To provide direction for the administration and control of acquisition cards at the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC)
This directive outlines the roles and responsibilities of the Chief Financial Officer, Departmental and Regional Acquisition Card Coordinators, budget managers, functional authorities and individual cardholders administering and/or using acquisition cards
issue immediate payment to the credit card provider as outlined in Annex B.
Regional Finance, reporting to Regional Comptrollers, will:
conduct regular account verifications to ensure purchases comply with this directive
oversee the post-payment verification process through administering statistical sampling requirements
validate the budget manager’s signature against the corresponding specimen signature card
notify the cardholder and/or manager of any discrepancies
request additional clarification and initiate corrective action(s) as required (evidence of verification results is to be maintained on file for compliance with the risk management framework, quality assurance, and audit purposes).
The Director, Contracting and Materiel Services, will:
oversee the Departmental Acquisition Card Coordinator
report on the use of acquisition cards to the National Comptroller
ensure applicable transactions are recorded in the Fixed Asset Module within the Departmental Financial and Materiel Management System
establish and communicate internal policies and procedures.
The Departmental Acquisition Card Coordinator will:
manage the Departmental Acquisition Card Program
provide guidance on acquisition card policies and procedures
assist in the development and maintenance of a training program for cardholders
liaise with the acquisition card company to establish management reporting requirements and address acquisition card issues
monitor transactions of $10,000 and over when the acquisition card is used in accordance with the payment terms and conditions stipulated in a contract pursuant to the Monitoring section of this directive
monitor and report on the use of acquisition cards to the Director, Contracting and Materiel Services
advise the Regional Acquisition Card Coordinators and/or Regional Finance of any issues and/or concerns that should be brought to the attention of budget managers and/or cardholders
ensure the maintenance of a departmental register of regional cardholders.
Regional Acquisition Card Coordinators will:
provide oversight and guidance to their sites and advise them of any issues and/or concerns
review and process applications, as well as maintain the register of cardholders in their region
submit acquisition card applications to the issuing company and distribute the acquisition cards
advise cardholders of their obligations and responsibilities and obtain a signed Acquisition Card Acknowledgement and Receipt (CSC/SCC 1095) prior to distributing the card to the employee
obtain a copy of the signed Budget Manager Acknowledgement Form (CSC/SCC 1095-1)
notify the card company when a card is cancelled, lost or stolen and retrieve the card from the cardholder for destruction (when applicable)
ensure cards are temporarily suspended when a cardholder is on extended leave of three weeks or more
monitor the use of acquisition cards through regular sampling processes
report possible serious violations to the Director, Contracting and Materiel Services, and/or the Departmental Acquisition Card Coordinator.
Budget managers will:
recommend, along with a written justification, which employees should be cardholders and ensure completion of the Acquisition Card Request (CSC/SCC 1490) for any new, change or cancellation requests for accounts authorized against their budget
recommend reasonable credit limits based on planned use, available budget and recurring need on a periodic basis or when responsibilities change
sign the Budget Manager Acknowledgement Form (CSC/SCC 1095-1)
ensure the completion and approval of a specimen signature card if the cardholder is delegated any spending and/or financial authorities under the Financial Signing Authority Delegation Instrument
ensure the required training and/or information is provided to the cardholder for his/her adequate understanding of his/her responsibilities and obligations
when a cardholder is on leave for more than three weeks, ensure the Regional Acquisition Card Coordinator is notified and appropriate measures are taken to safeguard the card
ensure the card is returned to the Regional Acquisition Card Coordinator upon employee departure, suspension of duties or regional transfer pursuant to CSC departure procedures, including completion of the form Departure Clearance for Employee/Contractor and Other (CSC/SCC 0916).
