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Credit Card Policy

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Section 1 - Overview and Scope

(1) This Policy provides a framework for the allocation and use of all University Credit Cards (UCC) issued by the University of New England (UNE) and outlines obligations to ensure consistent and appropriate use of UCCs.

(2) This Policy applies to all UNE Representatives and members of the University Council who hold a UCC, and to their supervisors and/or expenditure approvers.

(3) This Policy should be read in conjunction with the Procurement Policy and the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy.

(4) The primary safeguards for UCC use revolve around the integrity and ethical values of the cardholder. Key safeguards come from strong and effective internal controls for processing claims, including the verification of all transactions (with relevant documentation) by a person other than the cardholder, together with regular monitoring of expenditure patterns by Strategic Procurement.

(5) Within this Policy:

  1. Part A covers cardholder eligibility and authority;
  2. Part B covers University credit card use;
  3. Part C covers the issuing of University credit cards;
  4. Part D covers the responsibilities of cardholders;
  5. Part E covers the responsibilities of University credit card transaction approvers; and
  6. Part F covers the internal controls over the card program.
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Section 2 - Policy

Part A - Cardholder eligibility and authority


(6) A senior manager may nominate employees to hold a University Credit Card (UCC). To be eligible for a card, applicants must:

  1. be a member of staff or of the University Council, and:
    1. travel frequently in the course of their duties; or
    2. regularly purchase minor goods or services for use by the University. Exceptions must be approved by Head of Finance.
  2. complete user training on the University's expense management system (EMS) and therefore be able to account for and acquit all expenditure incurred;
  3. establish their identity in accordance with the Financial Transactions Reports Act 1988 – 100 Points Identification requirements; and
  4. agree to comply with the Procurement Policy and associated information.

Cardholder Authority

(7) Delegations for expenditure using a UCC are outlined in the Financial Delegations Rule.

(8) UCC holders are authorised to incur expenditure up to the limit of the card where approved budget exists, noting that an individual transaction must not exceed $10,000. Exceptions must be approved in writing by Head Strategic Procurement or Head of Finance and must only be approved where the cardholder’s financial delegation is commensurate with the required transaction amount, and approved budget is available.

Part B - University Credit Card use

(9) When making purchases with a UCC, UNE Representatives are expected to exercise honesty, care and reasonable judgment in accordance with the Code of Conduct.

(10) All expenditure using a UCC must be for a legitimate University purpose and meet the following principles:

  1. Necessary: the expense meets a demonstrated business need that supports UNE’s values and interests;
  2. Reasonable: the expense is not extreme or excessive, and reflects value for money;
  3. Available: the expense is within budget and within delegated limits; and
  4. Allowable: the expense complies with the terms of any relevant regulations, contract, or University Policy.

(11) A purchase requisition or purchase order is not required for credit card purchases.

(12) UCCs may be used for all transactions less than $10,000 where a facility is available to use a UCC and where the Procurement Policy does not direct otherwise. Cash advances and cash equivalents such as bank cheques, traveller’s cheques and electronic cash transfers are prohibited uses of a UCC, except in circumstances where there is an urgent business need approved by Head of Finance.

(13) A UCC can only be used to purchase goods and services over the internet when the merchant has Secure Socket Layer (SSL) security and the goods/services cannot be purchased competitively locally. A UCC can be used with PayPal only as described below:

  1. PayPal account is in the same name as the cardholder;
  2. UCC is only associated with the PayPal account for the time it takes to transact;
  3. transacting is via PayPal and not directly with the supplier; and
  4. UCC association from PayPal account is removed as soon as the transaction is completed.

(14) If two or more UNE employees are attending the same function or event and an expense is paid for with a UCC, then the most senior manager must use their UCC to make the payment. This supports the separation of duties in approving transactions.

