Policies and Procedures for Gift Card and Gift Certificate Purchases

 I.                 Purpose:  

To define and adequately document the purchase and distribution of gift cards and gift certificates purchased using university or grant funds.

 

II.               Policies:

  • Gift cards/gift certificates cannot be purchased with university funds for the purpose of giving an employee a “gift” or “reward.” See  Procurement policies under “Hospitality” http://www.usm.edu/procurement/apentertain.html.

  • Gift cards/gift certificates in this policy are for human research subjects only.

  • Gift cards/gift certificates cannot exceed $50.

  • No USM employee may receive a gift card.  If an employee participates in a human research project, the payment must be made through Human Resources.

  • Non-resident aliens must be compensated through Human Resources.

  • The issuance of gift cards for research subjects must be approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to the purchase of the cards. 

 

III.              Procedures for Obtaining Gift Cards/Gift Certificates: 

 

Authorization for the Purchase of Gift Cards/Gift Certificates Via Procurement Card

  • Permission must be obtained from the Procurement Card Administrator in Procurement Services.

  • When permission is obtained, notification will be sent to the Office of the Controller.

  • The Office of the Controller will contact the department regarding requirements for keeping logs, reporting income, etc.

  • Approval from the IRB must be obtained prior to purchase of the cards.

     

 

Authorization for the Purchase of Gift Cards/Gift Certificates with Grant Funds

  • Gift Cards must be specifically listed in the budget and approved by the sponsor.

  • Approval from the IRB must be obtained prior to purchase of the cards.

  • A copy of the IRB approval along with the Request for Gift Card Purchase form must be submitted to the Office of Research Administration.

  • When permission is obtained, notification will be sent to the Office of the Controller.

  • The Office of the Controller will contact the department regarding requirements for keeping logs, reporting income, etc.

 

 

 

IV.              Departmental Documentation

 

1. The Principal Investigator (PI) must keep a confidential log of the recipients (see attached log form.)  If social security number is not provided, the department chair must sign the form.

 

2. Updated logs must be provided to the Office of the Controller on a monthly basis.

 

3. The Office of the Controller will report any taxable income for non-USM employees to Accounts Payable.  This income typically occurs when the non-employee receives a total of $600 in a calendar year.

 

4. Log entries for USM employees and non-resident aliens will be cross-referenced with information received by Payroll from the issuing department.

 

5. If logs are not submitted, the full amount of the gift cards/gift certificates will be reported as income to the PI.

 

6. Gift cards must be kept under lock and key.  The individual purchasing the gift cards should not be the one distributing them.

 

7. Multiple cards cannot be issued to one individual for the same meeting participation.

 

8. Completely anonymous recipients must be approved by the IRB.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any questions regarding the content of this policy should be directed to the Office of the Controller or sent to cheri.waldrup@usm.edu.