Q May the Chief Executive Officer of a county owned hospital use a debit card in either making small purchases for the hospital or making travel arrangements and hotel reservations when attending hospital related seminars and other business out of town?

A A county-owned hospital constituted a public hospital and is a “governing authority” as defined by Section 31-7-1(b). As such, the hospital is subject to the regulations established by the Office of Purchasing and Travel as set forth in the Procurement Manual. The hospital, then, is authorized to utilize the small purchase procurement card or obtain merchant-specific credit cards. The hospital may not, however, utilize a credit card for travel purposes as it lacks the specific statutory authority to do so and is prohibited by Section 10.112.04(9) of the Procurement Manual. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Bryan, August 7, 2015)