Authorised Use

(15) Allowable use of UCCs are:

  1. accommodation where booked by traveller and managed via the University's nominated travel agent;
  2. ground transport such as car hire, taxis, and train fares;
  3. reasonable entertainment expenditure (see Table 1 below);
  4. seminar and conference registration fees, corporate subscriptions and professional membership fees that relate to the employee’s role, where not able to be paid via a Purchase Order;
  5. meals and incidental expenditure related to travel (provided a per diem has not been claimed);
  6. general consumables and incidental office expenses;
  7. equipment (other than IT equipment) with a value of less than $5,000;
  8. IT equipment, consumables and peripherals with a value of less than $5,000, provided the purchase is approved by Technology and Digital Services (TDS) (email confirmation from TDS must be attached when acquitting the transactions); and
  9. as approved by Head Strategic Procurement or Head of Finance.

(16) Table 1 provides specific non-allowable credit card transactions, noting this Table provides examples only and is not exhaustive. The examples contained in this Table are representative and must not be considered a complete list of all possible scenarios. UCC holders should confirm purchase with UCC Administrator or Strategic Procurement where there is any doubt. UCC expenditure is subject to availability of budget and approval where required.

Table 1

Non-allowable expense Allowable exceptions
Child minding
• employment contract provision
• University approved policy or procedure
FBT is applicable.
Donations, including
• political donations as defined in the Gifts and Benefits Policy
• donations to any charity, public benefit organisation or humanitarian cause
Equipment for use other than Business Use  
Fines, including
• traffic and parking infringements
• speed and red light violations
• tow away charges
• library fines
Flowers for official functions, ceremonies, or exhibitions applicable, from one individual card holder.
Flowers or gifts offering congratulations on behalf of the University on the birth or adoption of a child, with a limit of $100 (exclusive of GST) applicable, from one individual card holder.
Flowers offering condolences on behalf of the University for hospitalisation, serious illness or death, with a limit of $100 (exclusive of GST) applicable, from one individual card holder.
Flowers for donors and guest speakers on behalf of the University with a limit of $250 (exclusive of GST) applicable, from one individual card holder.
All of the above are subject to FBT.
Gifts and rewards
Gifts and rewards given on behalf of the University, with a limit of $50 (exclusive of GST).
Gifts for staff leaving the University, with a limit of:
• $150 (exclusive of GST) for 6 up to 10 years of service;
• $250 (exclusive of GST) for 10 up to 15 years of service;
• $500 (exclusive of GST) for 15 up to 20 years of service; and
• $700 (exclusive of GST) for 20 years or more years of service.
FBT is applicable for gift to staff.
Gifts for donors and guest speakers (non-staff) on behalf of the University, with a limit of $250 (exclusive of GST). Gifts for donors over $250 and up to $1,000 must be approved in writing by the Chief Operating Officer. Gifts for donors of $1,000 and over must be approved in writing by the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer.
Staff rewards, including alcohol, to show appreciation for an individual’s achievement and particularly noteworthy effort, with a limit of $250 (exclusive of GST) per staff member per year. Subject to FBT.

Gifts and rewards as above by way of gift cards where a register is maintained to record gift card recipients’ details and signed by recipient and two other staff members.
• to cover work performed outside approved university duties, such as private outside earnings.
• to cover personal or private travel, including accompanying persons.
Staff are covered by the University’s insurance for work performed as part of their duties.
Staff, students and volunteers who travel on behalf of the University are covered by the University’s travel insurance.
Parking permit Employment contract provision.
Personal clothing or apparel Clothing or apparel that is a requirement of work health and safety legislation or official uniform.
Personal telephone handsets and home internet connection Limited minor and incidental personal use of university telephones and other ICT resources.
Subscriptions to periodicals, sporting bodies, fitness clubs, golf clubs or other bodies that are not required to carry out University business
Two position-relevant professional membership subscriptions annually, and
Professional membership subscriptions required for University professional purposes.
Doctors’ bills, prescriptions, over the counter medicines or other medical services within Australia
Medical examinations required in direct relation with an employee’s role and as directed by People and Culture.
Tickets to entertainment events including sporting venues
Tickets to attend promotional events for University business.
FBT may apply.
Tipping in Australia  
Tipping overseas above 10% Tipping up to 10% of the cost of an allowable expense.
Alcohol for personal consumption Reasonable food and drink (including 1 standard alcoholic beverage per day per person) whilst travelling on University business.
Coffee meeting with staff, affiliates or students at a coffee shop  
Team meeting catering/ refreshments where meeting is under two hours  

