Government Finance Officers
Association of British Columbia
Wednesday, September 1, 2021

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.

Purchasing Card Image 1

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.


Card Reward Programs Image 2

Neary 57% of all local governments took advantage of some sort of credit card reward, while 43% receive no reward.




Purchase Orders Required Image 3The 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 or (250) 382-6871.

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