sign the Acquisition Card Acknowledgement and Receipt (CSC/SCC 1095)
not, under any circumstances, exercise financial signing authority for the settlement of their own card statements (note that sections 33 and 34 of the Financial Administration Act apply)
obtain sufficient and appropriate authorization from the budget manager who has delegated spending authority before making purchases, if the cardholder does not have the appropriate level of delegated authorities required
safeguard card information and ensure the card is kept in a secure location at all times when not in use
not personally accumulate benefit points from vendors and/or receive a real or perceived personal benefit from the purchases
notify immediately the Regional Acquisition Card Coordinator and the card issuer if the card is lost, damaged or stolen
return the card to the appropriate coordinator immediately upon termination of employment at CSC, upon transfer within CSC or when requested to do so
verify and reconcile monthly statements through the Government Acquisition Card (GAC) Module within the Departmental Financial and Materiel Management System, or delegate the responsibility to administrative staff (GAC regular user)
complete and forward financial packages (acquisition card statement, invoice(s), applicable form(s) and signed IFMMS Acquisition Card Register Report by Responsibility Centre) within established timeframe to the Regional Financial Operations Division
resolve any discrepancies or disputed items
contact the operational unit Asset Management Coordinator to ensure applicable transactions are recorded in the Fixed Asset Module within the Departmental Financial and Materiel Management System pursuant to FD 350-1 – Asset Management
follow CSC contracting policies and practices regarding competitive quotes, life cycle costs, environmental considerations and best value
use the mandatory standing offers of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) when required
confirm website security and obtain assurance that the transaction is with the desired supplier prior to making purchases over the Internet as outlined in Annex C
ensure the policy on Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax, Quebec Sales Tax and Provincial Sales Tax is observed for all purchases made with the acquisition card as outlined in the CSC Accounting Manual, Chapter 5.
This directive does not supersede CSC contracting policies and procedures, or any required delegation(s) of spending and/or financial authorities.
Purchases cannot be divided into multiple transactions to arrive under the $10,000 (including applicable taxes and additional charges) threshold as this would be considered contract splitting which contravenes CSC and Treasury Board contracting policies.
The Goods and Services Tax or the Harmonized Sales Tax must be paid on all goods and/or services purchased by cardholders. Provincial Sales Tax must not be paid on such purchases, with the exception of purchases made by CSC on behalf of an inmate (inmate purchases), pursuant to CSC Accounting Manual, Chapter 5. The Quebec Sales Tax must be paid on purchases made in the province of Quebec (exemption certificates are no longer to be used).
If the cardholder does not have delegated spending authority or the value of the transaction exceeds his/her delegated authorities, a person having the required level of authority must pre authorize purchases made by the cardholder. Documented evidence that is valid, legible and indelible of the pre-authorization is required to support the payment of the acquisition card statement. Refer to the Financial Signing Authority Delegation Instrument.
When the acquisition card is used as a method of payment, a budget manager cannot enter directly into a contract that is greater than his/her delegated transaction authority. A contract request must be forwarded to the appropriate Contracting and Materiel Services Directorate. A clause in the contract will stipulate that the acquisition card is the preferred method of payment. In such cases, payments are limited by the terms and conditions of the contract as well as the advice provided by the National/Regional Contract Review Board as part of the contract approval process.
All applicable transactions must be recorded in the Fixed Asset Module within the Departmental Financial and Materiel Management System when the acquisition card is used for assets pursuant to FD 350-1 – Asset Management.
Eligibility and Restrictions
To be eligible for an acquisition card, the employee must:
be an indeterminate CSC employee or, in exceptional circumstances, a term employee with at least six months of continuous service with CSC (casual employees, students, term employees with under six months of continuous service and consultants – including temporary help services – are not permitted to have an acquisition card)
have an operational requirement for the use of an acquisition card in the execution of his/her assigned duties
have the budget manager approve the Acquistion Card Request (CSC/SCC 1490)
successfully complete the Green Procurement training (refer to the Training section of this directive)
complete and sign the Acquistion Card Acknowledgement and Receipt (CSC/SCC 1095)
obtain a completed and approved specimen signature card, if applicable.
The acquisition card should be used for, but not limited to, the following types of approved transactions:
as a procurement tool for the purchase of goods and/or services for an amount less than $10,000 per single transaction. This amount includes the cost of the goods and/or services, delivery and installation charges, all applicable taxes, and any other supplemental costs associated with the purchase (a purchase order in i-Procurement is not required). The acquisition card must not be used to procure goods or services containing terms and conditions
as a method of payment for contracts with standard government terms and conditions where the acquisition card is identified as the preferred method of payment. A commitment (a purchase order or requisition) must be created in i-Procurement prior to payment for contracts valued at $1,000 or greater
as a method of payment for call-ups against a standing offer where the acquisition card is identified as the preferred method of payment. A commitment (a purchase order or requisition) must be created in i-Procurement prior to payment, regardless of value
as a preferred payment alternative to petty cash (wherever feasible)
office equipment and supplies purchased from PWGSC mandatory standing offers
training, with authorized Training Application and Authorization (GC 211) prior to submitting for payment
corporate memberships and renewals, with authorized Request for Membership/Renewal of Membership (CSC/SCC 0488) prior to submitting for payment
hospitality expenses for a combined cost of less than $200 for a single activity with completed authorized Advanced Authorization to Extend Hospitality (CSC/SCC 0681) (and completed Hospitality Cost Estimate and Reconciliation Worksheet, if applicable) prior to submitting for payment
conference fees, with authorized Request to Attend a Conference (GC 170) prior to submitting for payment
as a preferred payment method for temporary help services (when feasible).
