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Financial Delegations Policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This policy was approved by University Council on 4 October 2012 and incorporates all amendments to 5 November 2015.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) To establish and authorise financial delegations for the University.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This applies throughout the University.

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Section 4 - Policy

(4) University Council authorises the financial delegations set out in this policy.

(5) The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is authorised to appoint financial delegates with expenditure limits of up to $500,000. On the recommendation of the CFO, the Vice-Chancellor is authorised to appoint financial delegates with expenditure limits of between $500,000 and $2,000,000.

(6) All appointments of financial delegates by the CFO or the Vice-Chancellor must be undertaken using the Financial Delegations (Appointments) form.

(7) A financial delegation can only be proposed by a financial delegate from the same budget centre(s) holding a delegation at a higher level to that being proposed.

(8) If a financial delegate with an expenditure limit of $100,000 or more is appointed under paragraph 5, the CFO must amend Table A accordingly, and notify University Council of changes annually.

General expenditure

Table A: Financial delegations for general expenditure*
Financial Delegate Delegation level Expenditure Limit ($)
Vice-Chancellor GE1 5,000,000
Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer GE2 2,000,000
Members of the Executive GE3 500,000
Executive Directors, Directors of Institutes, Heads of Schools, Faculty General Managers, Pro Vice-Chancellors, Director Deakin Research, Commercial Director- Operations and Services (Deakin Research) and University Librarian GE4 300,000
Heads and Directors of Units, Deputy Vice Presidents — reporting to an Executive member VP, University Solicitor, Deputy Faculty General Managers, Director of ICT Service Delivery, Director of ICT Infrastructure Services GE5 100,000
*see Table C for exceptions

(9) The CFO is authorised to appoint financial delegates according to the positions and expenditure limits listed at Table B below, via the head of their organisational area. Changes to these limits are at the discretion of the CFO, with any increases based on a sound case provided by the person requesting the increased limit.

Table B: Discretionary financial delegates
Position Delegation level Expenditure Limit ($)
General Staff (generally HEW 9 and above) and Associate Deans DF1 30,000
Academic Staff (generally level C and above), Directors of Strategic Research Centres and Heads of Departments DF2 30,000
Budget Centre Managers (generally HEW 8 and above) DF3 15,000
Administration/Finance Officers (generally HEW 5 and above) DF4 2,000

Exceptions for certain types of expenditure

(10) Specific expenditure limits are set for certain types of expenditure as listed in Table C. These limits are exceptions and differ from the general financial delegation for a particular financial delegate as set out at Tables A and B above.

Table C: Exceptions
Expenditure type Financial delegate Expenditure limit ($)
Capital expenditure and unbudgeted operational expenditure* Vice-Chancellor 10,000,000
Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer 5,000,000
Approval of payroll expenditure Executive Director, Human Resources Authorisation of payroll transactions
International travel Vice-Chancellor, Members of the Executive and other delegates appointed in writing by the Vice-Chancellor As per limits in Table A
Debt write-offs (except debts for student fees) Vice-Chancellor Greater than 100,000
Chief Financial Officer Less than 100,000
Refund, waive and write-off student fees and charges (except for University car parking) Members of the Executive Greater than 100,000
Executive Director, Student Administration and other delegates as appointed in writing by the Executive Director, Student Administration Less than 100,000
Parking Infringement Fines Set by the Victorian State Government, pursuant to the Road Safety Rules 2009
Donations to External Bodies Vice-Chancellor As per limits in Table A
Internal transfers /journals The originating and the receiving Faculty Finance Manager or Portfolio Finance Manager No limit
Ordering of purchased or leased equipment under the End User Computing scheme (EUC) End User Computing (EUC) Approver Limit of $6,000 per item based on the purchase value
*Unbudgeted capital and operational expenditure can only be approved in accordance with Table C if this doesn't impact the latest approved forecast funding surplus by more than 5%.

Credit cards

(11) The financial delegates listed at Table D have the authority to issue credit cards using the Credit Card Request form.

(12) If a staff member has had a corporate credit card withdrawn or cancelled in the past they may only be issued with a new corporate credit card with the approval of a person with a delegation level of GE4 (Table A) or higher.

(13) Financial delegates cannot issue credit cards and set credit card limits for themselves. Their line manager must do so.

(14) Only financial delegates can approve credit card expenditure.

(15) Limits for credit cards are set at $10,000 and transaction limits are set at $5,000. Increases to the credit card or transaction limits can be submitted for approval by the Director, Corporate Finance through the Credit Card Request form. Transaction limits can be set at a lower limit by the approving delegate or at the suggestion of the Director, Corporate Finance if appropriate for staff members' roles. For clarity, this clause is replicated in the Credit Card Policy.

(16) The Director, Corporate Finance must present a report to the CFO quarterly that identifies any new credit cards issued, and all card limits and all transaction limits.

(17) If a staff member is issued with a credit card and does not have a financial delegation, they are authorised to enter into financial commitments up to the level of the credit card transaction limit. All such expenditure must be approved by the relevant line manager with the appropriate financial delegation prior to entering into the transaction or at the time of approving the credit card for payment.

