Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services
24 November 2021
Status of Financial Regulations
Authority of University Court in respect of these regulations
University Court – Financial Responsibilities
Designated (or ‘Accountable’) Officer
Others with Financial Responsibility
Code of Conduct
Research Grants and Contracts
Other income generating authority
Property and Assets
Endowment and Trust Funds
Corruption and Fraud
In these Regulations the following references shall bear the following meanings:
"Financial Memorandum" shall mean the Financial Memorandum entered into between the Scottish Further & Higher Education Funding Council (Scottish Funding Council) and Abertay University in force for the time being.
"Order of Council" shall mean The Abertay University (Scotland) Order of Council 2019.
“ARC” shall mean the Audit and Risk Committee of the University Court.
“FCPC” shall mean the Finance and Corporate Performance Committee of the University Court.
“Governing body” shall mean the Court of Abertay University.
"The Regulations" shall mean these Financial Regulations.
"Standing Orders" shall mean the standing orders approved by the University Court for the conduct of its business and the management of its affairs.
"University" shall mean Abertay University.
"University Court" shall mean the Court of Abertay University.
The University’s detailed procedures set out how these Regulations will be implemented and are contained in separate documents available via the University Intranet. For ease of navigation these have been shown in bold and italics.
The University is a higher education institution created under the provisions of the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 1992. Its structure of governance is laid down in the statutory instrument - The Abertay University (Scotland) Order of Council 2019.
The Order can only be amended by primary legislation and the articles of government by the Privy Council. The University is registered with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (SC016040).
The Financial Memorandum between the Funding Council and the University sets out the terms and conditions on which grant is made. The governing body (University Court) is responsible for ensuring that conditions of grant are met. The Financial Regulations of the University form part of this overall system of accountability.
This document sets out the University’s Financial Regulations. It sets out the University’s broad policies relating to financial control. It applies to the University and all of the University’s wholly-owned subsidiary entities that might exist from time to time. These Financial Regulations are subordinate to the University’s Order of Council and to any restrictions contained within the University’s Financial Memorandum with the Funding Council.
The purpose of these Financial Regulations is to provide a governance framework over the totality of the University’s resources and provide management with assurances that the resources are being properly applied for the achievement of the University’s business objectives while:
ensuring financial viability.
achieving value for money.
fulfilling its responsibility for the provision of effective financial controls over the use of public funds.
ensuring that the University complies with all relevant legislation; and
safeguarding the assets of the University.
All staff must comply with the Financial Regulations. A member of staff who fails to comply with the Financial Regulations may be subject to disciplinary action under the terms of the University’s Staff Disciplinary Procedure.
It is the responsibility of Deans of School/Directors of Service to ensure staff are made aware of the existence and content of the University’s Financial Regulations.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services is entitled to report upon the financial implications of any matter coming before the Court or its Committees and Sub-Committees.
ARC is responsible for maintaining a continuous review of these Financial Regulations, through the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services and for advising University Court of any additions or changes necessary.
In exceptional circumstances, ARC or FCPC may authorise a departure from the detailed provisions herein, such departure to be reported to the University Court at the earliest opportunity.
The Scheme of Delegation can be found here.
It sets out the authority reserved to Court, authority to approve delegated to Court committees, authority to approve delegated to the Principal, authority to approve delegated to Senate and its committees and the delegated authority with regard to financial transactions.
The authority for (a) these Regulations, and (b) the Standing Orders shall be the University Court, which shall have sole responsibility for interpreting any of the matters set out herein or for approving any amendments to the said Standing Orders or to these Regulations.
The University Court may act through its Chair’s Committee and references to actings by the "University Court" imply actings by the Chairman's Committee as a surrogate for the University Court.
For the avoidance of doubt, where matters are referred to in these Regulations and in the Standing Orders, in cases of dispute the Standing Orders shall rule; but where matters appear only in these Regulations then such matters shall carry the authority of the University Court.
The University Court is responsible for making such arrangements as are appropriate and as it thinks fit for the conduct of the financial affairs of the University, subject to any conditions which may be imposed as conditions of payment of grant (section 7 of the Order of Council refers).
The primary financial responsibilities of the University Court are to be the principal financial and business authority of the University, to ensure that proper books of account are kept, to approve the annual budget and financial statements, and to have overall responsibility for the University’s assets, property and estate.
The Principal is the designated officer of the University and as such will be required to satisfy the University Court that there is compliance with all such conditions as may be prescribed by the Funding Council.
The designated officer is responsible for advising the University Court if at any time in their opinion any action or policy of the University Court is incompatible with the terms of the Financial Memorandum with the Funding Council. In the event of the University Court deciding nevertheless to proceed with such action or policy, the designated officer is required to inform the Chief Executive of the Funding Council in writing.
The Principal shall, together with the Chair of University Court and the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services be required to sign the University’s annual financial statements.