The types of transactions for which the acquisition card must not be used include, but are not limited to, the following:
routine purchase of vehicle supplies for the sole purpose of accumulating an inventory of items such as batteries, tires, oil, filters, spare parts, etc.
when a fleet credit card is not accepted by a supplier
software and hardware (unless with approval from the National Information Technology Service Desk)
controlled goods (i.e. ammunition and firearms)
hospitality expenses for a combined cost of $200 or greater for a single activity [excluding approved blanket hospitality requests for multiple sub-activities relating to one reoccurring activity over a determinate period of time (e.g. monthly Citizen Advisory Committee meetings)]
procurement of goods or services containing terms and conditions.
A designated acquisition card is required when authorized purchases are being made by CSC on behalf of inmates using the Inmate Trust Funds or the Inmate Welfare Funds. A cardholder in this case could be assigned two acquisition cards: one for inmate purchases and one for CSC business purchases.
All cardholders must complete the mandatory online Acquisition Card Policy and Procedures e-Learning Module before obtaining and using an acquisition card.
All cardholders must complete the mandatory online Green Procurement (C215) training provided by the Canada School of Public Service, pursuant to the Environmental Directive on Green Procurement within FD 350-3 – Contracting. Employees in budget manager positions or performing financial administrative functions related to the use of the acquisition card are also encouraged to complete the online Green Procurement training.
Cardholders, GAC regular users, and Acquisition Card Coordinators are to refer to the GAC e-Learning Module for Departmental Financial and Materiel Management System instructions.
The Director, Financial Operations, at National Headquarters will oversee and manage account and post-payment verification of acquisition card transactions.
The Director, Contracting and Materiel Services, will oversee the monitoring of transactions and consolidated reports from the card issuer to ensure adherence with procurement, inventory and/or asset management practices, including confirming transactions are legitimate according to the terms and conditions of an awarded contract.
Corrective actions are required to address non-compliance with this directive. Corrective actions can include additional training, changes to procedures and systems, cancellation of the acquisition card, the suspension or removal of delegated authority, disciplinary action, recovery of the prohibited expenditures incurred and other measures as appropriate.
Employees are reminded that sections 76 to 81 (civil liabilities and offences) of the Financial Administration Act as well as sections 121 (frauds against the Government), 122 (breach of trust), 322 (theft) and 380 (fraud) of the Criminal Code may apply.
Acquisition card: a charge card issued under a contract between card issuers and the Government of Canada for the purchase and the payment of goods and services that are authorized official government business transactions.
Cardholder: an employee who is identified by his/her budget manager to be issued an acquisition card in his/her name or, when an acquisition card is issued in the name of an organizational asset, is an employee to whom the card is assigned for the purpose of acquiring goods or services on behalf of the organizational asset named on the card.
Certification authority: the authority, according to section 34 of the Financial Administration Act, to certify, before payment, contract performance and price, entitlement or eligibility for the payment.
Consolidated statement: a request for payment from an acquisition card company based on the outstanding account balances of a predetermined group of cardholders.
Contract splitting: the practice of dividing a requirement into a number of smaller transactions, to avoid controls or contract approval authorities. This practice contravenes CSC and Treasury Board policy instruments.
Credit limit: the maximum amount of charges that can be made against one acquisition card in one accounting period.
Expenditure initiation: the authority to incur expenditure or make an obligation to obtain goods or services that will result in the eventual expenditure of funds.
Government acquisition card (GAC) regular user: individual who uses the GAC Module within the Departmental Financial and Materiel Management System. They may or may not be a cardholder. If they are not the cardholder, they can be assigned one or many cardholders for whom to code purchases.
