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Schedule of Delegated Financial Authority
The Court approved the undernoted Schedule at its meeting held on 22nd October 2012. Amendments to the Schedule reflecting the new Court sub-committee structure agreed following the 2013/14 Governance Review were made by Governance Services under authority delegated from the Court on 23rd June 2014.
1. The University Court is the body responsible for ensuring the proper conduct of the University’s affairs. By virtue of the Principal’s authority and responsibilities as the Chief Accounting Officer of the University, the Court recognises the need to empower the Principal to discharge her or his duty to ensure the orderly conduct of the business of the University in a timely and efficient manner. Subject to certain conditions and reservations set out below, the Court delegates full authority to the Principal to act on its behalf in all matters affecting the well-being of the University. All further delegation to members of staff derives from the Principal.
2. General principles and arrangements
1. This Schedule lists those people or bodies who are authorised to commit the University to a contractual or quasi-contractual relationship (i.e. normally with an external body or person, such as the award of capital contracts or the offer of a place to an individual student).
2. Subject to any restrictions imposed by the Court, those to whom authority is delegated can delegate it further if they so wish and are responsible for approving formal schemes of sub-delegation as appropriate. Such delegation does not diminish the personal responsibility to the Court of the office holder to whom that body has made the initial delegation.
3. All authorities are subject to policies approved by or on behalf of the Court and where relevant to budget availability, and must be exercised in accordance with relevant current procedures and applicable statutory requirements.
4. The Schedule covers the authority to make a commitment with resource implications whereas operational transactions, which give effect to such decisions are covered by operating procedures.
5. In respect of new business contracts, full delegation is granted on the basis that Court expects that in all cases:
a) the business case will be properly assessed before any contractual commitment is entered into, including a full assessment of the project risks, both reputational and financial.
b) the full costs of the project will be identified, including any matched funding costs, any additional overhead cost, including estates costs.
c) where a new business proposal would commit the university to additional costs, the contract will not be signed until a decision has been made about where these additional costs are to be funded from.
d) all contracts will normally be expected to make an appropriate contribution to central university overheads in accordance with University policy and the University finance strategy, although the Principal has authority to choose to cross subsidise projects within the overall budgetary limits agreed annually by the Court.
e) a legal opinion must be sought on all non standard contracts
3. Reserved areas of business
1. There are areas of business that the Court reserves to itself for decision, whether directly or through powers delegated to its Committees as set out from time to time in the remits for those Committees or through powers delegated to specific officers as determined by the Court from time to time. These at present are:
a) The appointment and terms of reference of Court Committees.
b) The appointment or removal of members of Court.
c) The appointment of Court representatives on other bodies.
d) The appointment of senior officers, namely the Principal and Vice Chancellor, and, after consultation with the Principal and Vice Chancellor, the Secretary and such Vice-Principals and Assistant Principals as the Court may consider necessary for the discharge of its functions.
e) The remuneration of the Principal, University Secretary, Vice-Principals and Assistant Principals.
f) Severance terms for the Principal.
g) The appointment of the External Auditor.
h) The University’s Strategic Plan and Budget.
i) The promulgation of the Standing Orders.
j) Acquisition and disposal of property, and commitments to other major projects, where the value of the transaction, or of a group of linked transactions of which it is part, exceeds £500,000.
k) Statement of Accounts, accounting policies, and the Annual Report.
l) Indemnities for members of Court.
m) This schedule of reserved matters.
2. The Court will be informed about major litigation.
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