Financial Delegations Policy


Application


This policy applies to University members with financial or line manager delegation

Purpose


This policy sets out:

  • the financial delegation limits that apply to particular levels of the University Organisational Structure (UOS) and employment positions; and
  • the circumstances in which the delegations apply

This policy is to be read in conjunction with the Delegations Policy

Policy


1.     Only members with the appropriate delegated financial authority (DFA) may approve:

  • operating or capital expenditure
  • asset disposals
  • revenue generating activity that will result in the raising of an invoice for payment by a third party
  • agreements to accept gifts or sponsorships

2.    Any approval must be obtained in advance of commitments to:

  • incur operating or capital expenditure
  • dispose of assets
  • perform revenue generating activity that will result in the raising of an invoice for payment by a third party
  • accept gifts or sponsorships

3.     Delegates must:

  • exercise their line manager delegation in accordance with the one-over-one principle
  • ensure all authorised expenditure is within approved budget limits
  • ensure any authorised capital expenditure over $100,000 is based on a robust business case and aligned with the University’s business case sssurance process
  • agree to exercise their authority electronically via the financial system where appropriate

Note: Business case assurance is required for investments over $500k or those deemed to be of high risk and complexity. The provision of business case assurance is to be independent of those developing and/or approving the expenditure

4.    Table 1 and 2 below stipulate the financial delegation limits (GST exclusive) that apply to members at each level of the UOS

        or specific employment positions. These limits do not apply to financial sub delegations

 

Table 1: Operating revenue and expenditure:

 

Financial delegation limits* (NZD, GST exclusive)

  Delegate levels or employment positions

Up to $50,000

Members at level 3 of the UOS

DFA only becomes effective on the written authority of the relevant level 2 manager to the individual level 3 member

Up to $100,000

Members at level 2 of the UOS that have not been specifically mentioned in this table

DFA only becomes effective on the written authority of the Vice Chancellor to the individual level 2 member

Up to $500,000

Deans, University Librarian, Chief Digital Officer, directors of: ABI, Liggins Institute, Property Services, IT Services, IT Strategy PP

DFA only becomes effective on the written authority of the Vice-Chancellor to these individuals

Up to $1,000,000

Deputy vice-chancellors Chief Financial Officer and Director of Org Perf & Improvement

DFA only becomes effective on the written authority of the Vice-Chancellor to these individuals

>$1,000,000

Vice-Chancellor within delegated authority from the University Council

* These limits apply to a single transaction. A commitment that is, in substance, a single commitment may not be split into two or more purchase orders or invoices.  The whole of the commitment must be authorised by a person with the appropriate DFA even if the commitment falls into more than one financial year

Table 2: Capital expenditure excluding expenditure relating to property and IT infrastructure:

 

Financial delegation limits^ (NZD, GST exclusive)

  Delegate levels or employment positions

Up to $50,000

Members at level 2 of the UOS that have not been specifically mentioned in this table

DFA only becomes effective on the written authority of the Vice-Chancellor to the individual level 2 member

Up to $100,000

Deputy vice-chancellors, deans, , University Librarian (refer to clause 14),  directors of: ABI, Liggins Institute, IT Services, IT Strategy PP and Org Perf Improvement

DFA only becomes effective on the written authority of the Vice-Chancellor

Up to $200,000

Chief Financial Officer, Chief Digital Officer and Director of Property Services (subject to clause 15)

DFA only becomes effective on the written authority of the

Vice-Chancellor

 

Up to $500,000

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Operations)

DFA only becomes effective on the written authority of the Vice- Chancellor

Up to $2,500,000

Vice-Chancellor (within Council approved budget)

>$2.5m and up to $25m

The Capital Expenditure Committee of Council (CEC) subject to its terms of reference

>$25m

Council on the recommendation of CEC

Council will also consider proposals otherwise outside the CEC Terms of Reference

^These limits apply to the purchase and disposal of assets. Provided a Capital Expenditure Authority (CEA) Form has been signed in accordance with the DFA specified in Table 2 above, members may exercise their DFA for operating expenditure to approve individual transactions relating to capital expenditure. 

Note: Forward cover for foreign exchange can only be obtained through Financial Services

 

5.    Disposal of assets must be approved by a member with the appropriate DFA based on the original purchase price of the asset

6.     Capital expenditure for property and IT infrastructure is normally only authorised against Property Services and ITS capital budgets. Where such capital expenditure is envisaged through other capital budgets this must be authorised by the relevant delegate together with either the Director Property Services, the Chief Digital Officer, Director IT Strategy PP or Director of ITS

7.     Financial sub-delegations can;

  • can be given up to a maximum of 50% of the financial delegation limit of a delegate at levels 2 and 3 of the UOS on the written approval of that Delegate 
  • members at level 2 or 3 of the UOS can either be given DFA in accordance with table 1 and 2 or a financial sub-delegation
  • can be given to a member at below level 3 of the UOS
  • can be made on a short term or long term basis

8.     Line manager sub-delegations;

  • can only be given to the delegate’s peer or to a member at a higher level in the organisation chart. It cannot be given to the delegate’s direct reports or a member at a lower level of the organisational chart. The only exception is the Vice Chancellor’s line manager sub-delegations as there is no one at the same level or above to sub delegate to 
  • can be made on a short-term or long-term basis
  • long term sub-delegation is subject to the approval of the Chief Financial Officer or Group Financial Controller

