Sensitive Expenditure Policy


This policy applies to all University members.


To inform members of the University’s position and procedures relating to sensitive expenditure.


The University has a group of policies which add to the principles and rules for managing sensitive expenditure. The policies are listed under the Key Relevant Documents section.


1.   Wherever any expenditure is likely to be assessed as being sensitive, such expenditure must be authorised on a one over one basis

2.   Sensitive expenditure must be the subject to a proper prior assessment and one over one control. The assessment must:

  • be subject to high standards of probity and financial prudence
  • be able to withstand audit and public scrutiny
  • have a justifiable business purpose only and not provide private benefit to an individual member
  • be made in a sound and defensible manner
  • preserve impartiality
  • be moderate and conservative, having regard to the circumstances
  • be transparent      
  • be appropriate in all respects


The following definitions apply to this document:

Members include members of Council, committee members, students, staff members, committee appointees, the University’s companies’ staff members and board members and contractors working for and on behalf of the University

One over one is the principle that expenditure must be approved by a person at a higher level in the organisational chart than the level of the person incurring the expenditure (e.g. line manager). Staff members cannot approve their own expenditure or those of their peers

Sensitive expenditure includes expenditure:

  • Which, by its nature may harm the reputation of and trust in the University, whatever its dollar value, e.g. excessively using taxis where public transport would be more efficient
  • That could be seen as giving some private benefit to an individual member that is additional to the business benefit to the University, e.g. member flying business class to attend a conference overseas
  • That is highly controversial or considered unusual for the University’s purpose and/or functions   

Staff member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full or part time basis 

University means the University of Auckland including all subsidiaries

Key relevant documents

Include the following:

Document management and control

Owner:  Chief Financial Officer

Content manager:  Financial Services

Approved by: Vice-Chancellor and DVC (Operations) and Registrar

Date approved:  30 November 2016

Review date: 30 November 2019