Entertainment of staff, affiliates and students at external venues including restaurants 

Unofficial departmental functions such as casual lunches, staff celebrations (birthdays etc) and other entertainment of fellow employees

Entertainment of family or friends
Entertainment including alcohol at restaurants and external venues for the legitimate entertainment of visitors on University business and can include staff, affiliates and students (within approved business unit/cost centre budgets).
Two annual staff functions per business unit/cost centre including alcohol to a function limit of $50 per head (exclusive of GST) plus FBT within approved business unit/cost centre budgets.
Note: only $50 per head should be paid by the University, with any balance above this amount paid personally by the attendees to the supplier. FBT applies to the amount paid by the University.
Note: limit is two functions. Any saving on the amount spent under $50 per head (exclusive of GST) cannot be combined with another function.
Food and beverages at work, or excessive snacks as staff amenities (chocolate, chips, drinks etc)
Basic supply of morning and afternoon tea provisions for visitors can also be used by staff, affiliates and students (eg tea, coffee, milk, sugar and biscuits). 
Light meals and non-alcoholic drinks for individuals attending working/ planning retreats, award dinners, conferences and seminars that are ‘eligible seminars’ or ‘exempt training seminars’. Subject to FBT.
Airline reward programs such as airline club or lounge memberships, frequent flyer memberships  
Business class and premium economy class airfare
Business class or premium economy air travel is permitted as specified in the Travel Policy.
When alternative travel arrangements form part of an employment contract.
Travellers may use personal funds or reward points to fund upgraded travel or accommodation.
Travel related carbon emissions costs and carbon offset costs  
Excess baggage and customs Business related excess baggage and customs.
Minibar purchases (all items including alcohol)  
Snacks while travelling (chocolate, chips, drinks etc while on the road)  
Health spas, saunas, massages, haircuts, toiletry items  
Personal hygiene and wellness products such as toothbrush, toothpaste, vitamins (whether travelling or not)  
Laundry and dry cleaning Climatic requirements (ie if required due to weather conditions in severe heat or cold) or travelling more than five nights.
Luggage Specialist luggage for University owned equipment.
Medical and minor first aid Reasonable medical costs while travelling should be claimed through the University’s travel insurance.
In-house movies, on demand services or online entertainment  
Non-arrival charges which are the fault of the traveller  
Personal reading material such as newspapers, books, magazines  
Passport fees  
Private or personal travel combined with business travel  
Souvenirs or personal gifts  
Spouse, partner and dependants accompanying a traveller who is on approved University business
Employment contract provision.
University approved policy.
FBT is applicable.
Personal telephone calls and internet connection while travelling
Limited minor and incidental personal use of University telephones and other ICT resources.
Reasonable internet costs for connecting University IT equipment (eg access at accommodation).
Travel to and from work
Approved return to work under workers compensation.
Special approval under risk assessment for after hours work, approved by Head of Cost Centre or Chief Operating Officer.
Vaccinations listed in the Australian Government National Immunisation Program Schedule
Vaccinations for specific travel destinations are permitted as specified in the Travel Policy.
COVID test costs when required for University travel.
Expenses claimed by an Employee/ Contractor as a tax deduction  
Phone/ IT hardware including laptops, PCs, Portable Hard Drives, Any IT Technical Devices required for business use must be purchased through TDS and subject to relevant approvals Items requested via TDS non-standard request and approved prior to procurement through appropriate channels.
IT subscriptions IT subscriptions requested via TDS non-standard request and approved prior to procurement through appropriate channels.
Phone/ IT consumables and accessories (ie chargers, airpods, earphones) should be purchased by the individual and not claimed  

Part C - Issue of corporate credit card

University Credit Card Application Form

(17) Nominated UNE Representatives must apply to the Head Strategic Procurement using the approved application form, with the following limit approvals:

  1. up to $500 per month and temporary increases are approved by Head Strategic Procurement;
  2. over $500 per month or permanent increases are approved by Head of Finance.