Table D: Issuing credit cards
Item Financial Delegate
Issue credit cards Vice-Chancellor, Members of the Executive, Executive Directors of Divisions, Directors of Institutes, Heads of Schools or Departments, Faculty General Managers, General Managers - Finance, University Librarian and Heads and Directors of Units
Refer to the Credit Card Policy for specific information to do with the use of University Credit Cards, including the approval of a cash advance facility thereon.


Table E: Financial delegations for investment transactions
Function Financial Delegate
Invest directly in cash and fixed interest investments Chief Financial Officer

Requirements for expenditure and refund approvals

(18) Prior to providing authorisation, the financial delegate will ensure that the expenditure:

  1. is solely for University purposes
  2. does not exceed the approved budget allocation
  3. does not exceed the limit authorised under their delegated authority.

(19) All refunds paid to a party that is external to the University (i.e. supplier, funding body, student etc) must be approved in accordance with the required Financial Delegation as set out under this Policy.

(20) By authorising expenditure, financial delegates assume responsibility for the transaction. In case of policy breaches, the financial delegate might be subject to internal disciplinary proceedings and/or, if appropriate, criminal proceedings.

(21) Unless specified in this policy, a financial delegate cannot delegate their delegation. Any delegations must be recorded in writing and a copy of this record must be provided to the CFO.

(22) Appropriate records of authorisations must be maintained in line with the Information and Records Management Policy.

Supporting documentation to internal forms

(23) The supporting documentation that accompanies an internal form, may be in the form of original documents, copies of original documents or scanned copies of original documents in an acceptable format (which is TIFF, PDF, PDA, JPEG and JPEG2000 only).

Payment approvals

(24) University Council authorises the CFO to appoint authorised officers for effecting payment via electronic funds transfer or cheque.

(25) A list of authorised officers must be kept by the CFO.

Fees, charges and penalties

Table F: Financial delegations for fees, charges and fines
Function Financial Delegate
(a) fees and charges levied on higher education students Vice-Chancellor
(b) fees and charges for University car parking Chief Operating Officer
(c) fines and penalties for misuse of library resources University Librarian
(d) fines and penalties for other functions not covered above Members of the Executive
Determine fees for goods and services of any kind:
(a) managed by, or provided by, the University Librarian University Librarian
(b) all others Members of the Executive

Gifts, bequests and sponsorships

Table G: Financial delegations for accepting gifts, bequests and sponsorships
Function Financial Delegate
Accept a gift, bequest or sponsorship:
(a) unlimited Vice-Chancellor
(b) up to $2,000,000 Chief Advancement Officer
(c) up to $500,000 Director, External Relations


Table H: Financial delegations for accepting grants
Function Financial Delegate
Accept National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants:
(a) above $10,000,000 University Council
(b) up to $10,000,000 Vice-Chancellor
(c) up to $2,000,000 Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research
Accept Australian Research Council (ARC) grants:
(a) above $10,000,000 University Council
(b) up to $10,000,000 Vice-Chancellor
(c) up to $2,000,000 Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research
Accept Commonwealth Competitive Grant grants:
(a) above $10,000,000 University Council
(b) up to $10,000,000 Vice-Chancellor
(c) up to $2,000,000 Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research
Accept all other grants:
(a) above $5,000,000 University Council
(b) up to $5,000,000 Vice-Chancellor
(c) up to $2,000,000 Members of the Executive

(26) A financial delegate may not accept a grant without ensuring the project can accommodate any shortfall between the amount of the grant and the total cost of the project.

Conflict of interest

(27) A financial delegate who has a conflict of interest must comply with the Code of Conduct and the associated policy suite prior to exercising their financial delegation.


(28) The Director, Corporate Finance will regularly assess the risk(s) associated with each level of delegation and implement controls appropriate to the identified risk(s).

(29) The Vice-Chancellor and the CFO are authorised to revoke a financial delegation at any time.

Changes to positions and roles, including acting and interim roles

(30) Staff appointed to acting or interim roles are authorised to assume the financial delegations of the position, subject to the completion of an Acting Financial Delegations Request online form by the financial delegate. Staff in these acting or interim roles cannot approve transactions created by them while in their lower (substantive) position.

(31) A financial delegation to a position set out in this policy is, if the position is abolished, restructured or renamed, to be taken to be a reference to the principal successor to the functions of that position.


(32) Any breaches of the University's policies by a staff member or student will be investigated and might lead to internal disciplinary proceedings and/or, if appropriate, criminal proceedings.

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Section 5 - Procedure

(33) There is no attendant Procedure.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(34) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Authorised officer: Staff of the University appointed by the Chief Financial Officer to approve payment.
  2. Expenditure limit: excludes GST and applies to a cost per item, except where several connected items comprise a total acquisition or purchase.
  3. Financial commitment: a transaction that results in a cash outflow or in-kind outflow of University resources. It does not extend to an authorisation to enter into contracts on behalf of the University (see Contracts Policy).
  4. Financial delegate: Staff of the University authorised by University Council or the Chief Financial Officer to enter into a financial commitment.
  5. Internal forms: Internal forms include but are not limited to the following forms — Financial Delegations (Appointments) Form, Payment Voucher, Petty Cash Voucher, Credit Card Request Form, Internal Transfer, Internal Transfer: Enrolment Fees, MasterCard Preloaded Cards Order Form, etc.