9.     Line managers are required to approve the appropriateness of expense reports for expense card reconciliation, expense         reimbursement and cash advance reconciliations

Note - There is no requirement for this manager to have DFA as these expense reports are required to be approved by the cost centre budget holder (person with DFA over the cost centre being charged) before they route to the line manager for approval. Refer to the Approvals Quick Guide for more details

10.     Sub-delegates cannot further delegate that authority to another member unless the sub-delegate is at level 2 or 3 of the UOS

11.     Level 2 or 3 sub-delegates can only further sub-delegate up to 50% of their maximum financial delegation limit as per table 1 and 2 Note: The rules under the financial sub-delegation section apply

12.     All delegations and sub-delegations must be given and accepted in writing before becoming effective

13.     For periods of absence, delegates and sub-delegates can transfer their delegation or sub-delegation in its entirety to another staff member or contractor who has the same or higher value of financial delegation

14.     The University Librarian has DFA in respect of:

  • library materials purchases up to the amount of the approved budget for library materials
  • non-library material purchases, the financial delegation limits in table 1 and 2 apply

15.     The Director of Property Services has the following DFA in respect of property capital projects:

  • up to $10,000 or 5% of the project cost estimate (whichever is greater) for the preparation of project proposals for projects provided for in the current University budget or Capital Plan, and
  • up to $200,000 for minor capital works, either from a capital budget provision for such or from a project capital budget specifically provided for, and
  • authority to approve for payment any invoices relating to a capital project previously approved by the Council, and/or the Capital Expenditure Committee and/or the Vice-Chancellor according to the respective delegations

16.     The authority to approve gifts or sponsorship agreements is delegated and managed by the Vice-Chancellor

17.     The Vice-Chancellor may elect to sub-delegate the approval of gifts or sponsorship agreements to a person they see fit

 

Definitions


The following definitions apply to this document:

Authorised expenditure are business related costs that have been approved in accordance with DFA

Business case assurance is a service that is provided jointly by University Strategic Programme Office (USPO) and certain delegated senior finance staff. It considers both the robustness of the process followed and end quality of the resultant five cases (Strategic, Economic, Commercial, Financial and Management)

Capital expenditure refers to the:

  • acquisition of land, or
  • acquisition, extension, modification or refurbishment of a building, or
  • acquisition of a piece of equipment, or
  • acquisition or development of an IT system or application, or
  • acquisition of shares or equity like investments outside of investing the University’s working capital,or
  • acquisition of a work of art, or
  • acquisition of Library materials

where the resulting expenditure would be capitalised under the University’s Accounting Policies 

In addition, a “capital expenditure proposal” is also deemed to include a write off, write-down, disposal or demolition of assets currently capitalised as well as long-term leases whose size and duration of commitment is akin to capital expenditure. All new or renewed leases where the undiscounted committed lease payments exceed $2.5 million are to be treated as “capital expenditure”.

Delegate is a member that has been given written authority to exercise DFA in accordance with table 1 and 2 or a line manager delegation in accordance with this policy

Delegated financial authority (DFA) means the granting of power to approve operating or capital expenditure, asset disposals, and revenue generating activities resulting in the raising of an invoice for payment by a third party within the financial delegation limits given

Financial delegation gives the member the ability to approve transactions in a financial capacity in accordance with their DFA

Gifts are donations of any type of property, including goods, real estate, rights or monies, where there is no consideration made or paid to the donor in any form for the making of that donation

In writing means a letter formalising the delegation or sub-delegation has been issued by Financial Services which is required to be signed by the Delegate/Sub-delegate and the authoriser

Note: requests for delegation or sub-delegation must be made on the Delegations Form

IT infrastructure refers to the composite hardware, software, network resources and services required for the existence, operation and management of the University IT environment:

  • Hardware includes servers, data centres, switches, hubs and routers
  • Software includes Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and productivity applications
  • Network includes network enablement, internet connectivity, firewall and security

Note: IT infrastructure does not include computer equipment and accessories such as desktop and portable PCs, printers and monitors

Line manager is the manager that the staff member or contractor reports to who approves the appropriateness of the transaction

Long-term means a period greater than 12 months

Members are those persons who make up the University as set out in section 3(2) of The University of Auckland Act 1961 and includes University employees, Council committee members, contractors and sub-contractors

Minor capital works are any addition or alternation involving more than one activity or service, which requires a building consent or has the potential to affect existing building services. Further information is available on minor capital works

One-over-one principle means a line manager can only approve sensitive expenses of their direct or indirect reports as per the organisational chart maintained by Human Resources. They cannot approve their own transactions or those of the person that they report to. Nor can they approve expenses of a member at the same level or higher in the organisational chart

Sponsorship is the payment of monetary value, or the provision of services, rights or any type of property including goods and real estate, to the University where the payer or provider receives a consideration for such payment or provision in the form of advertising, logo use, publicity, naming or such similar rights but is not intended to mean or include normal day to day commercial transactions in which the University, in the ordinary course of business, purchases or otherwise acquires goods and services from another party

Sub-delegate is a member that has been given written authority by a delegate to exercise a part of the delegate’s DFA or line manager delegation in accordance with this policy

University means the University of Auckland and its subsidiaries

University Organisational Structure is the official view of the University’s organisational structure that encompasses all revenue, expenditure and staff members and is maintained by the Planning and Quality Office

Document management and control


Owner: Chief Financial Officer

Approved by:  Vice-Chancellor

Date approved: May 2016

Review date: May 2018