Purchasing Card Policies Manual

8.0 Transactions for Goods / Services

8.1 Restrictions / Requirements / Limitations

Policy Restrictions by Program

Expenditure Category PCard Travel Enhancement Option PCard Plus Enhancement Option Hotel Enhancement Option
Alcohol Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed
Airfare / Primary Mode Transportation Not Allowed Allowable(4) Not Allowed Not Allowed
Animals(6) Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed
Business Meetings / Business Entertainment Not Allowed Not Allowed Allowable Not Allowed
Cash advances / Wire transfers / Money orders Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed
Conflict of Interest vendors Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed
eBay or PayPal (if used in conjunction with eBay) Allowable(1) Not Applicable Not Applicable Not Allowed
Employee Service & Achievement Awards Not Allowed Not Allowed Allowable Not Allowed
Firearms or ammunition Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed
Flowers as Decorations/ Decorations Not Allowed Not Allowed Allowable(2) Not Allowed
Food Restricted(3) Not Allowed Allowable Not Allowed
Foreign Visitors (Non-Resident Alien)
(Payments to or on behalf of a foreign visitor; including travel related expenditures such as airfare, shuttle, train, etc.)
Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed
Gifts / Donations Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed
Hazardous Materials & Biohazardous (Hazardous materials are defined as radioactive materials, compressed gas, bulk ethyl alcohol, DEA licensed materials, including prescription drugs and all chemical purchases of acids, bases, flammables (organic solvents, alcohols, etc.), explosives and toxic chemicals of any kind. 1/27/17 update Hazardous Materials, by definition are materials that show one of four basic characteristics:
  • Corrosive: Causes living tissue damage upon contact
  • Flammable: Ignites under high temperature or friction
  • Reactive: Reacts upon contact with another chemical, water or air – to produce fire, explosion, excessive temperatures, pressure release, or release of toxic or flammable gases or vapors
  • Toxic: Can cause acute or chronic health issues after exposure in sufficient quantities, concentrations, frequencies, or duration
Restricted(7) Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed
Hotels Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed Allowed * Travel Enhancement also required. Reference Policy 6.3
Payments to Individuals Refer to FSM Policy 9.12 Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed
Medical Services
(Medical Services are defined as expenses related to medical care or services.)
Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed
Pre-paid Cards including Gift Cards and Phone Cards Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed
Purchases over $10,000 Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed
Relocation / Moving Expenses for Employees Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed
Rental Vehicles/Gasoline Not Allowed Allowable(5) Not Allowed Not Allowed
Transactions to Foreign Vendors/Merchants* for:
  • Royalties - patents, film & TV broadcast rights, or copyrights
  • Services performed inside the U.S.
  • Software - purchases, copyrights, licenses, royalties or maintenance
*Payments of this type are, by default, subject to Federal withholding. For questions, contact Financial Services Accounts Payable at (520) 621-9097 or accts_pay@fso.arizona.edu.
Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed Not Allowed


(1) Purchasing cardholder must identify the seller on eBay before making a purchase through eBay or PayPal (if used in conjunction with eBay). Seller info must be printed from eBay or PayPal if complete, or an email response from seller, which includes: full name and complete address (including state / country) must be printed and attached to the itemized invoice. Purchasing cardholder agrees to review the "seller information page" in eBay before making a purchase. If the seller information page reflects a negative / problem seller, or if the seller refuses to identify the necessary information required, the cardholder agrees NOT to bid on or purchase the item(s) in question.

(2) Flowers as Decorations / Decorations are restricted where no business is conducted nor business objectives present, (for example, a life event such as a birthday or memorial service, a holiday related party or employee social function).

(3) Food for research, animal feed, water for research, food for patients (i.e. snacks for patients after blood draws); food for training (nutritional research or classroom use) is currently allowed on the PCard without the PCard Plus Enhancement Option.

(4) Airfare and Primary transportation (shuttle, bus, train, and taxi) may be purchased for employees or on behalf of non-employee; non-employee being defined as a seminar / conference speaker, visiting expert, an unpaid employee, a candidate being interviewed for an open position (recruitment) or a student. Non-employees must be a US Citizen or permanent US resident (Green card holder) and not a foreign visitor (non-resident alien) to use the PCard.

(5) Purchasing Rental vehicles or gasoline on behalf of a non-employee is Not allowed; Purchasing gasoline for a personal vehicle is Not allowed on the PCard; even if used while on University Business.

(6) Animal is a Vertebrate. Including: Fish, Reptiles and Amphibians. Animals require a protocol.

(7) Hazardous Material 1/27/17 update - Restricted List for Consumer quantities as listed. Consumer quantities can be defined as those quantities of a hazardous material that can be purchased by the general public in commercial retail stores. See Transportation, Handling, and Storage information below listing.

