Policy

Contract Delegations - Policy

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1. Purpose and Objectives

This Policy sets out the principles and framework for contractual Delegations of authority by the Senate of The University of Queensland.

This Policy must be read in conjunction with the Delegations of Authority Policy which sets out the general principles of delegation which apply to all University delegations.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Delegate (noun) means a Staff member, a member of Senate or a Senate Committee to whom or to which a delegation of authority has been made.

Delegate (verb) means to authorise or entrust a Staff member, a member of Senate or a Senate Committee with decision-making power or authority to decide to take action in a specified area.

Delegation of authority means a delegation of authority designated by Senate or legislation to a Staff member, a member of Senate or a Senate Committee.

Delegations Framework identifies the delegations made by Senate through its policies.

Senate Committees

  • Buildings and Grounds Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Honorary Degrees Committee
  • Legislative Committee
  • Membership and Nominations Advisory Committee
  • Risk Committee
  • Senate Committee of Equity, Diversity and the Status of Women
  • Student Appeals Committee

Staff means full-time and part-time academic and professional staff.

UQ Act means the University of Queensland Act 1998.

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

This Policy applies to all Staff members, members of Senate or a Senate Committee.

The scope of the powers delegated in accordance with this Policy is limited to the powers of Senate; a Delegate cannot exercise a power that Senate itself is not permitted to exercise.

This Policy does not apply to the controlled entities of the University. Boards of those entities must implement their own delegations of authority, consistent with their constitutions.

This Policy must be read with –

  • the University’s Code of Conduct,
  • the Delegations of Authority Policy, 
  • the Delegations Framework, and
  • the Financial Delegations Policy.

4. Policy Statement

This Policy sets out the authority by which Senate can delegate its powers to enter into contracts and other documentation.

5. Delegations Framework

The Delegations Framework comprises an extract of Delegations of authority granted under the University’s policies. It is intended as an easy reference of the major decision points within the University; there is no intention to cover all decisions.

The Delegations Framework must be read in the context of this Policy and accompanying Procedures. This Policy and the Delegations Framework do not relieve Staff members, members of Senate or Senate Committees from their duty to be fully conversant with the source materials which affect them and which give the context and rationale for the exercise of their delegated powers.

While the main purpose of the Delegations Framework is to record the Delegations of authority, for completeness, the following are also included in the Delegations Framework:

  • Non-delegable functions of Senate under the UQ Act,
  • Any delegations under other legislation, and
  • Terms of reference of Senate Committees.

6. Contractual Delegations

The delegations and restrictions by category of arrangement are set out below.

6.1 Contractual delegations limits

These contractual Delegations of authority must be exercised within the limits of an individual Delegate's financial Delegations of authority as specified in the Financial Delegations Policy.

6.2 Contracts, consultancy proposals and joint venture contracts (involving research)

Approval to sign contracts, consultancy proposals and joint venture contracts (involving research) on behalf of the University, subject to Section 7.2.

Delegate

Vice-Chancellor

Senior Deputy-Vice Chancellor

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)

Director, Research Partnerships Office

Director, Research Management Strategy 

6.3 UQ standard contracts and agreements (not involving research)

Approval to sign UQ standard contracts and agreements (not involving research) on behalf of the University, including consultancy agreements and student placement agreements, subject to Section 7.3. UQ standard contracts and agreements are contracts and agreements developed and approved by the Legal Office for use as standard templates for specific purposes and are published as standard contracts and agreements on the Legal Office website.

Delegate

Vice-Chancellor

Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Chief Operating Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Chief Financial Officer

Executive Dean

Deputy Executive Dean

Institute Director

Director

Deputy Director

Director, Property and Facilities

P&F Construction Manager

P&F Engineering Manager

P&F Operations Manager

P&F Services Manager

P&F Site Planner

Head of School

6.4 UQ non-standard contracts and agreements (not involving research)

Approval to sign contracts and agreements (not UQ standard contracts and agreements and not involving research) on behalf of the University, including consultancy agreements, lease agreements and joint venture contracts, subject to Section 7.4. Contracts and agreements are to be reviewed by the Legal Office prior to signature.

