Policy

Financial Delegations - Policy

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1. Purpose and Objectives

This Policy sets out the principles and framework for financial 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

Authorisation Bands means groupings of positions by bands for delegation levels.

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.

Journal Entry is used to redistribute or reallocate funding or expenditure within the University and is limited to redistributions or reallocations within the boundary of the Organisational Unit.

PPL means the University's Policy and Procedures Library [http://ppl.app.uq.edu.au]

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, and
  • the Delegations Framework.

4. Policy Statement

This Policy sets out the authority by which Senate can delegate its financial powers.

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, Senate members, 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. Financial Delegations

In addition to the general Principles of Delegation contained in the Delegations of Authority Policy, Delegates must observe the following when exercising their delegated financial authority to incur expenses or make payments on behalf of the University:

6.1 Budget limitations

Delegations relating to expenditure of any kind can only be exercised within the limits of approved budgets. There is no authority to incur expenditure unless there is an approved source of funds.

Prior to the authorisation of a requisition, purchase order or any other instrument that provides for the expenditure of money, the Delegate must be satisfied that funds will be available within the appropriate University budget allocation to meet the account when it is received for payment.

6.2 Variation of original cost

Where there is an increase in the cost of an acquisition from the original commitment, the Delegate giving the original approval must also approve the supplementary amount. If the new amount exceeds the Delegate's level of Delegation of authority then another Delegate with the appropriate level of Delegation of authority must approve the transaction.

6.3 Commitment decision is the whole life of the contract

Where a contractual commitment extends over time then, for the purposes of determining the appropriate authorisation level, the value is for the life of the contract or commitment at the time the commitment is made.  For example, the approval level of a 10-year lease is determined by the total 10-year expected outlay.

6.4 Commitments consistent with funding and legal agreements

Commitments made by Delegates must be consistent with any specific funding conditions and any other relevant legal agreements.

6.5 Financial transactions cannot be manipulated

Financial transactions cannot be manipulated to accommodate a particular Delegate's financial delegation limit, for example by splitting transactions (see below) or incorporating deductions or trade-ins.

6.6 Splitting transactions

The splitting of transactions is not permitted. The exercise of a Delegation of authority must relate to the whole transaction not to parts of it. For example, it is not possible to approve the payment of instalments for the acquisition of an item where the total cost is above the financial limit held by the Delegate.

6.7 Acquisition of goods or services

A contract or order for the acquisition of goods and/or services, either purchased or leased, from suppliers external to the University must be made in accordance with the guidelines for such purchases as detailed in PPL 9.40.01 - Purchasing.

6.8 Approval in favour of a more senior Delegate

A Delegate cannot approve accounts for payment in favour of a more senior financial Delegate, except in the case of payments for less than $500.

6.9 Delegates shall not approve accounts for payment to themselves etc.

Delegates must not approve accounts for payment to themselves, or to their spouse, de-facto partner, child, brother, sister, parent or any other relative, or payments to associated companies or businesses without obtaining a counter signature from a more senior financial Delegate within the School, Faculty or University hierarchy.

6.10 GST excluded

When determining whether a transaction fits within a specific Australian dollar value financial authorisation, the relevant transaction value excludes GST.

6.11 Granting of a credit card not a financial delegation

Transactions made using a credit card must be authorised by a Delegate holding the appropriate financial delegation.

6.12 Authorisation of a payment

All payments made by the University (either by cheque or electronic funds transfer) require either two signatories or two authorisers in the financial system.

All individual payments above Band 8 are re-checked against supporting documentation by independent verifiers.

7. 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.

8. Breach of Delegations

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.

9. Auditing of Delegations 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.

10. Report Misuse of Delegations or Authorisations

Staff members who believe 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.

11. Authorisation Bands

Staff will be given financial Delegations of authority based on the business needs of the organisational unit. Standard financial delegations of authority will be based on the approved Authorisation Bands of Positions endorsed by the Senate.

The Authorisation Bands list the positions that hold financial delegations.  Position titles in each authorisation band apply to positions listed and/or their equivalent.

