Approved & Prohibited Uses

This chapter will detail approved and prohibited uses of the University of New Mexico Purchasing Card.

General Guidelines for Use

Below are general guidelines for use of the PCard.

When considering making purchases, please review the UNM Purchasing Price Agreement page.

  • The PCard may be used to purchase goods, materials and supplies not exceeding $20,000.00 (unless a departmental budget authority has set a lower limit for an individual Cardholder).
  • The PCard may be used to pay for approved services not exceeding $20,000.00.
  • The PCard may be used to purchase professional 1 year subscriptions.
  • The PCard may be used to pay professional conference registration fees.
  • The PCard may be used to pay professional membership dues.
  • There are no limits on the number of daily or cycle transactions unless a departmental budget authority has set such limits for an individual Cardholder. An attempt to use the PCard for purchases in excess of the set card limits will result in the PCard being declined.
  • To maintain PCI compliance, never conduct PCard transactions through email. Never include a PCard number in an email.
  • The PCard cannot be used for any of the prohibited categories of goods and services listed on the Prohibited Purchases page unless pre-approved by Special Exception.
  • The PCard may be used for many business travel expenses. In order to use your PCard to purchase travel, a Modification of Cardholder Information must be submitted and the Cardholder must complete the PCard for Travel training module and exam. This training is available through the Employee and Organizational Development web site.
  • Food to be paid with Restricted Funds must be pre-approved via Special Exception Request Form. Please see UAP 4000 - Allowable and Unallowable Expenditures for information on when such exception requests may be approved.
  • Splitting transactions between a Purchase Order and PCard is prohibited.
  • Splitting of purchases, incremental purchasing, or any activity to avoid a decline is prohibited with the PCard. Incremental purchasing or splitting of purchases with the PCard may result in the suspension of Cardholder privileges.
  • The PCard cannot be used for personal and/or unauthorized items or services. It may only be used for items purchased for approved UNM business purposes.
  • UNM is exempt from NM Gross Receipts Tax. NM Gross Receipts Tax should not be paid for on tangible goods purchased with a PCard. For more information see our Tax Exemption Policy.
  • Credit Card Convenience Fees of up to 3% are allowed when necessary.
    • Ask the vendor to waive the fee.
    • The fee will be allowed when the vendor denies the request to waive.
    • The fee should not exceed the vendor’s cost of card acceptance.

Prohibited Uses

The PCard may not be used for the following items and services unless a PCard special exception request form is submitted and approved prior to the purchase.


Pre-Approval Required via Special Exception Request Form for both Unrestricted and Restricted Indices

Pre-Approval Required via Special Exception Request Form for   Restricted Indices Only

Pre-Approval Required via Special Exception Request Form by   PCard Dept Only




*Please note that all agreements/contracts must be reviewed by PCard Exception


Alcoholic Beverages 



Never Allowed

Never Allowed

Never Allowed

Amusement and Recreation Event Fees






Articles/Text "Right to Use"


Audio/Video Conferencing Services



Awards & Prizes


Background Checks


Catering Agreements/Contracts

*Please note that all catering agreements/contracts must be reviewed PCard Exception



Cloud/Data Storage


Construction Projects, including mounted furniture or paint for office maintenance






Food/Catering/Refreshments, including paper goods


Foreign Entities (See Details Below)




Images "Right to Use"


Incentives for Study Participants




Key Duplicating


Music "Right to Use"


New Employee Moving Expenses


Participant Incentives


Photos "Right to Use"


Postage Stamps


Prescription Drugs/Controlled Substances/Over-the-Counter Medicine


Promotional Items


Rent/Rentals (Facility and all Misc Rentals)

*Please note that all rental agreements/contracts must be reviewed PCard Exception





Services listed in Prohibited Services List


Software/Software Upgrades

Please see Software questions below

Telephones/Telecommunications services - Including cell phones, cell phone service and pre paid phone cards.



Third party Checkouts for Services Only (Examples Below)

  •   Google Checkout
  •   PayPal
  •   Square Inc
  •   Intuit


Transcription Services



Tuition, including UNM tuition




Vehicle Repair


Water Filtration System (See Details Below)





Allowable and Unallowable Services

The PCard may be used to pay for approved services not exceeding $20,000. 