(18) Each UCC applicant must have their identity verified by an Authorising Officer. The Head Strategic Procurement must authorise the completed UCC application form and ensure it is recorded in the relevant approved Records Management System.

Cardholder Information

(19) The UCC Administrator must keep the following Cardholder information in the approved Records Management System:

  1. cardholder name;
  2. cardholder's card number (in truncated form);
  3. cardholder supervisor's name;
  4. transaction and monthly limits;
  5. details of relevant training;
  6. any misuse of the card and the remedial action taken; and
  7. signed UNE condition of use.

Processing of Card Application

(20) The UCC Administrator will process and submit the completed and authorised UCC application form to the University's banking institution.

Card Issue

(21) The UCC Administrator will ensure that after the issue of the card by the banking institution, it is provided to the cardholder in a confidential, efficient and timely manner, and must advise the cardholder:

  1. to sign the UCC immediately upon receipt of the card;
  2. the process of activating the UCC;
  3. information about the use of the UCC;
  4. to use their Personal Identification Number (PIN) when transacting on the UCC;
  5. information about the UCC system;
  6. emergency contact numbers; and
  7. help desk services provided by the UCC provider.

Use of Personal Identification Number

(22) Cardholders must use their PIN when making in person transactions. When a cardholder has forgotten their PIN they must obtain a new one by contacting the Credit Card Administrator –

Part D - Responsibilities of cardholders

(23) Cardholders are responsible for adhering to the Procurement Policy and this Credit Card Policy at all times.

(24) Cardholders must ensure:

  1. all transactions are for official purposes only – use of the UCC for personal expenses is strictly prohibited;
  2. all transactions are conducted using their PIN – staff should avoid using contactless payments without the use of a PIN;
  3. they obtain a tax invoice from the merchant for their transactions;
  4. card details are not shared via email, text or unsecured websites; and
  5. all transactions on the cardholder monthly statement are accounted for and transaction slips, reconciled cardholder statements and any supporting documents are processed and stored appropriately.

Credit card acquittal

(25) UCC expenditure must be acquitted promptly and no later than 30 days after the expenditure has been incurred:

  1. when acquitting or approving UCC expenditure via the EMS, attach itemised tax receipts/invoices supporting the expenditure;
  2. the tax receipts/invoices, where applicable, should itemise the GST payable;
  3. EFTPOS receipts are not tax invoices;
  4. if a tax receipt/invoice is lost or misplaced then a statement detailing the nature of the expense, and the reason a receipt/invoice is not available, must be attached and submitted via the EMS; and
  5. when acquitting entertainment related expenditure, the names of the individuals being entertained must be recorded in the acquittal so that the appropriate Fringe Benefits Tax liability can be assessed.

Disputed transactions

(26) Cardholders should try and resolve any disputed transactions directly with the merchant in the first instance.

(27) If you are unable to resolve the dispute with the merchant then inform the UCC Administrator – who will advise you how to progress the dispute.

(28) Ensure that you dispute any transactions that you believe are invalid as soon as possible.

Lost, Stolen or Damaged Cards

(29) A cardholder is responsible for the safekeeping of their UCC and ensuring that it is well guarded against improper use.

(30) If a UCC is lost or stolen the Cardholder must report the loss immediately to the Lost and Stolen Cards Unit of the NAB on 1800 033 103 and also email the UCC Administrator –

(31) If you have a damaged UCC then please contact the UCC Administrator - who will order a replacement card.

(32) UCC holders should ensure they have alternative forms of payment available in case of an emergency, especially when travelling, to cover costs whilst waiting for a lost, stolen or compromised UCC to be replaced. Any changes to credit card limits should be planned and made before commencement of travel.