Management practices and controls: policies, processes, procedures and systems that enable a department to operate its programs and activities, use its resources effectively, exercise sound stewardship, fulfil its obligations and achieve its objectives.
Standing offer: an offer from a supplier to provide goods and/or services to clients at prearranged prices or pricing basis and under set terms and conditions for a specified period on an as-and-when requested basis. A separate contract is entered into each time a call-up is made against a standing offer. When a call-up is made, the terms and conditions are already in place and acceptance by Canada of the supplier's offer is unconditional.
Standing offer call-up: an order issued under the authority of a duly authorized user against a particular PWGSC standing offer. Communication of a call-up against a standing offer to the offeror constitutes acceptance of the standing offer to the extent of the goods, services, or both, being ordered and causes a contract to come into effect.
Transaction: the maximum amount that may be spent per purchase or transaction, not item.
Transaction authority: the authority to enter into contracts, including acquisition card purchases or sign-off on legal entitlements.
MANAGEMENT AND PAYMENT OF THE CONSOLIDATED ACQUISITION CARD MONTHLY STATEMENT BY FINANCE
These procedures are intended for the Departmental/Regional Acquisition Card Coordinators, National Headquarters (NHQ) Financial Operations, NHQ Corporate Accounting, NHQ Comptrollership Financial Systems, CORCAN and Regional Financial Operations.
Purpose and Scope
The purpose of these procedures is to establish clear roles and responsibilities and procedures for the management and payment of the consolidated acquisition card monthly statement at CSC.
NHQ Financial Operations within the Comptroller’s Branch is delegated the responsibility to manage and pay the consolidated acquisition card statement for CSC and on behalf of CORCAN.
CSC receives one consolidated monthly statement that is paid centrally by NHQ Financial Operations, which includes CORCAN’s transactions. NHQ Financial Operations is the payment authority for all acquisition card transactions. Consequently, no payments for an acquisition card are to be issued directly to the credit card company (BMO) by a cardholder or by a region.
Invoiced items in dispute are also paid centrally and a credit will be issued by BMO where applicable. Credits issued by BMO are to be processed in IFMMS similar to a regular transaction.
Cardholders or their delegate (i.e. GAC regular user) can request access to the BMO details Online website by contacting their Regional Acquisition Card Coordinator. With online access, cardholders can download individual monthly statements and view transactions on a daily basis.
Business Process Instructions
BMO files are loaded in the GAC Module.
NHQ Financial Systems
Enter card information in the GAC Module prior to issuing card to cardholder. Note: Cardholders are created by Comptrollership Systems in the GAC Module at the request of Acquisition Card Coordinators.
Acquisition Card Coordinators and NHQ Financial Systems
Business day following billing period end (billing period ends 3rd day of each month)
Run GAC Liability Summary Report after 14:00 (Eastern time) to ensure the last daily file has been loaded.
CORCAN and CSC regions
Retrieve BMO invoice in mailbox.
NHQ Financial Operations
1st business day following billing period end
Run Reconciliation Listing first thing in the morning (can be pre-programmed in IFMMS).
CORCAN and CSC regions
Reconcile BMO invoice with GAC – Liability Summary Report by Responsibility Centre and Balancing Segment and with Liability Suspense accounts in IFMMS – in case of CSC-CORCAN adjustments.
NHQ Financial Operations
Issue payment to BMO before the 8th of the month by direct deposit. Invoice number is: 20XX-XX – which is located on the BMO invoice (NHQ Financial Operations will then invoice CORCAN for their portion of the consolidated invoice after payment process is completed by CSC).
NHQ Financial Operations
14th and 16th day of the month, and 5th day of the following month (then every Monday until year-end)
Run Reconciliation Process. Notices to GAC regular users with unreconciled transactions will be automatically sent.
NHQ Financial Systems
Between the 17th day and the end of month
Run Reconciliation Listing and follow up with GAC regular users who have received notices.
NHQ Financial Systems
On a weekly basis
Monitor, at the national level, pending transactions and ensure corrective action is taken by Regional Acquisition Card Coordinators (refer to instructions on Querying Pending Purchases below).
NHQ CMS and Acquisition Card Coordinators
On a monthly basis
Reconcile Expense-Suspense Account (allotment 225) with total of "open", "on-hold" and "completed" transactions using an account analysis and the GAC Reconciliation Listing. Any anomalies should be reported to NHQ Corporate Accounting. Verification is performed by Corporate Accounting.
