What are procurement cards?
Procurement Cards allow council employees to make purchases of goods and services, similar to the use of personal credit cards. The card looks like a normal credit card and allow cardholders to make purchases in the same way: face to face, over the internet, via phone or via fax.
However, Procurement Cards differ because purchases are accrued and managed on a corporate level, allowing managers to control the activity of buyers either on a personal level, by department or across the whole of the council.
Currently we uses VISA procurement cards issued by LloydsTSB. VISA is widely used across the globe and allow cardholders to purchase from most companies, therefore, if suppliers can take normal credit/debit VISA cards, they will be able to accept payment from Procurement Card holders.
We use Procurement Cards wherever the type of spend (e.g. over the Internet) or the practicalities (e.g. emergency spend, spend on the move, ‘out of hours’ spend) preclude the purchaser from using Oracle iProcurement.
Nowadays, Procurement Cards are well established in local government, with 1,340 public organisations spending approximately £900 million a year.
The Procurement Cards programme is now being used as part of the council’s e-procurement programme alongside the Oracle iProcurement system. The main objective of the project is to deploy
The council’s scheme has continued to grow from the initial trial period in 2007, now with over 200 cards in circulation.
What are the benefits of procurement cards for the council?
- Ability to purchase goods or services in an emergency.
- Lower processing costs per transactions.
- Clear and detailed audit trail of goods.
- Provides timely and accurate management information to Senior Managers.
- Staff do not have to reclaim expenses at the end of the month reducing administration time.
What are the benefits of procurement cards for suppliers?
- Prompt payment to suppliers within 4 days, improving cash flow of suppliers..
- Suppliers do not need to issue invoices, and therefore save invoice processing costs.
- Can secure extra business from the Council where there is not sufficient time for order processing (ie. in emergencies or sales over telephone/internet)
Page Last Updated: 5 April 2012