11.1 Schedule of Authorisation Bands

Band 1

(UniFi Level 9 – up to $25.0 m)

Vice-Chancellor

Band 2

(UniFi Level 8 – up to $10.0 m)

Provost

Chief Operating Officer

Band 3

(UniFi Level 7 – up to $5.0 m)

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International)

Band 4

(UniFi Level 6 – up to $1.0 m)

Pro-Vice-Chancellors

Executive Deans

Institute Directors

Band 5

(UniFi Level 5 – up to $200,000)

President, Academic Board

Deputy Executive Deans

Deans

Associate Deans

Directors

Deputy Directors

Associate Directors

Chief Financial Officer

Faculty Executive Officers and equivalent

Heads of Schools and equivalent

Band 6

(UniFi Level 4 – up to $100,000)

Directors

Deputy Directors

Associate Directors

Property & Facilities Managers

School Managers

Faculty, Institute and Division Finance Managers

Band 7

(UniFi Level 3 – up to $50,000)

Directors

Deputy Directors

Associate Directors

School Finance Managers

Administrative Managers

Band 8

(UniFi Level 2 – up to $20,000)

Directors

Deputy Directors

Associate Directors

Senior Administrative Officers

Senior Finance Officers

Senior Purchasing Officers

Band 9

(UniFi Level 1 – up to $3,000)

Administrative Officers

Finance Officers

Purchasing Officers

Note:  UniFi Level 9 – Up to $25,000,000 will also be held by CFO and Associate Director, Accounting and Reporting for processing of payments only.

​Requests for non-standard financial delegations must be made to the Chief Financial Officer. The non-standard financial delegation will then be submitted to the Vice-Chancellor for consideration and approval.

12. Allocation of Financial Categories and Delegations

Financial delegations, along with other delegation categories, are listed in the Delegations Database.

The following schedule shows categories of financial functions for the authorised delegation bands and also, where applicable, positions with specific delegations as authorised under University policies or legislation.

12.1 Schedule of Financial Categories and Delegations

CATEGORY

AUTHORITY/DELEGATION

DELEGATION HOLDER

LIMITS

Acquisition of an entity - Controlled

Approves creation, acquisition or additional investment in a controlled entity

Senate

All amounts

Acquisition of an entity - Non Controlled

Approves creation, acquisition or additional investment in a non-controlled entity

Senate

Over $1.0M

Band 1

Under $1.0M

Approve New Building or Refurbishment

Approves capital expenditure to construct a new building or undertake a major refurbishment

Senate

Over $25M

Band 1

Under $25M

Band 2

Under $5.0M

Acquisition of Real Property

Approves purchase of building or land

Senate

Over $25M

Band 1

Under $25M

Acquisition of Capital Equipment

Approves purchase of major capital equipment

Senate

Over $25M

Band 1

Under $25M

Band 2

Under $10.0M

Band 3

Under $5.0M

Director - ITS

Under $5.0M

Director - P & F

Under $5.0M

Band 4

Under $1.0M

Band 5 - Directors; Associate Directors; Deputy Directors

Under $200,000

Band 5 - Directors; Associate Directors; Deputy Directors

Under $100,000

Band 5 - Directors; Associate Directors; Deputy Directors

Under $50,000

Band 5 - Directors; Associate Directors; Deputy Directors

Under $20,000

Approving a joint venture

Approves joint venture between UQ and external party

Senate

Over $1.0M

Band 1

Under $1.0M

Approve operating expenditure

Approve purchases, internal service charges, reimbursements and enter into contracts for the acquisition of goods and services (excluding capital expenditure)