Delegate

Vice-Chancellor

Chief Operating Officer

6.5 UQ standard international agreements

Approval to sign UQ standard international agreements on behalf of the University, subject to Section 7.5. UQ standard international agreements are contracts and agreements developed and approved by the Legal Office for use as standard templates for international matters (including standard agency agreement) and are published as standard international contracts and agreements on the Legal Office website.

Delegate

Vice-Chancellor

Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International)

7. Arrangements for Specific Items

Special arrangements exist in relation to certain items. The delegations and restrictions regarding these items are set out below.

7.1 Data communications equipment

Information Technology Services is responsible for the development and maintenance of the data communications network. All data communications equipment must be purchased through Information Technology Services.

7.2 Contracts, consultancy proposals and joint venture contracts (involving research)

Also refer to Section 6.2 of this Policy.

All joint venture and other contracts and agreements involving research are to be processed through the Research Partnerships Office and the Research Management Office. It is important that these offices are involved at an early stage in the negotiations so that expert advice is provided on issues such as copyright and intellectual property, confidentiality, deeds of indemnity, insurance and accounting and reporting requirements. Information relating to financial and insurance matters may also be obtained from the relevant officers of Finance and Business Services Division.

7.3 UQ standard contracts and agreements (not involving research), including consultancy agreements and student placement agreements

Also refer to Section 6.3 of this Policy.

UQ standard contracts and agreements are contracts and agreements developed and approved by the Legal Office for use as standard templates for specific purposes (e.g. student placement agreement, consultancy agreement) and are published as standard contracts and agreements on the Legal Office website. These standard contracts and agreements are for low value, low risk arrangements. Guidelines will accompany each standard template and will also be available on the Legal Office website. The Guidelines must be complied with.

The University's central administration, having responsibility for the general administrative functions of the University, is staffed by officers with a broad range of professional expertise (legal, accounting, engineering, etc.). From time to time and when necessary, the University may supplement this expertise by retaining the services of outside professional firms and consultants. Where goods and services are being acquired, either purchased or leased, from suppliers external to the University, Schools, Institutes, Centres and Divisions should ensure compliance to the Queensland Procurement Policy.

Any changes to the standard template must be referred to the Legal Office. The Delegate only has authority to sign the agreement if there are no changes to the standard template and the Guidelines have been complied with. Otherwise, the agreement must be referred to the Legal Office and will require the signature of the Vice-Chancellor or the Chief Operating Officer.

7.4 Contracts and agreements, including consultancy agreements, lease agreements and joint venture contracts (not UQ standard contracts and agreements and not involving research)

Also refer to Section 6.4 of this Policy.

All UQ contracts and agreements not involving research (other than UQ standard contracts and agreements in accordance with Sections 6.2 and 7.3 of this Policy) are to be reviewed by the Legal Office prior to signature. It is important that the Legal Office be involved at an early stage in the negotiations so that expert advice is provided on issues such as copyright and intellectual property, confidentiality, deeds of indemnity, insurance and accounting and reporting requirements. Information relating to these matters may also be obtained from the relevant officers of Finance and Business Services Division.

7.5 UQ standard international agreements

Also refer to Section 6.5 of this Policy.

UQ standard international agreements are contracts and agreements developed and approved by the Legal Office for use as standard templates for international matters (including standard agency agreement) and are published as standard international contracts and agreements on the Legal Office website. Guidelines will accompany each standard template and will also be available on the Legal Office website. The Guidelines must be complied with. All other agreements involving international matters should be referred to UQ International, in the first instance, in accordance with the relevant University policy.

7.6 Leases

Also refer to PPL 9.20.01 Leasing.

Financial leases are to be recognised by the Faculty / School / Operational Unit as an asset and as such need to be recorded in the Fixed Asset Register.

All operating lease payments must be charged to the Faculty / School / Operational Unit as an expense over the life of the lease and operating leases are not to be recognised in the University’s fixed asset register.

All Schools that lease equipment must provide details to the Insurance Office in FBS for insurance coverage.

All leases must be forwarded to the Chief Finance Officer for approval. Lease agreements must be referred to the Legal Office and will be dealt with in accordance with Sections 6.3 and 7.4 of this Policy.

7.7 Library materials

Schools may purchase books and other information materials from School or Research funds for housing either in the University Library or in the School library. Allocations from Library funds are to be used solely for the purchase of material through the Library and to be housed in the University Library.

