D-156 discusses ‘p-card’ program

McHENRY – School District 156 could issue “procurement cards,” similar to credit cards, to a dozen administrators and department heads for job-related purchases and expenses.

The district’s Finance Committee discussed BMO Harris Bank’s “p-card program” Tuesday night. It’s sponsored through the Illinois Association of School Business Officials.

P-cards are intended to streamline the purchase-order process for school districts, and, according to the association’s website, identify small transactions created each month and consolidate most into one payment.

The school district could monitor the cards’ use, adjust spending limits and shut down cards, permanently or temporarily, association officials said.

If the school board approves the program, the district’s chief financial officer, David Lawson, said he anticipates the monthly credit bill to be $10,000 or less. The district’s overall credit limit would be set at $50,000 a month.

The school board could vote on the program at its next regular meeting Sept. 18.

Under the p-card program, a cardholder could make a “minor” purchase – a transaction of less than $500 – without filling out a purchase requisition form, Lawson said.

The 12 authorized cardholders for the district would include Lawson, Superintendent Gina Swinney, the principals of East and West campuses, department heads of curriculum, technology and special education, the athletic director, the maintenance supervisor and three advisers for the district’s consumer sciences and student-life transition programs.

The program would cut down on paperwork for small purchases. “For example, I’ve received a purchase order for $7.02,” Lawson said.

Currently, employees pay for minor purchases with a personal credit card and wait for reimbursement, or they make out a purchase order and wait for it to go through, he said.

If you go:

District 156 Board meeting
When: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18
Where: Administration building, 4716 W. Crystal Lake Road, McHenry

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