College Policies, Procedures and Guidelines

Title: Procurement, Credit Card & Travel Policy

Policy Number: UD COE 4-1

Issuing Authority: College of Engineering, Office of the Dean

Responsible Officer: CoE Manager, Procurement & Financial Processing

Date Created: February 2021

Date Last Amended/Reviewed: October 2022, March 2022

Date Scheduled for Review: October 2023

Reviewing Office: Office of the Dean

  1. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to provide direction on the process by which the College of Engineering issues UD credit cards, purchases business critical goods and services, and conducts business essential travel. The goal of the policy is to ensure that each CoE employee, student, or University designee understands the protocol, restrictions, and responsibilities incumbent upon the use of the University’s procurement platforms, and the acquisition and management of a UD credit card, utilized in a manner that exhibits both prudent and ethical fiscal stewardship of College resources.

  1. SCOPE

This policy applies to all full and part-time faculty, research and administrative staff, students and non-employees traveling or purchasing with UD funds.

  1. DEFINITIONS

UD Credit Card (CC)—a credit card issued to a University employee for making authorized purchases related to business justified travel or local meals and business hosting.

UD Declining Balance Card (DBC)—a credit card issued to a University employee that can be loaded with a specific amount of money and set timeframe in which the money is to be used.  This type of card is ideal for UD employees that occasionally travel (1-3x per year) and make all goods & services purchases through UDExchange.

Concur – web-based travel & expense system used to obtain approval for travel requests prior to traveling on UD business and subsequently submit expenses as incurred or within 30 days of when travel is complete. This system is also used to submit reimbursement requests for Out-of-Pocket expenses related to UD authorized travel and to submit local Business Hosting and Meal expenses. Currently, this system is also used to submit expense reports for purchases <$5,000 from Suppliers not supported in UDExchange.

UDExchange—web-based eProcurement system used to purchase goods and services for University use. Users do not need a credit card to make purchases in this system; transactions are processed centrally. This system is used for ALL purchases >$5,000, and for goods and services purchases <$5,000 with University-preferred (catalog) suppliers.

Business Critical Goods & Services Expenditures – those expenses that are vital and necessary to maintain College or Departmental operations.

