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Prohibited Transactions

Certain transactions are prohibited on procurement cards, because the good or service requires additional review due to tax, insurance, or other regulatory issues. Purchasing a prohibited item may result in suspension or revocation of the procurement card (pcard), or other disciplinary action.

Note: The information below is from the "Prohibited Transactions" section of the Buying Manual.

  • Animals: Live vertebrates require pre-transaction review, per University Policy 1.4, Care and Use of Animals in Teaching and Research.

  • Architectural and Engineering Services: Per university policy, these transactions require additional review by the University Architect.

  • Audit Services: Per university policy, these transactions require additional review by the University Auditor.

  • Capital Assets: Capital asset purchases must be recorded in the capital assets system, per University Policy 3.9, Capital Assets.

  • Cash Advances: Cash advances of university funds require pre-transaction review, per University Policy 3.2, University Travel.

  • Catering: Catering (i.e., where the vendor prepares, sets up, serves or cleans up food on Cornell controlled property, including both facilities owned by Cornell and facilities that may be rented or leased and only under Cornell’s control for the period of the event) may not be paid via pcard. Caterers not available in e-SHOP require the issuance of a purchase order, see the Paying for Services section of the Buying Manual for further details. Specifically identified financial transaction center (FTC) and business service center (BSC) cardholders have the authority to pay for catering that is part of a group travel event at a hotel, as long as there is not a contract involved.

  • Conflict of Interest, Vendor: Purchases from vendors where a potential conflict of interest exists require pre-transaction review, per Cornell's Conflicts Policy.

  • Cornell Unallowable Goods/Services: Purchases identified as "unallowable" in University Policy 3.14, Business Expenses, cannot be charged to a pcard, regardless of the source of funds.

  • Deposits/Partial Payments: Do not make partial payments where the total value of the purchase exceeds your pcard transaction limit.

  • e-SHOP Enabled Vendors: Do not use your pcard to purchase from a vendor that is available in e-SHOP.

  • Gifts Certificates: Gifts certificates are generally classified as taxable income by the IRS and should not be purchased with a pcard. Contact the Tax Compliance office for guidance.

  • Independent Contractors: When engaging an “individual” (e.g.,  non-corporations, partnerships, LLCs, and LLPs) to perform services, a specific evaluation must be performed to determine whether that individual may qualify as an employee; therefore, payment for services to entities other than corporations, partnerships, LLCs, and LLPs may not be made via pcard. Review the Paying for Services section of the Buying Manual, or see your business service center, to determine the most appropriate method of payment.

  • Insurance: Insurance premiums, co-payments, deductibles, or services must not be purchased with a pcard. For information on purchasing insurance, please contact Risk Management and Insurance.

  • Investment Services: Per university policy, these transactions require additional review by the university's Investment Office.

  • Legal Services: Per university policy, these transactions require additional review by University Counsel.

  • Medical Services: Due to tax reporting requirements, medical services (i.e. physician, surgeon, ophthalmologist, etc.) may not be paid via pcard.

  • Non-Preferred Suppliers: Do not use the pcard to purchase goods and services from a non-preferred supplier, where the good or service is available from a preferred supplier.

  • Personal Expenses: Do not purchase any good or service that is primarily for personal use. Use of the card for personal expenses is prohibited by University Policy 3.6, Financial Irregularities. Using the card in this manner with the intention of reimbursing Cornell is NOT acceptable.

Caution: Many items, such as cellular telephones, lend themselves to personal use. It is the cardholder's responsibility to provide documentation to verify that the purchase is essential to fulfilling his or her job responsibilities. See also, University Policy 3.24, Personal Communication Devices.

  • Pest Control: Because of the potential for use of pesticides, these services must be coordinated with the customer service center in the Department of Facilities Management. Contact your local building coordinator for more information.

  • Radioactive Materials: See the Radiation Safety Manual for information on appropriate means of purchasing radioactive material.

Note: Orders for radioactive materials placed through the university's e-procurement system, e-SHOP, may be charged to a pcard because these orders are routed to Environmental Health and Safety for approval before being sent to the vendor.

  • Real Estate Services, Purchase, Rental, etc.: Per university policy, these transactions require additional review by the university's Real Estate Office.

  • Security Systems, Building: Building security systems must be coordinated through the Cornell Police and must not be purchased with a pcard.

  • Services Performed on University Property: You may not purchase with a pcard work or services performed on university property by a vendor that does not meet Cornell's insurance requirements. See "Insurance Requirements" in the "Additional Considerations" section of the Buying Manual for further information on the university’s insurance requirements.

    Note: Delivery of goods is not considered a service.

  • Services Performed Within the U.S. by Foreign Nationals: You may not purchase with a pcard services performed in the U.S. by foreign nationals. There are immigration and tax issues that require review. Contact the Tax Compliance office.

  • Travel-Related Expenses: Any travel-related purchase or rental is prohibited (e.g., hotel, motel, airline, train, bus, taxi, limousine, or cruise fare; car or boat rental; gasoline; road tolls of any kind; travel agency purchase; parking lot fees). Certain travel-related merchants have been blocked from accepting pcards. Specifically identified FTC/BSC cardholders have the authority to pay for group travel expenses, as well as travel expenses for incoming visitors.

Note: Conference registration fees may be charged to your pcard if the fee does not exceed your transaction limit.

  • Travel Meals: You may not charge meals to your pcard while you are traveling for the university if that travel includes an overnight stay.