The June 2021 Quarterly Question explored how local governments use purchasing and corporate cards for their purchasing needs. 39% of BC local governments responded to this survey. All but one of the 73 respondents reported using either purchasing cards, corporate cards or both.
All local governments reported that cards are provided for the use of exempt staff, while 57.5% provide cards to non-exempt or union staff. Limits on exempt staff cards ranged from $1,000 to $40,000 with an average limit of $9,096, and median of $6,250. While the limits on non-exempt or union staff range from $400 to $30,000 with an average limit of $4,750, and median of $2,500.
For elected officials, fewer cards were allocated. One out of nine Regional Districts reported supplying cards to their Board. 39% of municipalities supply a card to the mayor and 8% supply cards to councillors. Limits on cards held by mayors range from $1,000 to $15,000 with an average limit of $5,667, while the limits on councillor’s cards range from $2,500 to $7,000 with an average limit of $5,000.
Local governments used a variety of institutions to meet their needs. The Bank of Montreal and Credit Unions were the most popular choices among respondents.
Neary 57% of all local governments took advantage of some sort of credit card reward, while 43% receive no reward.
The greatest variation in the survey was in relation to purchase order policies. 48% of local governments either had no policy or excluded card purchases from the existing policy, there were still 8% that required a purchase order for all purchases. The remaining 44% had limits ranging from $200 to $5,000 before a purchase order is required.
The purchasing policies collected will appear in the CivicInfo BC Document Library.
Thank you to all who participated in this questionnaire. The online Forum is a great place to continue the conversation.
If you have a topic for a future quarterly question please contact the office at email@example.com or (250) 382-6871.