Restricted Item Restricted to the following Allowable Consumer Quantities
* See Transportation, Handling, Storage Requirements
Charcoal Lighter Fluid 1-2 Pints
Helium Tank 3-5 lbs.
Dry Ice 10-20 lbs.
Liquid Propane 1-5 lbs. containers or refills
Pesticide Spray 12-16 oz. can or 1 gallon concentrate
Isopropyl Alcohol, Ethanol, Methanol 1 pint - 1 gallon
Cleaning Solvents, paint strippers, paint thinners 1 pint - gallon
Muriatic (Hydrochloric) Acid 1 gallon
Hydraulic or Lubricating oil Up to 1 gallon
Navel Jelly (phosphoric acid) 1 pint – 1 quart
Hydrogen Peroxide (>6%) 1 pint – 1 quart
Lighters (hand held) Up to 1 multi-pack (6 lighters)
Spray Paint Up to 6 cans (12 oz./each)

Transportation, Handing, and Storage Requirements:

Transportation: In general hazardous materials that are not in sealed manufacturer’s containers (i.e. dry ice, refilled containers, etc.) should not be transported in the passenger compartment of your vehicle. Flammable liquids, compressed gases, and propane should always be located in the trunk or truck bed. Hazardous materials, when possible, should have secondary containment to prevent spills and releases.

Storage: Store hazardous materials with compatibility in mind. Store acids and bases separate from each other and other chemicals. Always store chemicals in secondary containment to prevent spills from contacting other incompatible materials and items. Refer to the Safety Data Sheets (available where purchased or online) for safe storage information.

Handling: Always read the label or Safety Data Sheet (SDS) before using hazardous chemicals. Always wear the proper personal protective equipment as recommended in the SDS when handling any hazardous chemical. Be aware of chemicals with precautionary statements such as “Danger,” “Warning,” “Poison,” “Flammable,” “Corrosive,” and of the pictograms as outlined in the University’s Hazard Communication Program (http://risk.arizona.edu/chemical-hazard-communication).

8.2 University-Wide Contracts

University-wide Contracts are agreements for commodities and services established to benefit the University of Arizona.  By using these agreements, departments gain access to discounted pricing and a dedicated support team; as well as assist the University in obtaining benefits such as sponsorships, student initiatives, grant programs, training, professional development and e-procurement initiatives.  

Depending on the agreement with each vendor, use of the PCard to pay for items on a University-Wide Contract may or may not be allowed.  For a list of University-Wide Contracts, with contact information and compatibility with the PCard, refer to the Contracted Vendors web page. 

First consideration is to be given to suppliers with a University-Wide Contract. However, when it is in the best interest of the end user to make a purchase from another vendor, justification for these transactions will be made by the end user and maintained in the departments/units files.

The justification will not be required to be submitted with PCard transaction records sent to Financial Services, but departments/units justification should be readily available in case of audit.

8.3 Preapprovals

Certain types of purchases may be subject to other University policies or procedures and may require pre-approval before a PCard may be used. When pre-approval is required, the memo, email or applicable documentation should be retained with the PCard documentation.

Building Construction Expenses:  Costs or expenditures associated with building, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or maintenance of real property (including land and buildings), the installation of an integral component to real property, or the improvement of real property must be pre-approved by Facilities Management.  Examples include landscaping, electrical, plumbing, painting, carpeting and security systems.  It is the sole responsibility of Facilities Management to provide these services to campus.  Please contact the Director of Facilities Management at 520-621-1228 or ckopach@email.arizona.edu for pre-approval.

Contracted Purchases: Any purchase that includes a formal written contract must be reviewed and signed by the Contracting Office. The Contract processing time is approximately two to three (2-3) weeks. The Contracting Office will only make changes to the legal terms and conditions; any non-legal business terms and conditions must be reviewed and approved by the Department. Contact Ernette Garcia at 520-621-3857 or ecleslie@email.arizona.edu to review and sign the contract before using a PCard.

Art Approval - Trademarks & Licensing:  Costs or expenditures associated with designing products to bear a University of Arizona trademark must be ordered through a licensed vendor. The vendor will be responsible for acquiring approval from the Trademarks & Licensing office. For questions about logos or lockups, reach out to brand@email.arizona.edu. For questions on ordering product, reach out to licensing@arizona.edu.

Sponsored Projects: The terms of individual contracts and grants may require sponsor pre-approval for certain types of expenditures. Refer to FSM Policy 9.10 and Sponsored Projects and Contracting Services (SPCS) expenditure policy or contact your SPCS fund accountant for questions on allowable expenses on particular sponsored accounts.

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