Conditions of Use Documentation

(33) The card provider will issue a condition of use document to each cardholder. All cardholders must familiarise themselves with this document and comply with its requirements. Each cardholder must ensure they understand and acknowledge the issuing conditions and are required to affirm their understanding by signing a Cardholder Conditions of Use.

(34) The completed "Conditions of Use" will be retained by Finance in the approved Records Management System.

Part E - Responsibilities of UCC transaction approvers

(35) The relevant Cost Centre delegate is the UCC transaction approver commensurate with TechnologyOne delegation authority. The approver is responsible for checking and reviewing all transactions submitted to them by their cardholders each and every month. This is an important control and risk mitigation process that minimises the incidence of external fraud, internal fraud and general misuse.

UCC transaction approver responsibilities

(36) The approver must ensure that:

  1. all cardholder’s transactions were incurred for legitimate work related expenditure;
  2. the expenditure complies with the requirements of this Credit Card Policy and other relevant policies;
  3. all cardholders reconcile their transactions within 30 days;
  4. all cardholder’s transactions are allocated correct account codes, tax codes, cost centres, expense codes and other relevant information; and
  5. all cardholder’s disputed transactions (if applicable) are provided to the card provider each month.

Part F - Internal controls over the card program

(37) The UCC Administrator manages internal controls that ensure:

  1. the cardholder is instructed to sign the card immediately;
  2. lost or stolen cards are reported as soon as the loss is noticed;
  3. card details are kept securely and reported if fraud or misuse is suspected;
  4. cardholders reconcile their transactions in a timely manner each month;
  5. cardholder approvers conduct the review process of their cardholders' transactions in a timely manner each month;
  6. the UCC is cancelled upon advice from People and Culture that a notice of resignation has been submitted;
  7. upon cessation of a cardholder's employment in the current position or where the card is no longer required, the UCC is returned immediately to Finance and cancelled and destroyed;
  8. adequate documentation and guidelines about the card and its use is provided to all cardholders;
  9. disputed transactions are reported immediately and subsequent action by the card provider is followed up and finalised;
  10. appropriate financial delegations are in place;
  11. the Chief Financial Officer and Head of Finance are provided regular reports on card usage including any inappropriate use of cards;
  12. where the use of a UCC is not cost-effective, it is withdrawn; and
  13. a framework is maintained for the responsible collection and handling of personal information.

Action to be taken when transactions are not acquitted in a timely manner

(38) Failure to acquit transactions within 30 days will lead to the suspension of the cardholder’s credit card.

(39) Failure to acquit within 90 days will result in cancellation of the cardholder’s credit card.

(40) Failure to acquit transactions within 30 days on more than two occasions within a twelve-month period will result in the cancellation of the cardholder’s credit card.  If a cardholder’s credit card is cancelled due to this failure they will not be eligible to apply for a UCC for a further twelve months.

Action to be taken when private use of the card occurs

(41) Repayment of personal charges on the UCC should be made via BPay within 14 days of the date of the charges being incurred. If any staff member requires an invoice to be raised a 10% administration fee will be applied on top of the amount to be repaid. If repayment of the outstanding amount is not made within 14 days (BPay) or the due date of the invoice the staff member’s UCC will be cancelled.

Use appears to be accidental

(42) In instances where a reasonable excuse has been provided, it would normally be appropriate for the cardholder to repay the amount erroneously incurred on their UCC. The cardholder will be required to undertake training about the UNE card program and demonstrate full understanding of their card responsibilities. The breach should be reported to the person’s supervisor and the Head of Finance.

Use appears to be intentional or regularly occurs

(43) If the misuse of the UCC appears intentional or occurs on a regular basis, it is possible that the UNE Representative has breached this Policy and contravened the Code of Conduct, or the UNE Council Charter for members of Council. This may be indicated by multiple transactions for personal use, a significant dollar value of transaction or transactions undertaken with merchants not normally associated with UNE business-related spend.