CORCAN and CSC regions
Run the Acquisition Cards Register Report by Cost Centre (section 34) and have it signed by delegated Budget Manager and forward to Regional Financial Operations.
Cardholders / GAC regular user
Ensure all Acquisition Cards Register Report by Cost Centre (section 34) reports, along with supporting documentation, have been received by the 20th and complete post-payment verification. Use the Reconciliation Listing report ran on the 3rd as a completeness checklist.
CORCAN, Financial Operations and CSC regions
Reconcile GAC Expense-Suspense and Liability Suspense with general ledger.
Analyse problems submitted by regions with regards to the Expense-Suspense Account reconciliation.
On a quarterly basis
Complete quality assurance reviews of purchases made on the acquisition card.
NHQ CMS and Acquisition Card Coordinators
Instructions on Querying Pending Purchases
All Acquisition Card Coordinators have access to query the pending purchases in the GAC Module (IFMMS). The Query Pending Purchases Form provides a list of acquisition card transactions that cannot be uploaded into the GAC Module (this can be due to the cardholder not being created, the wrong card information entered, etc.).
Acquisition Card Coordinators should review the pending transactions in the GAC Module on a regular basis. They are to find out whether or not the "Credit Card No." in the Pending Purchases section belongs to their respective regional acquisition card profile. The search of the name and responsibility centre of the cardholder can be performed by using BMO details Online.
If the pending transaction falls within the scope of a particular Regional Acquisition Card Coordinator, they should verify whether or not the cardholder and the acquisition card record exist in the GAC Module.
If the record does exist and the information is entered correctly, forward the information to GEN-NHQ IFMMS for further investigation.
If the record does exist and the information was entered incorrectly, update the correct account information in the GAC Module.
If the record does not exist, enter the acquisition card information.
Once the acquisition card information is properly established in the system, the pending acquisition card transaction(s) will be loaded into the GAC Module for processing the following morning.
Enquiries concerning BMO invoices and/or statements can be addressed to the Regional Acquisition Card Coordinator.
Enquiries concerning IFMMS — GAC Module can be addressed to GEN-NHQ IFMMS.
WEBSITE SECURITY GUIDELINES
The following practices must be followed to maximize the transaction security:
Do not transmit acquisition card numbers unless the "locked padlock" icon appears on the browser.
Only purchase goods and services over an Internet connection that relies on security protections such as Secure Socket Layer (SSL). When SSL is activated, a "locked padlock" icon appears on your browser. SSL connections encrypt the information moving between the browser and the merchant's electronic commerce system, which ensures personal and acquisition card information is shielded from prying eyes.
When using a secure connection (SSL), the website address usually will have "https" in the address instead of the usual "http." An icon of a "locked padlock" will appear in the border of your browser window, indicating that the connection is secure. Click the "locked padlock" to verify the identity of the site to which it is connected. For example, Internet Explorer and Netscape Communicator have built-in support for SSL and other security features. When these features are used, the user is positioned to perform secure electronic transactions.
Users should be aware of the "Pagejacking" or "Spoofing". This illegal activity consists of replicating an existing website to mislead visitors. It consists of stealing the contents of a website by copying some of its pages and putting them on a site that appears to be the legitimate site. People are then invited to the illegal site by deceptive means. Companies of any size can fall prey to these relatively easy attacks.
Users who enter web page addresses (known as Uniform Resource Locator) directly on their web browser address line, by selecting it from a bookmark, or by clicking on a properly coded link on another site will not be subject to pagejacking. The problem most typically occurs when clicking site descriptions that result from searches at major search engine sites. It is therefore essential that users verify the results of the address observed in 1b above, with the actual address of the desired merchant's site.
It is important to know with whom the user is dealing with. Some key features such as an email address, postal address (not a PO Box) and telephone number will facilitate communications with suppliers should it be required. Also look for details such as a "Quality Seal" that will describe how the company will protect customer privacy, how well they disclose sales terms, the warranty of the products being purchased, the exchange and/or reimbursement policies and how they handle customer complaints.
Cardholders should print and/or save online order forms for future reference. These online order forms, once filled in, can be time-sensitive (they are not kept on screen very long and therefore should be printed or saved when on screen if the information is required for future reference).