The University Court has ultimate responsibility for the University’s finances, but delegates specific powers and processes to the committees detailed below. These committees are accountable to the University Court. The Committee Structure and Terms of Reference and Membership can be found at https://www.abertay.ac.uk/about/the-university/governance-and-management/university-court/committees-of-court/
The FCPC is responsible to the University Court for the overall financial arrangements of the University. The Committee will consider the financial statements for each financial year and may advise Court on any matter in relation to the financial statements.
The Committee will also consider and report to University Court on the development, implementation and review of financial strategy, policy and procedures and also consider and report on the annual estimates of income and expenditure and all proposals for the borrowing of money.
The ARC is responsible to the University Court for ensuring compliance with the relevant requirements placed on the University in terms of the Financial Memorandum with the Funding Council.
The Committee has the right of access to obtain all the information it considers necessary and to consult directly with the internal and external auditors.
The University Court shall appoint a Remuneration Committee to consider and determine the pay and conditions of the senior officers of the University.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services is responsible to the Principal, in the latter’s role as designated officer, for the administration of the financial affairs of the University and for ensuring that proper financial records are kept and that adequate and effective methods and procedures for financial control are followed.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services shall report to the Principal and shall provide regular reports on estimates, budgets, and interim and annual financial statements.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services shall keep the Principal and the ARC informed of (i) any material changes in the University’s procedures and controls and (ii) any instance of material failure to comply with approved procedures and controls.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services shall advise the Principal and the University Court and its sub-committees on relevant financial matters; and, on behalf of the Principal and as required by the Financial Memorandum, shall ensure that adequate financial and accounting arrangements are made within the University and throughout all Schools and Services.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services or their authorised representative shall have authority to (a) enter any University premises, (b) gain access to all records, documents and correspondence relating to any financial or other transactions of the University, (c) require and receive such explanations as are deemed to be necessary concerning any matter under examination, (d) require any employee of the University to produce money, goods or other University property under that employee’s control.
The Deans of School/Directors of Service are responsible for financial management for the areas or activities they control, noting that where there is no Dean or Director, the relevant member of the Executive Group is responsible. They are advised by the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services in executing their financial duties. The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services will also supervise and approve the financial arrangements for all cost centres, including the form in which accounts and financial records are kept. Deans of School/Directors of Service are responsible for establishing and maintaining clear lines of responsibility within their School or Service for all financial matters.
Where resources are devolved to budget holders, they are accountable to their Deans of School/Directors of Service for their own budget.
Deans of School/Directors of Service will provide the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services with such information as may be required to enable (a) compilation of the University’s financial statements, (b) implementation of financial planning; and (c) implementation of audit and financial reviews, projects and value for money studies.
All members of staff of the University and any subsidiary entities shall be aware of, and have a general responsibility for, the security of the University’s property, for avoiding loss and for due economy in the use of resources.
Members of staff with financial responsibilities shall ensure that they are aware of the University’s financial authority limits (see section 19.1 of these Regulations) and the values of purchases for which quotations and tenders are required (see section 19.3 of these Regulations).
They shall make available any relevant records or information to the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services or to his or her authorised representative in connection with the implementation of the University’s financial policies, these Financial Regulations and the systems of financial control.
They shall provide the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services with such financial and other information as are considered necessary from time to time, to carry out the requirements of the University Court.
Members of staff shall immediately notify the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services whenever any matter arises that involves, or is thought to involve, irregularities concerning financial transactions or misuse of University property or other assets. See also section 9 of these Regulations on whistleblowing.
The University acknowledges the risks inherent in its business and is committed to managing those risks. University Court, through it’s ARC, has overall responsibility for ensuring that there is a risk management policy and associated Risk Register and that there are appropriate processes for the identification, evaluation and monitoring of individual significant risks.
Whistleblowing in the context of the Public Interest Disclosure Act is the disclosure by an employee (or other party) about malpractice in the workplace. The full policy and procedures for whistleblowing are set out in the University’s Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblowing) Policy.
The University is committed to the highest standards of openness, integrity and accountability. It seeks to conduct its affairs in a responsible manner, having regard to the principles established by the Committee on Standards in Public Life, which members of staff at all levels are expected to observe. These principles are set out in Appendix 1.
Members of the University Court are required to disclose interests in the University’s Register of Members’ Interests maintained by the University Secretary, and for ensuring that entries in the Register are kept up to date.
Further guidance on conflict of interest can be found in the Personal Relationships Code of Conduct.
No member of University Court or member of staff will be a signatory to a contract on behalf of the University where there is any personal interest in the activities of the other party.
It is an offence within the Bribery Act 2010 for members of staff to accept corruptly any gift or consideration as an inducement or reward for doing, or refraining from doing, anything in an official capacity or showing favour or disfavour to any person in an official capacity. The guiding principles to be followed by all members of staff must be:
the conduct of individuals should not create suspicion of any conflict between their official duty and their private interest.
the action of individuals acting in an official capacity should not give the impression that they have been (or may have been) influenced by a benefit to show favour or disfavour to any person or organisation.
