Yesterday, the Government published PPN 03/20, on the use of procurement cards. It applies to all Central Government Departments, their Executive Agencies, and Non Departmental Public Bodies (the “in scope organisations”), though other contracting authorities may wish to consider whether they, too, should adopt the approach set out.
Currently, procurement cards are used by central Government departments and their arms-length bodies to ensure prompt payments for goods and services without having to set up a separate purchase order. Their use is currently governed by the Crown Commercial Services Pan-Government Policy, RM3828.
The PPN demonstrates the same concern with ensuring cashflow to suppliers that is evident in PPN 02/20 (see our previous note here). Any in scope organisation which does not have a procurement card in place is to immediately set this up, using the relevant Crown Commercial Services Agreement.
For those with such cards in place, they are required to
- Engage with the procurement card provider to increase the single transaction limit to £20,000 for key card holders, and raise the monthly limit on spending with procurement cards to £100,000 for key card holders. Monthly spends in excess of that should be permissible to meet business needs.
- By 30 April, ensure that that an “appropriate” number of staff have the authority to use the cards, and open all relevant categories of spend to enable the cards to be used more widely.