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Delegations and Authorisations Policy

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Section 1 -  Summary

(1) The authority to make commitments or give undertakings on behalf of Victoria University is governed by these formal Delegations of Authority in association with Victoria University Act 2010 (Vic) (‘the Act’), formal policies, procedures and guidelines issued by Federal and State Government and their respective Education Departments. For the purposes of Section 18 of the Act, this policy is an instrument made by Council.

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Section 2 - HESF/ASQA/ESOS Alignment

(2) HESF: Standard 6.1 Corporate Governance; 6.2 Corporate Monitoring and Accountability; 6.3 Academic Governance

(3) Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015: Standard 7 & 8.

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Section 3 - Scope

(4) This Policy applies to all Victoria University Staff, including staff of Victoria University Subsidiaries and Council members.

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Section 4 - Definitions

(5) Authorisation: Administrative assistance provided to a Delegate that does not include the exercise of any discretion or judgement which is the subject of the Delegation.

(6) Authorised Officer: A person given Authorisation by a Delegate in writing to perform routine parts of their Delegation which do not require the exercise of significant independent judgement on their behalf.

(7) Delegate: A position or body holding a Delegation.

(8) Delegation: Some or all of a Power, from a position or body invested with that Power, can be delegated to a different position or body, such that the new position or body can exercise that Power.

(9) One-up principle: Refers to the next level up in the organisation structure and/or direct manager.

(10) Power: The rights given to a position or body by the enabling source, generally the Victoria University Act 2010 (Vic).

(11) Staff

(12) Student

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Section 5 - Policy Statement

Part A - Delegation principles

Delegations to positions

(13) Delegations are subject to approved budget limits, Victoria University policies, guidelines and procedures and any directions of the Council.

(14) The limits of authority delegated as shown under ‘Financial Delegations – Organisation Structure and Delegation Levels’ of this policy are absolute and applied per transaction (across the life of the transaction) excluding GST, and must not be exceeded, cannot be split or delegated further. 

(15) Delegation is limited to the total approved annual budget that the position is responsible for. Any forecast annual budget overrun is to be discussed and agreed with the direct manager. For forecast annual budget overruns occurring at delegation Levels 3 and 4 of the Organisational Structure must be agreed with the Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

(16) Proposed changes to the Delegations and Authorisations Policy must be supported by the Vice-Chancellor and CFO before submission to the Council.

(17) The delegations are to the positions as named, not individuals, and may cease if there is substantive change to the duties of such positions. The ‘one–up principle’ must be applied in recommending an individual to act in a position which holds delegated authority.  Approval must be sought from the respective Manager or Executive Director as relevant.

(18) Staff who are acting in a specified position assume the delegations of that position, unless the terms of the acting appointment specify otherwise. 

(19) Delegates are not permitted to approve transactions relating to their own activities or position. For example, reimbursement of their own expenses or approval of their own leave.  One-up principle must be applied for such activities and approval required from the respective Manager or Executive Director as relevant.

(20) In exercising these delegations, delegates must consider:

  1. whether there is any conflict of interest, including any reasonably perceived conflict of interest. Conflicts of interest which arise in respect of the exercise of a Delegation must be dealt with in accordance with the Appropriate Workplace Behaviour Policy and/or Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Policy.
  2. relationships between Academics and Industry, for example in support and collaboration of research and education. Such relationships should not compromise, or be reasonably perceived to compromise, professional judgement, capacity to service students or community trust in the integrity of academic practices. Relationships must be conducted within the Appropriate Workplace Behaviour Policy and professional bodies’ guidelines. Further guidance on this matter should be sought from the relevant Executive Director or member of VCG.
  3. any commitment or undertaking that could reasonably be deemed to have reputation or material risk to VU, regardless of the financial commitment must be authorised by the Vice-Chancellor. 

(21) Generally, a Delegate cannot exercise a Delegation in regard to functions or staff for which the Delegate does not hold responsibility. Exceptions to this principle include Delegations exercised by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Enterprise and Digital and Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

(22) Except where a Delegate is responsible to Council directly, Delegates remain ultimately subject at all times to the direction and authority of the Vice-Chancellor.

(23) Decisions outside the Vice-Chancellor delegations must be approved by Council.

(24) Breaches of delegations are treated very seriously and may lead to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal:

  1. Breaches are required to be reported to either the relevant Executive Director, Head of Legal Services or CFO;
  2. Staff may also incur personal liabilities for unauthorised transactions;
  3. Delegations may be removed from the individual.

Financial Delegations – Organisation Structure and Delegation Levels

(25) Schedule 1: Organisation Structure and Positions within each financial delegation level references the default value for delegated authority for the positions listed at each level. Refer to the detailed delegation schedules in this Policy for the delegated authority relevant to specific activities.  

(26) All delegations need to be applied for and completion of the Financial Delegation Training Module is required before financial delegation can be granted.

(27) If a position requires Financial Delegation, but is not listed in this Policy in Schedule 1, then completion of a Request to add/delete a Financial Delegation/Authorisation form is required. Authority to change Schedule 1 remains with the Vice-Chancellor, with requests being made through the following positions::

  1. Deputy Chief Financial Officer (DCFO); or,
  2. Director, Strategic Financial Solutions; or,
  3. Associate Director, Strategic Capital Management.

(28) Schedule 1: Organisation Structure and Positions within each financial delegation level – The limits of authority delegated are absolute and applied per transaction (across the life of the transaction) excluding GST, and must not be exceeded, cannot be split or delegated further. Refer to the Financial Delegations Schedule for a listing by position and name.

Part B -  Delegations Schedules

(29) VU Delegations Schedules.

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Section 6 - Procedures

(30) Nil.