  1. POLICY
  1. UD Credit Card & UD Declining Balance Cards
  1. Requests for new UD credit cards, UD declining balance cards, and/or reloading of funds to UD declining balance cards must be coordinated and approved through our CoE Procurement & Financial Processing team. UD employees should make these requests through the Concur system and ensure that appropriate Financial Processing Associate is added to the request form as an approver. (See Staff Directory with Departmental Support notes at this link: https://resources.engr.udel.edu/administration/financial-services/staff-directory/ )  ALL requests must include business justification showing detailed need for the card along with estimated yearly spend for travel, business hosting and goods/services expenditures.  Maximum spend limits authorized will be $5k single transaction/$10k total monthly credit limit on UD credit cards.
  2. Only the cardholder whose name is embossed on the UD credit card or UD declining balance card is authorized to use the card, and all use shall follow both UD & CoE policies and procedures. A cardholder who shares their UD credit card with others for purchasing/use may be subject to disciplinary action including card cancellation, restitution or repayment obligation of charges, potential termination of employment, and/or criminal prosecution.
  3. The total value of any one purchase made with the UD credit card may NOT exceed the single transaction/charge limit as approved by the Program Administrator. Cardholders cannot disaggregate a purchase into multiple transactions in order to not exceed the transaction/charge limit. A cardholder who makes an unauthorized purchase with the UD card or uses the UD credit card in an inappropriate manner may be subject to disciplinary action including card cancellation, restitution or repayment obligation of nonconforming charges, potential termination of employment, and/or criminal prosecution.
  4. All purchases made with a UD credit card or declining balance card should be submitted on an appropriate expense report within 30 days of purchase. CoE Cardholders will receive a reminder email once an open transaction hits 30 days past purchase.  Should no action occur, a second and final email escalation will occur at 45 days past purchase and a target date will be provided for UD credit card limit reduction to $1.  Once a UD credit card limit has been reduced to $1, the cardholder will have 30 days to submit all open transactions.  If that deadline is not met, the transaction will be automatically move to the department or faculty discretionary account.  Should a cardholder’s credit limit be reduced again (twice), the UD credit card will be cancelled, and the individual must then use a personal credit card and submit travel expenses for reimbursement in Concur or use the UDExchange system for purchasing goods or services.
  5. Gift card purchases for students, faculty or staff are NOT allowable on UD credit cards and are not reimbursable if purchased with personal funds. Instances where compensation needs to be made should be coordinated appropriately with ENGR-HR Payroll team. Research-related gift cards, budgeted and planned for participant support, are allowable. Per Uniform Guidance, these purchases must be documented with names and identifying information for audit and payroll tax purposes.
  6. Business Justification/Comment is mandatory on ALL transactions in Concur and UDExchange. For transactions <$25 where you do not have a receipt, if being charged to a grant/award, DETAILED comments must be included to justify purchase and provide details on what was purchased and why/how it benefitted the award. Lost Receipt forms for purchases >$25 are non-allowable for grants/awards.  If a cardholder must use a lost receipt form, it must be allocated to a department or faculty discretionary purpose code.
  7. When credits are issued for prior purchases, the cardholder is responsible for attaching appropriate credit documentation from the vendor. Original purchase documentation will not be accepted.
  8. When a Personal/Non-Reimbursable transaction is posted to a UD card, the Financial Processing Associate that supports that respective department will be notified immediately of the violation. The Financial Processing Associate will provide the Cardholder with the procedures of the reimbursement process to UD.
  1. Business Hosting and Meals
  1. Business meals with External guests during which focused business discussions take place are allowable. It is understood that an aspect of faculty hosting includes having business meals including alcohol, but this is an important decision within the context of the stewardship of University funds.  Alcoholic beverages may be purchased during these business hosting meals, but a limit of $25 per person, including tax and tip must be followed.  An amount over this limit must have robust business justification and be approved by Department Chair or Business Administrator.  Alcohol expenses must be allocated to departmental discretionary or gift funds and are not allowable on any basic budget code.
  2. Detailed/itemized receipts must be attached in Concur for all meal purchases exceeding $25. Documentation of meal attendees must be provided in the “Attendees” section of Concur (Names, Affiliation with the University, or guest information) and business purpose of the gathering must be included in the comments/business justification section of Concur.
