Delegations of Authority

Delegations of Authority

SUMMARY

Delegations of Authority underpin decision-making at the University. The Delegations of Authority Policy and its Appendices specify who may perform specific functions and the principles by which delegations of authority are exercised. They also establish the requirements for approval and review of delegations. The two Appendices are:

Appendix 1 Reserved Powers of Council and Council Committees

Appendix 2 Delegations of Authority Register

POLICY

1     PURPOSE

The purpose of this Delegations of Authority Policy, including its Appendices is:

(a)  in relation to any matter or class of matters, or in relation to any activity or function of the University, to appoint delegates to perform those functions;

(b)  to establish the requirements for approval and review of delegations; and

(c)   to specify the principles by which delegations of authority are exercised.

2     BACKGROUND

This Delegations of Authority Policy, Reserved Powers of Council and Council Committees and Delegations of Authority Register are made by resolution of the Council of the University pursuant to section 17 of the Macquarie University Act 1989 (NSW).

The Council delegates the functions prescribed in the Delegations of Authority Policy, Reserved Powers of Council and Council Committees and Delegations of Authority Register to the bodies, committees, officers and employees stipulated.

3     SCOPE

The Delegations of Authority Policy applies to University bodies, committees, officers and employees.

Teaching and research conducted within the University’s Controlled Entities under the University banner are managed as part of the academic governance of the University.

The Director of Human Resources must be consulted in:

(a) any negotiations relating to Enterprise Bargaining Agreements and

(b) any forced terminations of employment in Controlled Entities.

All other decisions relating to the University’s Controlled Entities are made in accordance with the Controlled Entities Policy.

The Delegations of Authority Register is not the source of all authority.  Council may make delegations in relation to any of its functions, including those in the Reserved Powers of the Council and Council Committees in Appendix 1.

University bodies, committees, officers and employees may engage in activities which are not covered by the Delegations of Authority Framework, if it is reasonable for them to infer that the University authorises them to engage in those activities (for example, from position descriptions, terms of reference, policies, procedures, guidelines, the Macquarie University By-law 2005 (NSW) and Rules).

4     DEFINITIONS

Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

Agent:  An officer or employee who is authorised in the Delegations of Authority Register to exercise a delegation for and on behalf of a Delegate.

Delegate:  A body, committee, officer or employee authorised to act and to make decisions concerning a specified power as delegated by Council and documented in the Delegations of Authority Register, or in a separate resolution of Council.

Delegation:An act of Council under section 17 of the Macquarie University Act 1989 (NSW) which confers the authority to act and the power to make decisions to a specific body, committee, officer or employee of the University.

Delegationsof Authority Framework: The Delegations of Authority Policy, including the Reserved Powers of Council and Council Committees and the Delegations of Authority Register.

Delegationsof Authority Register: The Delegations of Authority Register in Appendix 2.

Reserved Powers of Council: The Reserved Powers of Council and Council Committees in Appendix 1.

5     POLICY STATEMENT

General Principles

5.1     Delegation

(a)  A delegation ordinarily relates to the Delegate’s office, or position, not to the individual in that position. Similarly, where a delegation is to a body by reference to the body’s title, it relates to the body acting as a body, not to individual members of the body.

(b)  A person duly appointed as a temporary or acting occupant of an office has the authority delegated to the position in which he or she is acting, unless otherwise specified in the Delegations of Authority Register.

(c)   A delegation to a position or to a body, if the position or the body is abolished, has a change in name or a change in structure, is to be regarded as referring to the successor to the functions of that position or body.

(d)  Unless the context requires otherwise or unless otherwise specified:

(i)    a delegation applies only to a delegate’s accountability area; and

(ii)   the delegation to approve includes the delegation to rescind, vary or terminate.

(e)  A specific or particular delegation will prevail over a general delegation.

(f)    If the exercise of a function requires the exercise of some preliminary, incidental or ancillary administrative function, then the delegated authority extends to the exercise of that function.

(g)  In the event of any inconsistency between a policy approved by Council or a resolution of Council which predates the Register, the Register prevails to the extent of the inconsistency.

(h)  A Delegate who is ultimately subject to the direction and supervision of the Vice- Chancellor through established lines of accountability is, in the exercise of delegations, also subject to the direction and supervision of delegates more senior than the Delegate in the lines of accountability.

(i)    Delegates more senior in the lines of accountability to a Delegate named in the Delegations of Authority Register may exercise a delegation conferred on that named Delegate but only in accordance with its terms.

(j)    In exercising a function a Delegate may seek appropriate advice in order to be properly informed. However, the Delegate must exercise the delegated function without any undue influence by any other body, committee, officer or employee.

5.2     Signing of documents

(a)  A Delegate may sign any document which is necessary to give effect to their function or authority, including a legally-binding agreement (other than deeds), except where the authority to execute is specifically delegated to others in the Delegations of Authority Register. If a Delegate is a committee or other body and the body has authority to execute a document, the document may be executed by:

(i)           the chair or his or her nominee; or

(ii)          if there is no chair, a person whom the body resolves may execute the contract on behalf of the body.

(b)  Notwithstanding the above, only employees and officers appointed under a formal Power of Attorney may execute deeds.

5.3     Calculating cost of a transaction

In exercising a delegation with respect to a transaction, the Delegate must estimate the cost of the transaction as a whole, over the term of the transaction. For the purpose of making this calculation, the following principles apply:

(a)  a transaction must not be assessed in components or parts, such as instalments, tranches, or the cost of individual items;

(b)  the total gross cost of the transaction (including all taxes and duties) must be estimated; and

(c)   no reduction may be made in respect of any set-off, trade-in or the like.