(44) If the transactions are deemed to be intentional, regular or unauthorised the cardholder and cardholder’s line manager will be notified in writing requesting a response/justification within 14 days from the date of notification.  If no satisfactory response is received within 14 days the credit card will be suspended and actions will be taken in accordance with private use (see paragraph 41), or the cardholder may be referred to Internal Audit in accordance with the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy under the guidance of Head Strategic Procurement or Head of Finance.

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Section 3 - Authority and Compliance


(45) The Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer (VC&CEO) makes this Policy pursuant to Section 29 of the University of New England Act 1993 (NSW).

(46) UNE Representatives must observe this Policy in relation to University matters. Finance Strategy and Business Intelligence can provide guidance to UNE Representatives on credit card expenditure.

(47) The Policy Steward, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), is authorised to make associated documents, that are consistent with this Policy, for the operation of this Policy. 


(48) All records of credit card expenditure must be stored in the approved Records Management System (RMS) in accordance with the Records Management Rule.

(49) This Policy operates as and from the Effective Date.

(50) Previous policy and procedures on credit cards are replaced and have no further operation from the Effective Date of this new Policy.

(51) Notwithstanding other provisions of this Policy, the VC&CEO may approve an exception to this Policy where the VC&CEO determines the application of this Policy would otherwise lead to an unfair, unreasonable or absurd outcome. Approvals by the VC&CEO under this clause must be:

  1. documented in writing;
  2. state the reason for the exception; and
  3. be registered in the approved UNE electronic Records Management System (RMS) in accordance with the Records Management Rule.
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Section 4 - Quality Assurance

(52) The CFO will regularly monitor and report to the VC&CEO on the operation of, and compliance with, this Policy.

Table 2: Summary of Roles and Responsibilities

Role Responsibilities
Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer Approve exceptions to this Policy
Chief Financial Officer
Monitors the operation of and compliance with this Policy and reports to the VC&CEO
Receives reports of accidental and intentional misuse of UCC
Makes associated documents to support the operation of this Policy
Head of Finance
Approves exceptions to requirements for holding a UCC
Approves applications for UCC for those with limits exceeding $500
Approves permanent limit increases in accordance with Financial Delegations Rule and approved budgets
Receives reports of accidental and intentional misuse of UCC
Head Strategic Procurement
Approves applications for UCC for those with limits up to $500 per month
Approves use of UCC for transactions outside Policy
Approves temporary limit increases in accordance with Financial Delegations Rule and approved budgets
Oversees monitoring of credit card expenditure patterns
Approves exemptions to standard delegation in accordance with Financial Delegations Rule and approved budgets
UCC Administrator Acts as a first point of contact for all UCC queries.
Manages internal controls

Maintains cardholder information in approved Records Management System (RMS)

Processes and submits the completed and authorised UCC application form to the University’s banking institution

Manages the issuing of UCC to cardholders
Senior Manager Nominates eligible staff to hold UCC
Head of Cost Centre Ensure UCC holders acquit transactions on a monthly basis
People and Culture Advise UCC Administrator when a staff submits notice of resignation
UNE Representatives
Act honestly, and exercise reasonable judgement when using UCC
Ensure safe-keeping of UCC
Ensure any disputed transactions are reported as soon as possible
Comply with this Policy, Procurement Policy, Code of Conduct and Conditions of Use of UCC
Incur expenditure within financial delegations and only where approved budget exists
Acquit credit card transactions on a monthly basis
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Section 5 - Definitions (specific to this Policy)

(53) Relevant Senior Manager - This means the relevant Head of Cost Centre or their supervisor when the Head of Cost Centre is applying for a UCC. For members of University Council, the Relevant Senior Manager will be the Director Governance and University Secretary and for staff who report directly to the VC&CEO, the Relevant Senior Manager will be the VC&CEO.

(54) UCC Administrator – means the Finance Help Desk Officer, Manager Treasury, Treasury Analyst or Senior Advisor CFO Portfolio.