  3. University employees are generally responsible for paying for their own meals when they are not traveling for University business. Meals involving UD employees require a Bona Fide Business Purpose and are limited to officially sanctioned events noted below in Section C.1 (holiday events, receptions for service, awards, recruitment, and retirement) or business hosting noted above. Other business-related meals involving faculty/staff/students should be limited to (1-2) gatherings per semester and are subject to GSA/IRS meal per diem limitations and need approval from department budget owner (Business Administrator). Approval from Department Business Administrator should be attached when submitting expense report in Concur.  GSA rates are set each October 1 and current rates in the continental US can be found at https://www.gsa.gov/travel/plan-book/per-diem-rates.  FY23 rates for local meals in Delaware are $14/pp for Breakfast, $16/pp for Lunch, and $29/pp for Dinner. Any meal purchases over the stated GSA rates must have departmental pre-approval from Department Chair or Business Administrator. Without proper justification on the expense report and approval from department budget owner (Business Administrator), the University will not reimburse or pay for meal expenses for spouses, partners, or non-essential guests. 
  4. Social meals are not allowable using UD funds of any type. Meals outside the events noted below in Section C.1 are considered a personal expense and are not eligible for reimbursement. If transactions for social meals are placed on a UD credit card, the expense will be denied, and the employee will need to reimburse UD with personal funds via payroll deduction.
  1. College-sanctioned Events & Employment-related Recognition
  1. Expenses for (1) annual holiday event and celebratory receptions for service recognition, awards, recruitment, and retirement functions require the approval of College of Engineering Dean or Senior Business Officer. Gift Funds may be used in these instances provided that their usage is aligned with the expressed intent of the Gift. State or Federal Funds cannot be used. Documentation of approval must be in writing and attached as additional information with expense report submission.
  2. Charges for alcoholic beverages are not permitted on University basic budget or self-supporting, state, or federal funds. For normally scheduled meetings or gatherings of University employees, charges for alcoholic beverage should NOT be made with ANY University Fund-type. Alcohol consumption at these types of outings should be paid for with personal funds. For special (one-time or annual) events where alcohol is deemed permissible by the Dean or Senior Business Officer and documented appropriate business use, the expense must be itemized as well as allocated to “Alcohol” expense type in Concur.  This approval should be noted and attached when the expense is submitted.
  3. Per UD Travel Policy 3-07, purchases of personal gifts, flowers, and/or food for employees, unsanctioned events, or otherwise are not allowable using UD funds. If a department or College unit chooses to honor employees or others, it must be done so with personal funds. On rare occasions, Gift Funds may be used for these expenses, provided that the expense is aligned with the expressed intent of the Gift. These purchases are subject to prior approval by the Dean or Senior Business Officer.  Documentation of approval must be in writing and attached as additional information with expense report submission.
  4. Events and meals hosted by College of Engineering student organizations and chapters are allowable using appropriate student chapter/departmental funding.
  1. Travel
  1. Travel Requests must be completed in the Concur system. Once a traveler’s request is approved, a final travel expense report should be submitted within 30 days of completed travel. If travel expenses are incurred more than 30 days in advance of the actual travel, the traveler should submit those expenses within 30 days of purchase.  Multiple expense reports can be created from the same Travel Request/Itinerary.
  2. When traveling for UD business to attend conferences, a detailed agenda MUST be attached as supporting documentation in Concur. This is recommended for ALL conference travel but is required when traveler will be claiming per diem to show meals provided by hosting venue/conference.  Any meals provided by conference MUST be deducted from per diem (even if attendee chooses to not participate in food offering).
  3. Before travel occurs, the UD traveler should plan to EITHER use per diem OR actual expenses for ALL meals (should be discussed with Department BA, Faculty or Grants Analyst if unsure). Mixing per diem and actual meal expenses is not allowable. Restaurant charges on hotel folios constitute using the UD card and should only be done when planning to expense actual meal costs and not per diem.
  4. Purchase of Travel Insurance is unallowable and if made, must be reimbursed with personal funds.
  5. ONLY trips involving out-of-town travel away from home or away from the traveler’s usual work location for MORE THAN 12 hours qualify for Per Diem or actual meal expense reimbursement. All travel LESS THAN 12 hours is considered a normal business day and meals/other expenses are considered personal, are not reimbursable, and should not be paid for with a UD credit or declining balance card.  Reimbursement for such trips that do not include an overnight stay but are 12 hours or more will be at 75% of the full day Per Diem for the destination city.
  6. Gas purchases for personal vehicles are not allowable. Should an employee need to drive their personal vehicle for off campus business purposes, they should submit a mileage expense on a Travel Expense report in Concur. Use of personal vehicle for on-campus travel is not eligible for mileage reimbursement nor are parking fees, as those are considered personal expenses.  Free UD Shuttle Buses should be used for on-campus travel.
  1. REFERENCE DOCUMENTS

Procurement Policy (5-01):
https://sites.udel.edu/generalcounsel/policies/procurement-policy/

University Credit Card Policy (5-22):
https://sites.udel.edu/generalcounsel/policies/ud-credit-card/

University Travel Policy (3-07):
https://sites.udel.edu/generalcounsel/policies/travel-and-business-hosting-policy