Services paid with Restricted Funds requires Special Exception review and approval.

Departments must always confirm that a vendor has current liability insurance coverage before approving services on UNM property.

All service purchases must adhere to University Administrative Policies 3720 - Conflicts of Interest and 4325 - Purchasing Services from Independent Contractors.

Examples of approved services:

  • Routine or one time maintenance
  • Repairs
  • Technical services
  • Printing
  • Photocopying
  • Duplication
  • Film developing

Examples of prohibited services:

The Purchasing Card may not be used for the following services unless a PCard Special Exception Request Form is submitted and approved prior to the purchase.

 Professional Services:

  • Archeologists
  • Architects
  • Certified public accountants
  • Childcare services
  • Computer consultants and programmers
  • Consultants
  • Contractors
  • Electrical repairs
  • Employment services
  • Engineers
  • Individuals or businesses providing typing, data entry, filing or other clerical office duties
  • Land surveyors
  • Landscape architects
  • Lawyers
  • Legal
  • Management and systems consultants
  • Medical arts practitioners
  • Persons or businesses providing similar services
  • Planners
  • Plumbing
  • Projects
  • Psychologists
  • Researchers
  • Scientists
  • Security services
  • Service workers
  • Teachers and other instructors
  • Telephone solicitors

Food and Refreshments

UAP 4000 - Allowable and Unallowable Expenditures - (5)

  • The purchase must comply with University Administrative Policy 4000 (5). 
  • Transaction must be allocated to the appropriate account code.
  • We must have a copy of the vendor's current Certificate of Liability Insurance on file Certificate of Insurance - Proof of Policy
  • All Catering Agreements/Contracts must be reviewed and signed by a Contracts Specialist through the PCard Exception process.

The following must be entered in Chrome River:

  • Receipt that includes line item detail (item description, quantity, and dollar amounts).
  • Agenda that includes the "5 Ws" (who, what, when, where, why).
  • List of the individuals attending the function and their affiliation.  For functions attended by more than twenty (20) people or open to the public, a description of the function and guest list is sufficient.
  • Copy of the catering agreement/contract that was signed by Purchasing when applicable


Based on University policy, employees are prohibited from accepting gifts from vendors as an incentive to buy their products.

At times, University purchases may result in cash or cash-like incentives.  The cash and/or incentives are the property of the University and may not be used for personal gain.

Examples of such incentives include, but are not limited to:  rebates, gift cards, two-for-one purchases and spend rewards.  The University recommends that cardholders not participate in these promotional offers.  It is the responsibility of the cardholder's department to be assured that any monetary or cash incentive reward received as a result of a University of New Mexico purchase becomes the property of the University.  Contact the purchasing department if further clarification is needed.

It is not good business policy to accept "free gifts" from vendors. This type of activity gives the appearance that you are buying from a business in order to benefit from the gift offers.

In order to ensure compliance with policy, you must enter a statement on your receipt or Transaction Log to certify how the gift was used for University purposes and/or where the gift is located. When a rebate check is received, a copy of the UNM deposit slip must be included with the Transaction Log or certification of the UNM account number that it will be deposited to.

Applicable sections of the policy are noted below.

UAP 4000 - Allowable and Unallowable Expenditures - (6)

It is prohibited to use University funds for any type of personal benefit, other than for salary and benefits to which employees are entitled under University policy. Common examples of personal expenses that cannot be reimbursed with University funds are listed in this section of policy.

Discounts that are not offered equally to all University employees are prohibited.  Allowable discounts greater than twenty (20) percent are taxable income and subject to withholding.

3715 Code of Conduct - (1.3. Gratuities)

Employees of the University and independent contractors and consultants performing services for the University shall not accept any favor or gratuity from any person, firm, or corporation which is engaged in or attempting to do business with the University or any agency of state, or local governments which might affect the employee's judgment in the impartial performance of duties.

3720 Conflict of Interest

The statute itself should be examined for complete details and is available in the office of the University Counsel. The following summary is offered for guidance.

The state of New Mexico prohibits: Accepting gifts or loans from persons with whom the employee has had official duties within the last two (2) years.

