Emergency notice

This policy is current as at 10/04/2021 11:50pm, AEST. Please refer to policy library website (https://education.nsw.gov.au/policy-library) for an updated version.

Purchasing Card Policy

To enable the implementation of a flexible, efficient and cost effective method of purchasing business related goods and services as an alternative to traditional purchase-to-pay processes.

1. Policy statement

1.1 NSW Department of Education (the department) staff must be efficient, economical and ethical in their use and management of public resources. The objectives of the department’s Purchasing Card Policy are to:

  • enable the implementation of a flexible, efficient and cost effective method of purchasing business related goods and services as an alternative to traditional purchase-to-pay processes
  • ensure value for money in the procurement of quality goods and services
  • support the department to meet its obligations to suppliers
  • ensure accountability, consistency and alignment in financial management practices across the department’s various entities and business units
  • identify sustainable and socially responsible purchase-to-pay solutions
  • maintain standards of transparency, probity, ethics and integrity
  • comply with NSW Government policy.

1.2 Purchasing cards can be provided to departmental staff for a range of work-related purposes. They are provided by the department to allow staff to carry out their job more effectively and efficiently and there is a requirement that they will be used in accordance with the terms and conditions set out by the department.

1.3 Purchasing cards are a credit card issued to staff to provide a fast and cost-effective method to purchases goods and services directly from suppliers on the department’s behalf.

2. Audience and applicability

2.1 The department’s Purchasing Card Policy applies to all staff who:


  • have been approved to be issued with a purchasing card to purchase goods and services in the course of carrying out their official duties


  • have a role to approve the issue of purchasing cards to relevant staff for business-related purchases


2.2 Contractors and consultants are not departmental staff and do not have authority to exercise delegations and are therefore excluded from holding purchasing cards under this policy.

2.3 This policy replaces previous policies relating to the issue and use of corporate credit cards, school credit cards, purchasing cards, stored value cards, and other forms of card payment.

2.4 This policy must be read in conjunction with the department's Purchasing card guidelines (PDF 343KB), which outline roles and responsibilities for staff relating to PCard use.

3. Context

3.1 NSW Treasury from time to time issues policies, guidelines and generic procedures that should be adopted by agencies for the implementation and management of NSW Government Purchasing Cards.

3.2 NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation Circular – DFSI 2015-02 – Efficient Electronic Payment Methods specifies updated NSW Government policy for Agencies, along with requirements and obligations for Agencies to advance electronic payment reform.

3.3 NSW Treasury Policy Paper (TPP17-09) Use and Management of Government Purchasing Cards is effective from 1 April 2018 and encourages effective use and management of PCards across the NSW public sector.

3.4 The legislative and administrative framework underpinning the department’s Purchasing Card policy includes:

3.5 Department of Education Policies, Guidelines and Procedures relevant to this policy include:

4. Responsibilities and delegations

4.1 The policy is approved by one or more of the following policy approvers:

  • the Secretary of the Department of Education
  • the Deputy Secretary, Corporate Services.

4.2 Financial delegations under the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983 are in place to approve the issue of Purchasing Cards and individual transaction and card limits in accordance with the department’s Purchasing Card Policy and Guidelines issued from time to time, and financial delegations to incur expenditure using a Purchasing card are located on the department’s Delegations intranet site.

4.3 The department’s Purchasing card guidelines (PDF 343KB) outline the requirements and responsibilities of staff issued with purchasing cards, Approvers and Reviewing Officers, and is the primary reference tool.

4.4 All staff to whom this policy applies are required to acknowledge their responsibilities under this policy and agree to the conditions associated with card use.

4.5 The department’s Purchasing Card Policy and related implementation documents are accessible on the version-controlled policy sections of the department's intranet and/or main internet sites in the standardised format.

5. Monitoring and review

5.1 The Director, Shared Services Business Services will monitor this policy and report on its effectiveness as required to the department’s Executive.

6. Policy contact officer

6.1 Director, Shared Services Business Services, 02 8633 1688.

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