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Individual Consultancy Payments policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Policy is effective from 6 July 2023.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This Policy establishes the process for receiving payment for individual small value consultancies and how the funds can be used.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Policy applies to payments received for individual small value consultancies up to the value of $5000 undertaken by staff using Deakin resources, and/or branding, or their position; and in excess of $5000 where approved by the relevant Executive Dean, Institute Director or Portfolio Director.

(4) Any other paid work that is unrelated to the University, a staff member’s position or the sector must be undertaken in accordance with the Declaration of Interest procedure and is not covered under this Policy.

(5) This Policy does not apply to Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) reportable revenue (refer to Externally Funded Research Contracts procedure), teaching revenue or large scale consultancy projects.

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Section 4 - Policy

(6) Staff, in particular Academic staff, are encouraged to undertake individual small value consultancies as part of their duties that:

  1. are in the best interests of the University
  2. support the University’s strategic objectives
  3. are consistent with their expertise
  4. do not restrict the Freedom of Speech or Academic Freedom of the University and the staff member concerned
  5. do not create risks that cannot be effectively managed
  6. do not create conflicts of interests or perceptions of conflicts of interest that cannot be effectively managed
  7. comply with legislation and University policies and procedures.

(7) Individual small value consultancy funds must be managed and used in accordance with this Policy and other University policies, procedures and processes.

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Section 5 - Procedure

(8) Payments for individual small value consultancy work must be received into a consultancy project account (Fund Type 6: Commercial Funds) owned by the staff member who undertakes the consultancy.

(9) Where a staff member does not have a consultancy project account they must contact Finance to set one up prior to accepting the consultancy. Only one consultancy project account per staff member will be established to hold payments covered under this Policy.

(10) Invoices for consultancies must be raised in accordance with accounts receivable processes and the relevant individual small value consultancy agreement.

(11) Consultancy project account balances should not exceed $15,000. The Chief Financial Officer may instruct account owners to spend any amount above $15,000 within a two year period or risk losing the funds.

(12) Consultancy project account balances under $15,000 will be carried forward each year. The Chief Financial Officer may approve balances exceeding $15,000 to be carried forward into the following year, on a case by case basis, taking into consideration the University’s financial position at the time.

(13) Consultancy funds may be used at the fund owner’s discretion and must be used for legitimate business expenses in accordance with University policies, procedures and processes in particular the Business Expenses PolicyProcurement policy and Procurement procedure.

Further information is available the Finance SharePoint.

(14) Consultancy project account owners must ensure that their account remains in credit and that no expenditure or commitment of funds exceeds available balance.

(15) Individual small value consultancy funds are considered to be owned by Deakin. In the event a consultancy project account owner ceases employment with the University they cannot withdraw or take funds from their consultancy project account as salary or cash.

(16) The Research Finance Team will regularly monitor consultancy project accounts and ensure that HERDC reportable revenue is not being transferred to consultancy project accounts.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(17) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. individual small value consultancy: consultancy undertaken by a staff member up to the value of $5000, or exceeding $5000 where approved by the relevant Executive Dean, Institute Director or Portfolio Director. Examples include but are not limited to:
    1. where a staff member is engaged as a consultant, and where the consultancy is not research
    2. external Board positions
    3. participation on advisory panels, including ARC College of Experts
    4. input into external policy development, for example, government policy development.
  2. HERDC reportable revenue: as defined in the annual Higher Education Research Data Collection Specifications. This includes research consultancies where the consultancy is informing research, as defined in the Specifications.
  3. large scale consultancies: consultancies involving several areas, or people across the University and/or where an individual contract value exceeds $5000 (except where approved by the relevant Executive Dean,  Institute Director or Portfolio Director). Information and advice regarding large scale consultancies is available by contacting the Deakin Research Innovation Team
  4. teaching revenue: where a staff member delivers a Deakin teaching program, including short courses and workshops and payment is made to Deakin University or any other Deakin owned entity, including DeakinCo.