Background Checks

For the protection of the University and its departments, all Staff background checks, including fingerprinting background checks, will be facilitated by the Division of Human Resources.  This includes background checks for all volunteers, interns, contractors, and employees of contractors.  Human Resources will ensure compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and all other applicable laws regarding background checks, in addition to University policy.   


Capital Equipment Purchases

UAP 7710 Property Management and Control

The PCard may be used as a payment vehicle to purchase capital equipment.  Capital equipment purchased with the PCard must be properly entered in Chrome River so that Inventory Control may issue an Asset Tag.
  • Capital Equipment purchases must be allocated to the appropriate account code.
  • All required information for the equipment purchase must be entered in Chrome River. 

Computer & Server Purchases

PI and Departments are encouraged to buy computers through LoboMart using our Dell or Apple punchout sites. Network servers may only be purchased through LoboMart using Dell or Apple, unless explicit permission is obtained.

When computer purchases for HSC departments are received they must be routed through HSLIC, UNMH IT or UNMMG for configuration to HSC standards. For more information, see the memo here.

Account code 3189 should be used for all desktop computers (entire systems), laptop computers, tablet computers or servers with a cost < $5K and account code 9020 > $5K. Account code 3150 should be used for computer supplies, including printers, replacement monitors, keyboards, etc.

When purchasing a desktop computer, allocate entire systems to 3189 only if there is one cost stated on the quote/invoice/receipt for the computer (CPU), monitor and all accessories. If the cost of the computer (CPU) is separate from the cost of the monitor, keyboard, etc., only allocate the cost of the computer (CPU) to 3189 and allocate the cost of the monitor and accessories to 3150.

Software Purchases

Software purchases and renewals are subject to bid guidelines published on the Procurement Matrix

Software purchases and renewals are subject to State Statute 13-1-150

13-1-150. Multi-term contracts; specified period.

 A multi-term contract for items of tangible personal property, construction or services except for professional services, in an amount under twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), may be entered into for any period of time deemed to be in the best interests of the state agency or a local public body not to exceed four years; provided that the term of the contract and conditions of renewal or extension, if any, are included in the specifications and funds are available for the first fiscal period at the time of contracting.  If the amount of the contract is twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) or more,   the term shall not exceed ten years, including all extensions and renewals, except that for a contract entered into pursuant to the Public Facility Energy Efficiency and Water Conservation Act [Chapter 6, Article 23 NMSA 1978], the term shall not exceed twenty-five years, including all extensions and renewals.  Payment and performance obligations for succeeding fiscal periods shall be subject to the availability and appropriation of funds therefor.

Please review all questions below before purchasing software.

Software will be purchased with Restricted Funds?Yes

Submit a Special Exception

Vendor is a Foreign Entity?Yes

Submit a Special Exception

Software is available from UNM IT?Yes

Submit a Special Exception

Software costs more than $2,500?Yes

Submit a Special Exception

An agreement/contract is required?Yes

Submit a Special Exception

Vendor accepts payments through a third party (Paypal, Square, Google Wallet, etc.)?Yes

Submit a Special Exception

Vendor will access, modify, store or transmit Confidential data or data subject to FERPA, PCI, HIPAA, or any other secured data?Yes
Data will be stored on a Cloud or Vendor's Server?Yes


All printer, copier, scanner, MFDs (Multifunctional Devices), and fax purchases must go through the Print Management Program.

Business Cards, Letterhead and Envelopes

Business cards, letterhead and envelopes may only be purchased from vendors who have been awarded the contract or from UNM Copy Center. Contracted vendors must be used to comply with UNM Identity Standards.

Business Cards - To view the list of awarded vendors and compare pricing. 

Letterhead and Envelopes - To view the list of awarded vendors and compare pricing.  

Payments to Foreign Entities

Certain types of PCard purchases from Foreign Vendors with addresses outside of the US, that are subject to US Taxation.  This includes:

  • “Right to Use” (Intellectual Property)
    • Music, Images, Text/Articles, Software Licenses or Software Upgrades
  • Cloud Storage
  • Services performed in the US

These types of purchases are considered US-sourced; and as such, are subject to a US federal foreign taxation of 30% withholding tax or, if any required tax is not withheld from the payment, the tax will instead be “grossed up” and charged to a departmental index.  The amount of tax charged will be such that the amount actually paid to the payee represents 70% of the payment amount plus the “grossed up” tax.  Mathematically, this results in the tax that is charged to the index representing 42.857% of the payment amount.

