Parents Allied with Children and Teachers

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PACT Charter School

7250 E. Ramsey Parkway
Ramsey, MN 55303
 305_Spending Authorization Policy
 Date created: 
 Committee Approval by: 
 Date Approved:  Reviewed:
 19941011  BFC  20170727  2017-2018




  1. Abbreviations

    1. PACT committee abbreviations apply, including BFC, EPC, EXC, FUN, PRS, SPC.
    2. BAS refers to the Business Accounts Specialist
    3. BDT refers to the Board Treasurer
    4. CE and CEs refers to Capital Expenditure(s) (over $1000)
    5. FA refers to a designated Funds Account
    6. DFT refers to the Designated Funds Treasurer
    7. EXC refers to the Extracurricular Committee of PACT Charter School
    8. JPC refers to the Joint Programming Committee of PACT Charter School
    9. LIBS refers to Line Item Budget Supervisors. For this document, LIBS include Treasurers.
    10. PCT refers to the Program Coordination Team (EPC chair, SPC chair, and Program Directors)
    11. UFARS refers to the Minnesota Uniform Financial Accounting and Reporting Standards
  2. Other definitions and references

    1. “Purchase” shall be understood to include individual items, groupings of related items, and contracts requiring BFC approval.
    2. The budgeting process is found in 314 - Annual Budget Process Policy
    3. Detailed information about budget departments is contained in a separate document, referenced in the 317 - Master Financial Policy with file name prefix Policy-BudgetDepartments-20yymmdd-.



  1. Authorizing expenditures – basic guidelines

    1. Each department (see 320 - Budget Departments Policy) will have a Board approved budget at the start of each fiscal year. Each department may spend up to its budgeted allocation (see additional guidelines below). Board approval is required to spend funds in excess of the approved department budget.
    2. Each department shall have a LIBS or Treasurer who authorizes and/or monitors the expenditures of the department. Different individuals may act as LIBS on different line items. The BAS will maintain a list of LIBS, and will make the list available to the Executive Director and BFC members. Departments must report changes in LIBS promptly, before new signatures will be accepted.
    3. For operational efficiency, the BAS may authorize expenditures that are within budget and requested in writing or other traceable form and that do not require additional approvals as described below.
    4. Verbal approval is permissible under extenuating circumstances. All persons involved should be noted on the signature approval line. However, written approval by the appropriate LIBS is preferred.
  2. Additional Required Authorizations

    1. Even though budgeted, non-re-occurring expenditures over $5,000 and contracts longer than 6 months (excluding staff contracts) must be separately approved by BFC.
    2. School Board approval is required for purchases over $20,000 and/or any contractual obligations that exceed one year.
    3. Designated individuals shall present such requests to BFC through the chair and shall use the approved request form, referenced in the 317 - Master Financial Policy with file name prefix Document_BidSummary_20yymmdd-.
    4. PACT requires three price comparisons for any expenditure over $5,000, or an acceptable explanation as to why 3 bids were not obtained. The rationale for selection (or explanation) must be included with the request for approval. Repeat contract renewals may be exempted at the discretion of BFC.
    5. Submitted requests shall include disclosure of the existence of any potential conflict of interest involving the vendor and any PACT personnel involved in the purchase.
    6. Submitted requests must include reference to the appropriate committee or task force minutes at which said purchase was discussed and approved.
    7. Submitted requests shall include documentation that all intermediate reviews and approvals have been accomplished, in particular regarding technology purchases.
    8. Vendors may be required to submit documentation affirming that they are in compliance with specific statutory requirements, including immigration laws.
    9. Where possible, requests should include the proposed UFARS code that applies to the purchase.
    10. BFC members may consider any or all of the following when approving such requests: the needs of the school, knowledge of competing or alternative products or services, adequacy of submitted documentation, financial impact, potential liability, unforeseen consequences, or any factors which, in the sole discretion of the individual members, impact the well being of PACT.
    11. Purchasers are encouraged to inform BFC early in the process of developing major purchasing decisions.
    12. Purchasers are not to attempt to circumvent the intent of this policy. BFC members continually monitor all expenditures, and BFC is authorized to act to ensure compliance with the intent of this policy.
  3. Reallocations

    1. Departments have the authority to reallocate amounts from one line item to another within the same department. Departments may delegate authority to make small (less than $25) reallocations to their LIBS / Treasurer.
    2. BFC has the authority to reallocate amounts between departments with the consent of the involved departments.
    3. When reallocations are done by a committee, including allocations by the Board from the contingency fund balance or other accounts, the motion should be stated in the following format: "A motion was made to reallocate funds from xxxxx account to xxxxx account for the following purpose".
    4. Reallocations must be reported to the Contracted Financial Manager, the BDT and the BAS as soon as possible so that the budget may be updated in the school’s accounting software.
  4. Designated Funds

    1. The DFT (see Designated Funds Treasurer) shall be responsible for monitoring compliance with this section.
    2. Expenditures from FAs are subject to the same level of fiscal responsibility as other PACT expenditures including the requirements of Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement 54 (GASB 54).
    3. Each FA, as tracked by a course code, should have a non-negative balance as of June 30 (end of fiscal year). If any FA has a negative balance at that time, the sponsoring committee shall transfer funds from other accounts under its control to remove the negative balance. In exceptional circumstances the sponsoring committee may appeal to BFC through the DFT for permission to carry the negative balance into the new fiscal year. In no cases shall an activity be permitted to carry a negative balance forward for more than one year.
    4. When approval of a Programming Committee is required, the PCT shall determine the appropriate committee to provide such approval (EPC, SPC, or JPC).
    5. When requests exceed available funds, approved requests should be given to the PCT, which, in conjunction with FUN will determine which requests, will be funded. Preference will be given to expenditures that directly enhance the learning experience of PACT students.
    6. Fund raising events with a goal to raise more than $500 need approval from both the FUN and a Programming Committee. This approval covers all expenditures of these funds, provided they are for the originally designated purpose.
    7. Reallocation of designated funds needs approval by both the FUN and a Programming Committee. Committees should not attempt to circumvent the intent of this policy.
    8. At the end of the fiscal year, the balance in the FA for the graduating class may be used by the senior class of the following year for the same intended purpose.
    9. Unused funds in a graduating class account will be transferred to the "Unspent class funds" account for a graduating class if there are overages in spending during a school year.
  5. Building Rental Designated Fund Account

    1. The Executive Director has authority and discretion to spend funds accumulated in the Building Rental Designated Fund account (after expenses have been paid for building use).
    2. Any unspent funds in excess of $20,000 at the end of a fiscal year will roll over to the general fund on July 1st unless otherwise noted by the School Board.
    3. All funds will be spent in accordance with state guidelines and in accordance with this policy.
    4. These funds should be used to cover expenses outside of what has been included within the general budget.