Purchase Card Manual: Roles and Responsibilities

Procurement Services Branch

Procurement Services Branch is responsible for designating a government card coordinator as the primary contact with the bank. The government card coordinator manages the program government wide. This includes assisting in initial training for new ministry card coordinators as well as dealing with major issues that relate to the government's relationship with the bank.

 Procurement Services Branch also maintains a current record of all ministry card coordinators and alternates.

Provincial Treasury

One of the goals of Provincial Treasury is to deliver high quality, efficient and innovative banking services at a competitive price consistent with the corporate needs and objectives of government. This includes issues relating to the banking/cash management aspects of the contract with the card supplier.

All inquiries relating to Provincial Treasury's areas of responsibility for the purchase card program should be directed to the Banking/Cash Management Branch.

Office of the Comptroller General

The Office of the Comptroller General (OCG) is responsible for providing a public sector financial management and procurement policy framework for supporting program delivery and ensuring financial procurement accountability within the provincial government. The Office of the Comptroller General is responsible for government-wide financial policy and procedures for the purchase card found in CPPM 4.3.19 and E.6. The Office of the Comptroller General has also developed this Purchase Card Manual, the Cardholder Information Guide, and forms to support ministry cardholders log purchases and reconcile transactions with monthly statements, and also to evidence expense authority approval of purchases. Purchase Card Transaction Register & Summary, single and multi-page forms, are available on the OCG Forms site (government access only).

Ministries and other agencies must consult with the Office of the Comptroller General when developing ministry or agency specific material for use of the purchase card in order to ensure that there is no conflict with government financial and procurement policies and procedures. The consultation will also ensure that ministries are implementing their policies and procedures in an efficient manner.

Also, the Office of the Comptroller General, through Corporate Compliance and Controls Monitoring Branch regularly reviews card activity and follows up with ministries on any issues of compliance.

All questions relating to government financial management policies and procedures for the purchase card should be directed to the Financial Management Branch (see Policy Contacts).


The overall responsibility of the purchase card program rests with the chief financial officer, who may designate others with carrying out the duties described herein.

Chief Financial Officers

Ministry chief financial officer responsibilities include:

  • identifying positions that are to be granted purchase cards;
  • appointing and approving the ministry card coordinator and alternate by completing the Commercial Card Coordinator/Alternate Change Application FIN182 and sending it to the government card coordinator;
  • approving ministry specific purchase card policies and procedures;
  • ensuring that adequate controls are in place to prevent duplicate payments;
  • ensuring that the purchase card program is monitored and reviewed (see the Purchase Card Monitoring and Review Program that follows); and
  • ensuring ministry card coordinators and purchase card cardholders are properly trained.

Ministry Card Coordination

Ministries are responsible for ensuring all card coordination activities are fulfilled. The ministry card coordinators are responsible for administering the purchase card program within the ministry and act as the link between the bank, the government card coordinators, cardholders and other ministry personnel involved in the program.  Additional card coordination duties can be performed by the card coordinator, an alternate or other ministry designated position; however, the ministry is responsible to ensure all of these duties are fulfilled.

ministry card coordinator specific duties include:

  • ensuring that Request for Card/Card Detail Change forms are completed and approved;
  • ensuring cardholders receive training materials on the use of the purchase card;
  • ordering cards through the bank's online system;
  • distributing new cards to cardholders;
  • ensuring that cardholders sign the Government Purchase Card Acknowledgment of Terms of Use and Consent;
  • canceling cards;
  • ensuring communication for requirement that cancelled purchase cards are to be destroyed;
  • acting as ministry contact with the bank for the program,
  • providing ongoing support to cardholders in using the bank’s online system;
  • maintaining the records of the ministry purchase card program including the Request for Card/Card Detail Change form and the Government Purchase Card Acknowledgment of Terms of Use and Consent, and associated hierarchies and reporting structures;
  • advising the government card coordinator of merchants who do not accept the card;
  • ensuring processes are communicated and in place for safeguarding cards not in use; and
  • ensuring that at least annually the cardholder register is reconciled to the Government Purchase Card Acknowledgment of Terms of Use and Consent and personnel records.

Other ministry card coordination duties include:

  • monitoring, assisting, or coordinating investigations regarding disputed charges;
  • ensuring reconciliation and clearing of associated STOBs related to card use and administration;
  • settling discrepancies in account balances;
  • following up with cardholder and/or expense authority to ensure any timing, policy, or process discrepancies are addressed as appropriate;
  • responding to ad hoc reporting requests related to the corporate card programs;
  • coordinating GCPE/Open Information reporting and confirmations for release of Corporate Card Information; and
  • coordinating reorganization activities related to the corporate card programs, including but not limited to facilitating transfer of cards, process communication, etc.


Cardholders are responsible for understanding and abiding by all the terms and conditions of being a cardholder. This includes:

  • signing the government purchase card, Acknowledgment of Terms of Use and Consent and the Request For Card/Card Detail Change forms;
  • completing training as required by the ministry;
  • ensuring that the card is not used to make personal purchases;
  • taking reasonable action to ensure the card is appropriately safeguarded (including ensuring that the card is not accessible to co-workers, family members or others);
  • adhering to all government and ministerial policy and procedures regarding the use of the purchase card;
  • obtaining pre-approval for purchases and, for purchases above $1,000, three competitive quotes where practical;
  • notifying the ministry card coordinator when merchants attempt to add a surcharge for accepting the card, or do not accept the card;
  • retaining documentation of purchases and receipt of goods; and
  • ensuring that statements are reconciled and submitted with documentation to expense authorities for verification and coding in a timely manner.

Expense Authorities

Expense authorities are responsible for:

  • ensuring that purchases made on the card on their behalf are pre-approved;
  • reviewing purchase card reconciliations to ensure there is compliance with applicable policies and procedures;
  • applying expense authority to the final purchase(s) prior to allocation in the accounting system; and
  • following up with the cardholder to ensure that any timing, policy, or process discrepancies are addressed as appropriate.

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