5.4     Agents

A Delegate is permitted to authorise another officer or employee of the University to exercise his or her function as an Agent for or on his or her behalf if it is impracticable for the Delegate to act otherwise than through others, subject to the following:

(a)  the authorisation may be general or limited;

(b)  the authority must be given in writing signed by the Delegate and may be revoked in whole or in part in writing signed by the Delegate;

(c)   the Agent must exercise the authority in accordance with any requirements stated in the Delegations of Authority Register;

(d)  the Agent may, in exercise of that function, exercise any other administrative function that is preliminary, incidental or ancillary to the authorised function;

(e)  the Delegate remains responsible for ensuring that the authority is exercised properly by the Agent;

(f)    a function duly exercised by an Agent is deemed to have been exercised by the Delegate;

(g)  if a particular officer or the holder of a particular office is authorised to perform the function:

(i)            the authorisation does not cease to have effect merely because the person who was the particular officer or the holder of a particular office when he or she was authorised to perform the function ceases to be that officer or hold that office; and

(ii)           the person for the time being occupying or acting in the office concerned is taken to be the Agent; and

(h)  the Delegate may still perform a function even if he or she has appointed an Agent to do so.

5.5     Conflict of interest

(a)  A delegation or authority cannot be exercised where the Delegate or Agent has a conflict of interest. This includes, in particular, where the Delegate or Agent would obtain a personal benefit of some material kind.

(b)  In particular, Delegates and Agents must not approve matters including their own appointment, remuneration, payment or reimbursement, promotion, transfer or secondment, travel, absence or termination.

(c)   Further, Delegates and Agents must not approve matters relating to family members and/or others with whom they have a close personal relationship.

(d)  In the circumstances outlined in 5.5 (a) – (c) the conflicted Delegate or Agent must refer the decision to his or her supervisor and must not exercise the delegation or authority without the approval of his or her supervisor.

6     REVIEW OF THE DELEGATIONS OF AUTHORITY FRAMEWORK

Council will direct a detailed review of the Delegations of Authority Framework every three years or more frequently if required. The detailed review will be undertaken by the Audit and Risk Committee, with a final report and updated Delegations of Authority Framework being submitted to Council for approval.

7     AMENDMENTS TO THE DELEGATIONS OF AUTHORITY POLICY AND REGISTER

Amendments to the Delegations of Authority Policy and/or Register that are required within the three-year review period and which change the scope, intent or application of delegated functions will be referred to the Audit and Risk Committee or the Finance and Facilities Committee for approval and will be submitted to Council for noting. Examples of such amendments include:

(a)  new delegated functions;

(b)  changes to delegated functions; or

(c)   changes to financial delegation limits.

The Vice-Chancellor is authorised to approve minor amendments to the Delegations of Authority Policy and/or Delegations of Authority Register arising from an approved management action, provided that these do not represent a substantive change to a delegation. Examples of such amendments include:

(a)  insertion of details of authorised agents in the relevant column in the Delegations of Authority Register and changes to those details;

(b)  changes to the name of an office, faculty or unit; or

(c)   minor typographic corrections.

Any such amendments will be reported to the Audit and Risk Committee.

8     THE DELEGATIONS OF AUTHORITY PROCEDURE

The Delegations of Authority Procedure will outline the process for submitting proposals for amendments.

The Vice-Chancellor is authorised to approve the Delegations of Authority Procedure.

9     REPORTING THE EXERCISE OF DELEGATIONS

Committees of Council and Academic Senate will report the exercise of delegated authorities to the next following Council meeting.

The Vice-Chancellor will periodically report to Council the exercise of at least the following delegations:

(a)  approval of University Policies;

(b)  use of the seal (by entry in the Seal Register);

(c)   use of Power of Attorney (may be limited to certain delegations);

(d)  participation by the University as a shareholder or member in an incorporated entity;

(e)  acquisition and disposal of University real property;

(f)    significant actions taken under any other delegations; and

(g)  the exercise of any authorities specified by Council.

10     MAINTENANCE AND VERSION CONTROL

Governance Services will:

(a)  maintain the Delegations of Authority Framework in an open access environment;

(b)  ensure the Delegations of Authority Framework is updated and contains appropriate version identification; and

(c)   maintain an amendment history of the Delegations of Authority Framework.

11     RELEVANT LEGISLATION

Macquarie University Act 1989 (NSW)

Macquarie University By-law 2005 (NSW)

HigherEducation Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 (Cwlth)

12     KEY RELATED DOCUMENTS

Delegations of Authority Appendix 1 Reserved Powers of Council and Council Committees /  Appendix 2: Delegations of Authority Register

13     NOTES

13.1

Contact Officer

Head of Governance Services

13.2

Implementation Officer

Head of Governance Services

13.3

Approval Authority / Authorities

Council (Resolution 16/42)

13.4

Date Approved

8 December 2016

13.5

Date of Commencement

3 January 2017

13.6

Date for Review

January 2020

13.7

Documents Superseded by this Policy

Delegations of Authority Policy approved 5 December 2013

13.8

Amendment History

N/A

Reserved Powers

Appendix 1: Reserved Powers of the Council and Council Committees

The University Council may make delegations in relation to any of its functions. The Council has reserved certain powers that only the Council or its Committees may exercise. These are shown in the Delegations of Authority Policy Appendix 1 Reserved Powers of the Council and Council Committees.

Register

Appendix 2: Delegations of Authority Register

The University Council may make delegations in relation to any of its functions.  The Council has delegated the functions prescribed in the Delegations of Authority Policy Appendix 2 Delegations of Authority Register, to the bodies, committees, officers and employees stipulated.

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