including, but not limited to, protecting P-Card number and online purchases on secure websites only;
  • Responsible for repayment of improper charges and personal liability for misuse;
  • Timely submission of the CBS report in Concur on a monthly basis;
  • Submission of the CBS report in Concur should be completed by the 15th of the month following the statement month.

Fiscal Officer is the department’s financial representative responsible for reviewing P-Card transactions.  The Fiscal Officer is responsible for:

  • Reviewing, and if compliant, approving P-Card transactions submitted on the monthly CBS report;
  • Assuring that correct expense types are used on transactions; and ensure that sales tax is not charged;
  • Reviewing validity of a transaction by scrutinizing the submitted receipt;
Responsibilities of Reporting Authority

Reporting Authority is defined as that individual who has oversight responsibility for purchases and for administering the department’s budget (e.g., the dean, director or department head).  The Reporting Authority is responsible for:

  • Designating one (1) or more individual(s) in the department to act in the capacity of the Record Manager;
  • Identifying potential Cardholders;
  • Approving all P-Card Application Forms;
  • Overseeing P-Card Program for their respective department.