Department of Finance, Services and Innovation

Department of Finance, Services and Innovation Circular

DFSI-2015-02-Efficient Electronic Payment Methods


To increase take-up of efficient electronic payment methods and reduce cheques.

Function and Subject

Procurement (1)

Detailed Outline

Electronic payment methods provide significant opportunities to maximise savings through the elimination of inefficient paper-based processes, and benefit suppliers and individuals through more timely payments.  

Purchasing Cards (PCards) are a cost effective payment method for low value, high volume procurement of goods and services, and the NSW Government is committed to using PCards for such expenditure. Cheque payments, particularly for procurement related purposes, are inefficient and out of step with modern-day administration.

Accordingly, the Government has imposed obligations on agencies to advance electronic payment reform, including achieving the following goals by the end of 2017:

  • Adoption of PCards on a benefit cost basis for all applicable purchasing expenditure.
  • Elimination of cheque payments on a benefit cost basis to the maximum extent possible.

To ensure the Government’s commitments are fulfilled, this policy stipulates requirements for agencies, set out at Tab A. The Government’s commitments are summarised at Tab B.    

The NSW Procurement Board will submit an annual report to the Cabinet Standing Committee on Expenditure Review on progress in electronic payment reform commitments including savings achieved. 

This policy is not intended to provide guidance to agencies on the financial management aspects of electronic payment.  For such guidance, agencies are referred to relevant provisions of the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983 and the Public Authorities (Financial Arrangements) Act 1987, Treasurer’s Directions 205.01 - 205.08, and TPP 05-01: Credit Card Use and Best Practice Guide. The Best Practice Guide is currently under review and will be replaced in the near future.


The policy applies to –

  • an “authority” as defined under section 4 of the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983, including public service agencies and statutory authorities, but does not apply to State-owned corporations (which are encouraged to comply with the policy).  For the purposes of the policy, the term “agency” is used.   
  • expenditure committed or incurred by an officer or an accounting officer of an agency, for procurement or non-procurement related purposes.
  • electronic payment methods comprising –
    • all credit cards including PCards, but excluding cards that are subject to a separate whole-of-government contract (eg Amex, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Cabcharge, fuelcharge),
    • EFT, and
    • any other electronic payment methods.
  • cheque payments.


Who needs to know and/or comply with this?

Executive agencies related to Departments
Separate agencies
State Owned Corporations
Statutory Authorities/Bodies

AR Details

Date Issued
Aug 24, 2015
Review Date
Aug 24, 2016
Replaced By


(02) 9372 7054
Publishing Entity
Department of Finance, Services and Innovation
Issuing Entity
Department of Finance, Services and Innovation