POLICY NO: C-32
DATE: 22 October 2009
Council Resolution 2009/5/8
REFERENCE AUTHORITY: Vice Chancellor; Director: Assurance Services
University of South Australia Act 1990, Section 15
Vice Chancellor’s Delegation (7 December 1992)
Vice Chancellor’s Authorisations
Financial Management Guidelines
Vice Chancellor’s Authorisation form
The Council of the University of South Australia (‘the University’) has delegated to the Vice Chancellor ‘such powers and functions of the Council as are reasonably necessary to enable the Vice Chancellor to undertake, whether personally or through properly authorised staff of the University, the management and administration of the University’.
The purpose of this policy is to build on that delegation and establish a framework for management and administration of the University through properly authorised staff. Authorisations are a key element in effective governance and management of the University and provide formal authority to staff to commit the University to action and/or incur liabilities for the University.
The framework provides authority to University staff to commit the University to:
The intent of the framework is to capture the major decision points in the above areas; there is no intention to cover all decisions.
The Vice Chancellor will approve a framework of documented authorisations to facilitate the management and administration of the University. These authorisations are referred to as the Vice Chancellor’s Authorisations (VCAs).
This policy applies to all staff of the University.
The following definitions apply to this policy and the VCAs:
Authorisation limits indicated in the VCAs are maximum limits. For the purposes of management oversight and control, any person authorised under the VCAs may be instructed by their line manager to conform to a reduced limit, or advised that they have no authority to commit the University under the VCAs.
When determining whether a transaction fits within a specific Australian dollar value financial authorisation, the relevant transaction value excludes GST.
Transactions must not be split into multiple transactions to circumvent authority limitations. This practice is known as ‘transaction splitting’.
Where a contractual commitment extends over time, for the purposes of determining the appropriate authorisation level the value attached to that commitment decision is the whole life of the contract or commitment at the time the commitment is made. For example, the approval level of a 10 year lease would be determined by the total 10 year expected outlay.
Sub-authorisations apply only in limited circumstances, which will be outlined in the instrument of sub-authorisation. Specified officers may sub-authorise eligible aspects of their authority to other staff members within the University to facilitate the efficient management and administration of operations. When providing a sub-authorisation, the following requirements apply:
A copy of all signed VCA sub-authorisation forms and any variations must be transmitted to Director: Assurance Services.
Authorisations apply to the position, not to an individual. Accordingly, where an officer is formally acting in a position, the authorities of that position apply. The following requirements apply:
Officers can only make a commitment under the VCAs where there is an approved budget. The Financial Management Guidelines provide further details.
Granting of a credit card does not constitute a VCA. A staff member with a credit card who undertakes procurement must have a VCA or sub-authorisation if it is intended that they will be committing the University to the procurement of goods or services.
Granting of a credit card does not constitute a VCA. Where a University staff member has been issued a credit card for travel purposes, the Travel Guidelines maintained by the Finance Unit must be adhered to. The Travel Guidelines require that authorisation for all travel is obtained prior to the travel being undertaken. The card is not to be used other than for the purpose of approved travel. In this instance a sub-authorisation is not required by the credit card holder, as all expenditure should be relevant to the pre-approved travel activity.
The VCA policy and VCAs will be reviewed periodically but no less than triennially by the Director: Assurance Services.
All sub-authorisations must be reviewed periodically but no less than triennially by the authorising officer. As sub-authorisations attach to individuals rather than positions, there will be a need to review and revise the sub-authorisations when personnel changes occur.
When there is a change of personnel in a position included in the Authority Bands 1-5 (for example, a new Head of School) all previous sub-authorisations issued by the outgoing officer will remain in effect. The incoming officer should review all sub-authorisations in the area to confirm or revise them as desired.
The following procedure shall be followed when making amendments to the VCAs.