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Home / News and Insights / FAQs / COVID-19 – Use of procurement cards

Yesterday the government published a policy note on the use of procurement cards (PPN 03/20). With immediate effect, all central government departments, their executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies should take steps to increase and broaden the use of procurement cards to ensure suppliers are paid as quickly as possible during the pandemic.

Any of the in scope organisations listed above that are not using procurement cards already, are advised to put immediate arrangements in place using Lot 1 of RM3828 Payment Solutions (Crown Commercial Service agreement).

What is a procurement card?

A procurement card enables authorities to pay suppliers instantly for goods and services.

How can contracting authorities broaden the use of procurement cards?

By allowing more staff to have access to using them and enabling use to apply to a wider range of goods and services. Transaction limits for key card holders should be increased to £20,000 and monthly card limits to £100,000 (this can be increased further depending on business needs).

How can contracting authorities maintain control of their use?

By monitoring use of the procurement cards and ensuring there is an audit trail to minimise any risk of them being used inappropriately. Procedures should be in place to require approval from appropriate persons with authority to commit to the level of spend. These procedures may need to be revised in order to account for possible staff absences and to enable more staff to have access to the cards.

For further information please contact our procurement team.

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