It is not the intention of Senate that Schools should create large internal library collections or that Schools should house unique material which ought to be available to the University community through the University Library.

It is preferable for library and other information materials to be ordered through the University Library but where this is not done, Schools shall advise the University Librarian of the material which is being purchased.

When a book or other item of a type normally housed in the University Library is purchased for housing in a School and a copy is not held in the Library, the University Librarian may purchase a copy for the University Library and charge it to the Library allocation of the School concerned.

7.8 Loan agreements - University Art Museum

From time to time the University Art Museum loans works of art to other organisations. A standard loan agreement, setting out the terms and conditions of such loans, has been developed in conjunction with the Legal Office. The Director of the University Art Museum is authorised to sign standard agreements, for the loan of works of art from the University Art Museum, to which no modifications have been made. Where modifications have been made, the loan agreement is to be forwarded to the Legal Office in the first instance.

7.9 Purchase of shares or stock units

From time to time Schools, Centres and Institutes may be approached by outside bodies to purchase/extend a share or stock holding in the body. The purchase may be a pre-requisite to entering into an arrangement for the body to buy/market University products. For example, the University may be required to purchase shares in a dairy co-operative before it will buy milk products from University farms.

University share holdings are held centrally within Finance and Business Services, and all requests to purchase share or stock holdings are to be referred to the Chief Financial Officer immediately together with the recommendations of the Head of School, Centre or Institute.

7.10 Telecommunications equipment

Apart from the centrally provided and operated telephone facilities, the University recognises that there may be other forms of telecommunications equipment useful to some Schools, Institutes and Centres with their operations, for example, mobile telephones and pagers.

Authorisation for the purchase of mobile phones and pagers for Staff members is required, in writing, from the Head of School, Centre, Institute or Division in which the Staff member is employed. A Staff member requesting a mobile phone or pager should submit a proposal directly to his or her supervisor, who in turn should make a recommendation to the Head of School, Centre, Institute or Division for final decision.

The total costs including purchase of the handset, charger, calls, etc. are to be met by the School, Centre, Institute or Division concerned. The billing for the phone or pager will be made directly to the School, Centre, Institute or Division.

Information Technology Services negotiates a corporate plan for the optimum mobile phone cost with a telephone carrier each year, and it is recommended that this plan be used by all Schools.

Details of current arrangements can be found on the Information Technology Services - Phone website.

7.11 Construction or alterations of buildings

Entry into contracts for the construction or alterations of buildings, and for site works and services, requires that prior approvals be received as appropriate. In the case of all Commonwealth Department of Education funded projects, full compliance with Department of Education procedures and approval of the Senate and the Chief Operating Officer are required before contracts may be executed.

In the case of minor works and alterations and site works and services (including landscaping) funded from University sources, the prior written approval of the Director, Property and Facilities is required.

The Delegate must also ensure that funds will be available for payment when the account is received. For capital works and services this means that funds must be available within University budget allocations, parliamentary appropriations or within discretionary funds available to the University.

8. Delegate’s Responsibilities

A Delegation of authority represents a significant responsibility for those who hold them. Delegates must exercise care and diligence when carrying out their Delegations of authority. This Policy and the Delegations Framework do not relieve Delegates from their duty to be fully conversant with the source materials which affect them and which give the context and rationale for the exercise of their powers.

Delegates always remain responsible for making the decision.

Delegates must observe all the principles in this Policy.

Delegates can only act within the limits of their Delegation of authority.

9. Breach of Delegation of Authority

A breach of the provisions of this Policy or the Delegations Framework may be regarded as misconduct or serious misconduct and may be subject to disciplinary action.

10. Auditing of Delegation of Authority and Authorisations

The exercise of delegations of authority and authorisations will be subject to periodic review by the Chief Operating Officer.

A report of the review will be provided to the Senate Risk Committee, including any recommendations arising from the review.

11. Report Misuse of Delegations or Authorisations

Staff who believes that a Delegation of authority or authorisation has been improperly exercised should refer the matter to the Chief Operating Officer or the Vice-Chancellor who will investigate and act according to the outcome of the investigation. 

12. Queries or Comments

Queries or comments on any contractual delegation matters should be directed to the Director, Legal Office.

Custodians
General Counsel
Ms Connie Seeto
Custodians
General Counsel
Ms Connie Seeto