Senate

Over $25M

Band 1

Under $25M

Band 2

Under $10.0M

Band 3

Under $5.0M

Director - ITS

Under $5.0M

Director - P & F

Under $5.0M

Band 4

Under $1.0 M

Band 5

Under $200,000

Band 6 + Some Directors; Associate Directors; Deputy Directors

Under $100,000

Band 7 + Some Directors; Associate Directors; Deputy Directors

Under $50,000

Band 8 + Some Directors; Associate Directors; Deputy Directors

Under $20,000

Band 9

Under $3,000

Borrowing

Authority to approve borrowing of funds

Senate

All amounts

Treasury Payments

Authority to certify payments to meet Treasury Obligations

Chief Financial Officer

Over $50M

Associate Director Accounting & Reporting

Under $50M

Treasury Accountant

Under $20M

Taxation Payments

Authority to certify  FBT and GST payments

Associate Director Accounting & Reporting

Under $10M

Senior Financial Accountant

Under $10M

Contract and Grants

Authority to approve Contract and Grants journals

Chief Financial Officer

Under $10M

Manager - Contract and Grants

Under $1.0M

Senior Accountants - Contract and Grants

Under $100,000

Banking

Authority to approve UQ bank accounts and enter forward exchange contracts

Vice-Chancellor

All amounts

Chief Financial Officer

All amounts

Associate Director Accounting & Reporting

All amounts

Treasury Accountant

All amounts

Refunds - Bank Accounts

Authority to approve refunds of payments banked to UQ bank accounts

Chief Financial Officer

Under $20M

Associate Director Accounting & Reporting

Under $10M

Refunds - Unspent Grant Income

Authority to approve refunds of unspent grant funds on completion or relinquishment of the grant.

Chief Financial Officer

Under $500,000

Manager - Contract and Grants

Under $200,000

Senior Accountants - Contract and Grants

Under $100,000

Refund - International Student Fees

Authority to approve refunds for international student fees from overpayment and cancellations

Chief Financial Officer

Over $20,000

Manager - Financial Services

Under $20,000

Manager – Student Fees

Under $20,000

Refunds – Domestic Student Fees

Authority to approve refunds for domestic student fees from overpayment and cancellations

Manager – Financial Services

Under $20,000

Manager - Student Fees

Under $20,000

Refunds - Minor Deposits

Authority to approve a refund of swipe and ID card deposits

School Managers

Under $50

Senior Administrative Officers

Under $50

Write Off of Debt

Authority to write off debt

Senate

Over $1.0M

Vice-Chancellor

Under $1.0M

Chief Operating Officer

Under $100,000

Chief Financial Officer

Under $50,000

Associate Director Accounting & Reporting

Under $25,000

Gatton Campus Manager

Under $2,000 (Halls of Residence Debts)

Manager - Financial Services

Under $1,000

Manager - Traffic and Parking

Under $200 (parking fees only)

Finance Manager - Traffic and Parking

Under $200 (parking fees only)

Finance Officer - Traffic and Parking

Under $200 (parking fees only)

Write Down or Write Off of Stores

Authority to write down or write off of stores/inventory

Senate

Over $100,000

Band 4

Under $100,000

Band 5

Under $50,000

Senior Administrative Officers

Under $2,000

Write Off Library Materials

Authority to write off Library Materials

Senate

Over $5.0M

University Librarian

Under $5.0M

Write Off of Assets

Authority to write off of assets that are damaged, stolen or missing.

Senate

Over $1.0M

Vice-Chancellor

Under $1.0M

Chief Operating Officer

Under $100,000

Chief Financial Officer

Under $50,000

Associate Director Accounting & Reporting

Under $25,000

Heads of Schools or Equivalents

Under $10,000

Insurance Settlements

Authority to approve settlement of claims under insurance policies

Senate

Over $5.0M

Chief Operating Officer

Under $5.0M

Chief Financial Officer

Under $500,000

Manager - Financial Services

Under $100,000

Insurance Proposals

Approve insurance proposal forms and third party discharges

Chief Operating Officer

Approve

Chief Financial Officer

Approve

Manager - Financial Services

Approve

Insurance Claim - Vehicle

Approve insurance claims for repairs to University Vehicles 

Chief Financial Officer

Approve

Manager - Financial Services

Approve

Insurance Payments

Approve ex-gratia payments for personal injury or property loss sustained by third party

Chief Financial Officer

Under $5,000

Manager - Financial Services

Under $2,000

Workers' Compensation Payments

Authority to approve payment of workers' compensation self-insurance claims

Chief Operating Officer

Under $200,000

Director - OHS

Under $50,000

Class of Travel - Domestic

Authority to approve travel at a higher standard than entitlement

Band 1

Approve

Band 2

Approve

Band 3

Approve

Band 4

Approve

Class of Travel - International

Authority to approve travel at a higher standard than entitlement

Band 1

Approve

Band 2

Approve

Band 3

Approve

Band 4

Approve

Corporate Airline Memberships

Authority to approve corporate airline memberships

Head of Organisational Unit

Approve

Supplier Management

Authority to establish a Domestic or International Supplier in the finance system - UniFi

