Financial Delegations Policy

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) This Policy was first approved by University Council on 4 October 2012. The updated Policy was approved by University Council on 3 March 2016 and incorporates amendments to 25 October 2016.

(2) This Policy includes the following schedule:

  1. Schedule A: Financial Delegations (Appointments) Form.

Section 2 - Purpose

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

Section 3 - Scope

(4) This Policy applies throughout the University.

Section 4 - Policy

(5) University Council authorises financial delegations and Corporate Finance will manage all applications for financial delegations.

(6) 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.

(7) All appointments of financial delegates by the CFO or the Vice-Chancellor involving the delegation of authority to spend University funds must be undertaken using the Financial Delegations (Appointments) form. Appointments of other categories of financial delegates (such as for example those relating to the acceptance of gifts, bequests, grants and sponsorships) are made pursuant to a written request for appointment.

(8) 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. Except for the circumstances under clause 32 a financial delegation cannot be granted to or held by a consultant / contractor.

(9) If a financial delegate with an expenditure limit of $100,000 or more is appointed under paragraph 6, the CFO must amend Table A accordingly, and notify Council of changes annually.

(10) The exercise of a financial delegation for a transaction must relate to the cost of the transaction as a whole (including all taxes and duties) not to parts of it.

(11) The splitting of transactions to avoid or circumvent delegation limits is not permitted.

(12) Delegates can approve an increase to the cost of a transaction only if:

  1. the total cost of the transaction including the increase is within their delegation
  2. the increase is no greater than 10% of the original cost
  3. all other requirements of this policy are met.

(13) Increases of 10% or more and any further subsequent increases of any value must be referred to the delegate's supervisor for approval notwithstanding that they may be within the delegate's level of financial delegation.

(14) Delegations relating to expenditure of any kind can only be exercised within approved budgets. There is no authority to incur expenditure unless there is an approved source of sufficient funds.

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
Senior Managers (as defined in the Delegation of Authority Policy) GE4 300,000
Deputy Vice Presidents reporting to an Executive member and Deputy Faculty General Managers GE5 100,000

*see Table C for exceptions

(15) The CFO is authorised to appoint financial delegates according to the positions and expenditure limits listed at Table B: Discretionary financial delegates, 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) and Directors of Strategic Research Centres 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

(16) 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 from general financial delegations

Expenditure type Financial Delegate Expenditure Limit ($)
Capital Expenditure Vice-Chancellor 20,000,000
Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer 10,000,000
Acquisition of shares or interests in opportunities arising from the commercialisation of research* Vice-Chancellor 20,000,000
Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer 10,000,000
Contracted expenditure Vice-Chancellor 20,000,000
Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer 10,000,000
Unbudgeted operational expenditure** Vice-Chancellor 20,000,000
Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer 10,000,000
Approval of payroll expenditure Executive Director, Human Resources Division Authorisation of payroll transactions
International travel Vice-Chancellor and Members of the Executive 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) Chief Financial Officer Greater than 100,000
Executive Director, Student Administration Less than 100,000
Impairment of Assets Chief Financial Officer In accordance with Accounting standards
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 new or replacement equipment under the End User Computer scheme (EUC) End User Computing (EUC) Approver Limit of $6,000 per item on the order based on the total value of the commitment and over the life of the contract.

* Proposals in excess of $10,000,000 are recommended to University Council by FBAC

**Unbudgeted capital and operational expenditure can only be approved in accordance with Table C if this doesn't cause the latest approved forecast annual underlying surplus to vary by more than 2 percentage points.

Acquiring shares or other interests from the commercialisation of research

(17) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research will make recommendations about the University taking an issue of or otherwise acquiring or investing in shares or other interests in external entities as part of contracted research, research commercialisation or other aligned strategic business investment and obtain the approval of any two of the financial delegates for that proposal, as shown in Table C: Exceptions from general Financial Delegation.

(18) The financial delegates must be satisfied that the proposal complies with the Commercial Activities and Entities policy and procedure before approving.

Credit cards

(19) The financial delegates listed at Table D: Issuing credit cards have the authority to issue credit cards using the Credit Card Request form and in accordance with the Credit Card Policy.

Table D: Issuing credit cards

Item Financial Delegate
Issue Credit cards (a) Vice-Chancellor (b) Members of the Executive (c) Senior Managers (as defined in the Delegation of Authority Policy)

(20) 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 (Refer Table A: Financial delegations for General expenditure) or higher.

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

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

(23) 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.

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

Requirements for all expenditure approvals

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

  1. is solely for University purposes
  2. complies with Procurement policy and procedure and other relevant policy or procedure requirements as applicable
  3. does not exceed the approved budget allocation
  4. does not exceed the limit authorised under their delegated authority, as previously granted to them.

(26) 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.

(27) 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.

Payment approvals

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

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

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

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 Deputy Vice-President (Advancement)

Table H: Financial delegations for accepting grants

Function Financial Delegate
Accept National Health and Medical Research University 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 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 Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research


(30) 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.

Changes to positions and roles, including acting and interim roles

(31) When a staff member holding a financial delegation will not be available to exercise their financial delegation (e.g. annual leave, overseas travel, etc) they must notify their manager and if deemed appropriate assign their financial delegation to a financial delegate. The staff member must advise the financial delegate of this in writing and complete an Acting Financial Delegations Request online form so that their financial delegations may be allocated to the staff member appointed on an acting basis (ie financial delegate).

(32) From time to time a position in the University may be occupied (for example, in an interim or acting capacity) by an external consultant or by a person contracted by the University through a third party company or external entity. In these cases the approver must ensure that the delegation is both reasonable and appropriate taking into account the monetary limit of the financial delegation, the seniority of the position and whether the financial delegation is critical to the execution of that role. This delegation must be made in writing.

Conflict of Interest

(33) A financial delegation must not be exercised where there is a perceived, potential or actual conflict of interest. In such circumstances the delegation must be exercised in accordance with the provisions of the University's Conflict of Interest Procedure and Code of Conduct.

Prohibited exercise of delegation

(34) Financial delegates cannot exercise delegations or approve any action or transaction:

  1. in respect of themselves;
  2. in respect of any related person or entity; or
  3. that provides them or any related person or entity with a direct personal benefit, including (but not limited to) activities such as travel, reimbursements, University Credit Card transactions or other payments as entitled to from time to time.

Managing Financial Delegations

(35) 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).

(36) There shall be a Register of Financial Delegations which shall be maintained by the Director, Corporate Finance.

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

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

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

Section 5 - Procedure

(40) There is no attendant Procedure.

Section 6 - Definitions

(41) 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. Senior Managers: Pro Vice-Chancellors, Heads of Schools, Directors of Institutes, Faculty General Managers, Heads and Directors of Units, the University Librarian, the University Solicitor, Executive Directors and other senior positions as determined by the Vice-Chancellor.