In some cases, a reduced rate of withholding may apply if the foreign vendor resides in a country that has a treaty with the US and the vendor claims treaty benefits.  Foreign Entities, not individuals, may claim applicable treaty benefits by correctly filling out a W-8BEN E form.  Please contact UNM Taxation staff regarding foreign individuals who would like to claim applicable treaty benefits or if the foreign vendor has determined they should submit a W-8ECI, EXP, or IMY instead. 

A W-8BEN E form must include:

1)     A valid US TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number) or US EIN (Employer Identification Number) for a corporation

2)     Completion of both Parts I and III claiming treaty benefits

3)     A signature

4)     The title of the person signing the form on the ‘capacity in which acting’ line

Even if the foreign vendor is not eligible for treaty benefits, please have them fill out Part I of the W-8BEN.  Any tax will be paid to the IRS in the vendor’s name. UNM Taxation will use the information on the W-8 to complete a 1042-S Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding, which reports to the IRS the vendor’s name, address, amounts of payments made and taxes paid.  If tax has been withheld or paid, the foreign vendor will receive Form 1042-S by March 15th of the following year.

Substitute W-8BEN E Form

Payments for Services Provided OUTSIDE the United States (When on Business Travel)

While traveling outside of the United States for research, study-abroad, or any other purpose, UNM faculty and/or staff may often have cause to make payments via cash, personal credit card or PCard to individuals and/or companies for services that have been provided. In these cases, the service provider is not set up as a vendor as such in Banner; however, information must be obtained to document the status of the person/company, for tax purposes.

IRS regulations are such that U.S. persons are subject to tax on their worldwide income.  This means that any income they earn, even solely within a foreign country, is subject to U.S. tax laws.  Because of this, when UNM pays for services within a foreign country, documentation (typically an IRS form W-8 BEN) must be obtained to show that the beneficial owner of the income is not a U.S. person (the W-8 BEN certifies their status as a foreign person).  If the payee is a U.S. person, UNM is required to obtain an IRS form W-9.  When payments are made directly by UNM, through Banner, collecting a W-8 BEN from foreign persons (or a W-9 from U.S. persons) is a part of the vendor setup process.  However, when UNM personnel are traveling abroad, and pay for services outside of the Banner system, the traveler is expected to obtain the applicable certification of payee status (U.S. person or foreign person).

Historically, it has been difficult for UNM travelers to get foreign payees to complete and sign a U.S. tax form, which is presented in English.  Although the best documentation of payee status is obtaining a completed W-8 BEN or W-9 form, as applicable, the IRS also allows for the use of “presumption rules” in the determination of a payee’s status.  If the traveler has no actual knowledge, and no reason to believe, that a payee is a U.S. person, they may certify this by completing and signing the form at this link:  Foreign Source Statement.  However, if there is actual knowledge, or reason to believe the payee is a U.S. person, the traveler is expected to obtain a signed IRS form W-9 from the payee, if the payment made was $600 or more.

The Certification form noted above must be submitted in the Chrome River Travel report.

Any completed form W-8 BEN or W-9 that is obtained during a trip should NOT be attached to the Chrome River report.  DO NOT submit these forms via email. DO NOT submit these forms to the Vendor Setup group. Please contact the UNM Taxation office at to obtain instructions on how to send the forms.

If the Certification form noted above, or the appropriate IRS tax certification form is not provided, the assumption is that the payee IS a U.S. Person, and the payment is subject to 28% tax withholding.  As the payment would have already occurred, obviously withholding cannot be done, therefore, the department funding the payment will be charged for the appropriate tax, using the mathematical "gross up" rate of 38.89%.

Space Heater Purchases on the PCard 

The guidelines published by Environmental Health & Safety provide direction for the use, specifications and prohibition of portable electric space heaters in buildings and facilities at the University of New Mexico and are consistent with the State of New Mexico Fire Prevention and Public Occupancy rule (10.25.5.), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

For more information, see here.

  • A copy of the Facilities Management approval letter must be submitted with the receipt in Chrome River.