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Business and Financial Policies and Procedures

Inappropriate T-Card Use

Units have the primary responsibility to monitor how their staff use their Travel Cards (T-Cards). Monitoring T-Card use includes ensuring compliance with all state and federal laws, University of Illinois System policies, and good business practices. The University Payables (UPAY) Card Services and internal and/or external auditors will conduct periodic reviews of unit T-Card use.

Cardholders can lose their T-Card privileges if they:

  • Use the T-Card for prohibited purchases
  • Fail to provide scanned documentation of purchases
  • Provide unacceptable documentation
  • Fail to process T-Card charges in Chrome River
  • Allow the T-Card to be used by individuals other than the cardholder
  • Make successive purchases to circumvent the T-Card single transaction limit, commonly called ‘stringing’

Cardholders who misuse or fraudulently use the T-Card are subject to investigation, disciplinary action, termination of employment, and may also be subject to criminal prosecution. The system can deduct any personal or non-system related T-Card charges from the Cardholder's wages.

Unit Actions

The Department Card Manager (DCM) and Unit Head must follow the steps below when policy violations of a particular cardholder are identified during the approval and/or the DCM review process. The DCM or unit head may forego these steps and request that the T-Card be canceled immediately, if the initial violation warrants such action:

  • First incidence of noncompliant activity - The DCM and Unit Head issue a written warning to the cardholder. They retain a copy in the cardholder's unit file and electronically send a copy to the UPAY Card Services. The warning must include details of the offense(s) along with the Document ID number(s) for the offending transaction(s).
  • Second incidence of noncompliant activity - The DCM and the unit head issue a written notice to the cardholder. They retain a copy in the cardholder's unit file and electronically send a copy to UPAY Card Services. They suspend the cardholder's T-Card for the remainder of the current billing cycle through the next full billing cycle.
  • Continued noncompliance - If noncompliant activity continues after reinstatement of the T-Card, suspend the card for up to one year or cancel the T-Card account.

UPAY Card Services Actions

When noncompliant activity is discovered, UPAY Card Services may impose the same actions cited in Unit Actions above, including immediate cancellation of the T-Card account. UPAY Card Services notifies the cardholder, the DCM, and the university OBFS executive officer when a T-Card is canceled. University Audits is also notified immediately if the situation warrants.

The system reserves the right to forego any of these steps at any time and pursue the matter criminally if deemed necessary by system officials. UPAY Card Services can impose consequences on individual units for:

  • Repeated incidences of noncompliance of T-Card and travel policies by unit cardholder(s) and/or the unit
  • Improper documentation (receipts and business purpose) of T-Card purchases
  • Failure of the DCM to perform due diligence and report or act on noncompliant activity as it occurs

The following may be initiated upon discovery of repeated occurrences of noncompliant activity:

  • Retraining of employees who function in any of the T-Card roles will be conducted by UPAY Card Services at the unit level when necessary.
  • The university OBFS executive officer will be notified of the issue(s) and University Audits will also be engaged if the situation warrants.

Additional Resources

Chrome River Resource Page

Last Updated: March 10, 2023 | Approved: Senior Associate Vice President for Business and Finance | Effective: September 2012

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