Head of Organisational Unit

Approve

Procurement

Authority to approve Significant Procurement Plan (SPP required for all procurement over $100,000)

Head of Organisational Unit

Approve

Reportable Gifts

Authority to retain a gift received

Head of Organisational Unit

Approve

Corporate Credit Card

Authority to approve the allocation of a credit card

Head of Organisational Unit and CFO

Approve

Corporate Credit Card

Authority to change limits on corporate credit cards

Head of Organisational Unit and CFO

Approve

Approval of Non-Standard Financial Delegation

Authority to approve a non-standard financial delegation

Band 1

Approve

Accounts Receivable

Authority to create an invoice on behalf of UQ

Head of Organisational Unit

Approve

13. Journal Entries

Journal entries do not represent expenditure.

Journal entries that are to be posted across Organisational Units or to the Balance Sheet, including Carry Forward Balances, can only be processed by accounting staff within Finance and Business Services.

All journal entries within an Organisational Unit are the sole responsibility of the most senior Finance Officer (senior to the proposer) who will be held accountable for all journal entries in that Organisational Unit.

Approval of journal entries is a local area decision however the approver must not be the same as the preparer and the approver must be senior to the preparer.

14. Queries or Comments

Queries or comments on any financial delegation matters should be directed to the Chief Financial Officer.

Custodians
Chief Financial Officer
Mr Andrew Betts

Procedures

Financial Delegations - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

These procedures give effect to PPL 1.10.02a Financial Delegations - Policy, which sets out the principles and framework for financial delegations of authority approved by Senate.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Authorisation Bands means groupings of positions by bands for delegation levels.

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.

PPL means the University's Policy and Procedures Library [http://ppl.app.uq.edu.au]

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.

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to all staff members, members of Senate or a Senate Committee.

The scope of the powers delegated in accordance with this Policy (PPL 1.10.02a Financial Delegations) is limited to the powers of Senate; a Delegate cannot exercise a power that Senate itself is not permitted to exercise.

4. Procedures Statement

The University of Queensland’s Delegations of Authority sets out the principles and framework for delegations within the University. The University is required to exercise these delegations in order to ensure that staff have appropriate authority to conduct their activities and that all expenditure incurred is appropriately authorised.

4.1 Adding and deleting financial delegations

  1. Requests for addition or deletion of financial delegations must be supported by the Professional Services team Finance Manager and submitted on the prescribed form to fbs.support@uq.edu.au to be actioned by Enterprise Support Systems.
  2. Staff will be given financial delegations of authority based on the business needs of the organisational unit and in accordance with the approved Authorisation Bands of Positions endorsed by Senate.
  3. Any staff member changing positions and/or organisational unit must also have their delegation cancelled and submit a new application as part of their new role.
  4. Any staff member leaving the University must have their delegation cancelled.
  5. Staff can confirm delegations by position or category on the Delegations Register.

4.2 Acting appointments

  1. A delegation of authority assigned to a position extends to staff formally acting in that position. In such instances, the acting staff member has the equivalent delegation of authority as the person holding the substantive position.
  2. Requests for temporary changes to a financial delegation must be submitted as per section 4.1.
  3. The access request form must contain suitable reference to/or evidence of the formal acting arrangement along with an indication of the start and end dates for this temporary appointment.

4.3 Non-standard financial delegations

  1. Proposals requesting modifications to existing maximum financial delegation limits for a given position must be submitted in writing along with a written justification to the Chief Financial Officer via fbs.support@uq.edu.au.
  2. The Chief Financial Officer will review the request and, if necessary, seek further information from the relevant organisational unit.
  3. The Chief Financial Officer will then submit the application to the Vice-Chancellor and President for consideration and approval.
  4. If approved, the delegate will be advised of their new authority.

The expectation is that requests to vary financial delegations would be raised only infrequently.

Custodians
Chief Financial Officer
Mr Andrew Betts
Custodians
Chief Financial Officer
Mr Andrew Betts