Thus, members of staff should not accept any gifts, rewards or hospitality (or have them given to members of their families) from any organisations or individual with whom they have contact in the course of their work that would cause them to reach a position whereby they might be, or might be deemed by others to have been, influenced in making a business decision as a consequence of accepting such gifts, rewards or hospitality. The frequency and scale of hospitality accepted should not be significantly greater that the University would be likely to provide in return.
Further guidance can be found in the Anti-Bribery and Corruption Code of Conduct and Policy.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services is responsible for preparing financial forecasts for submission to the Funding Council. These financial forecasts should be consistent with the University’s Strategic Plan, its supporting strategies and with the operational plan. The forecasts include Income & Expenditure, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow forecasts and their scope includes a projected out-turn for the current year along with forecasts for the following three years.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services is responsible for preparing a draft annual budget and is responsible for submitting the draft budget for consideration by FCPC before submission to University Court for approval.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services must ensure that detailed budgets are communicated to Deans of School/Directors of Service as soon as possible following their approval by University Court. Deans of School/Directors of Service are responsible for the economic, effective and efficient use of budgets allocated to them.
Capital expenditure is the term used for money spent on creating physical assets and includes all expenditure on items such as land, buildings, large items of equipment and certain types of digital infrastructure. Expenditure of this type will form part of the capital programme which will be subject to approval by University Court, subject to the delegated approval of the Principal.
The Principal has delegated authority to purchase/lease/dispose of Land and Property up to £200,000 outwith the approved budget and also spend on other estates and infrastructure capital projects up to £200,000 outwith the approved budget. The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services is responsible for reporting all use of the delegated authority to the next committee of FCPC after this authority has been exercised, for submission to Court.
Proposed capital projects should be supported by appropriate business cases and other documentation as determined by FCPC. FCPC will also determine the requirements for post implementation review of capital projects.
The control of income and expenditure within an agreed budget is the responsibility of the designated budget holder (Dean of School/Director of Service), who must ensure that day-to-day monitoring is undertaken effectively. Significant departures from agreed budgetary targets must be reported immediately to the Director of Finance and, if necessary, corrective action taken.
The budget holders are assisted in their duties by financial management information provided by the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services. The types of management information available to the different levels of management are described in the detailed financial procedures, together with the timing at which they can be expected.
The Director of Finance is responsible for supplying budget monitoring reports on all aspects of the institution’s finances to FCPC. These reports are presented to University Court, which has overall responsibility for the institution’s finances.
The Director of Finance will carry out a budget review each year to take account of major variations against the original budget during the year, in particular tuition fees and staff costs.
Proposals for a revised budget where necessary will be presented to FCPC for submission to University Court for approval.
Virement is the transfer of budget between income and/or expenditure headings within a cost-centre or between cost centres.
The following virement rules apply:
Budget-holders can vire between non-pay codes within a cost centre without restriction.
Budget-holders will usually be able to vire within non-pay between cost centres once they have notified the Director of Finance.
Approval from the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services or their authorised representative is required for virement from pay to non-pay.
Virement from non-pay to pay is not normally allowed outwith the budget-setting process. Any requests to vire in this way have to be submitted to the Principal who can authorise the virement of budgets within the Financial Frameworks approved by Court.
Unless required by the funding source, income is not hypothecated. If the generation of additional income for the University requires the deployment of additional resources, for instance a new programme, collaborative venture, or commercial opportunity, approval would be sought from FCPC.
At the year end, budget holders will not normally have the authority to carry forward a balance on their recurrent budget to the following year. Any such requests would be considered in the context of the setting and review of the subsequent year’s budget. Non-recurrent funds allocated to budget holders for equipment shall be disbursed or committed within a specified period of time, failing which any funds not committed shall be reallocated.
The University’s financial year runs from 1 August until 31 July.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services shall be responsible at the end of each financial year for the preparation of the financial elements of the Integrated Report and Financial Statements which, after consideration by both the FCPC and ARC, shall be submitted by the Principal as designated officer to the University Court for approval.
The Integrated Report and Financial Statements shall be audited by an independent external auditor appointed by the University Court as provided for in section 14.2 below and in accordance with the requirements of the Scottish Funding Council. The financial statements are prepared in accordance with the Statement of Recommended Practice, “Accounting for Further and Higher Education”, subject to any specific requirements of the Funding Council.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services is responsible for the retention of financial documents. These should be kept in a form that is acceptable to the relevant authorities. The institution is required by law to retain prime documents for six years, including invoices, bank statements and payroll records. The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services will make appropriate arrangements for the retention of electronic records. Retention arrangements must also comply with specific requirements of funding organisations.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services is responsible for advising Deans of School/Directors of Service on all taxation issues and will issue instructions on compliance with statutory requirements including those concerning VAT, import duty, corporation tax, PAYE and National Insurance. The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services is responsible for maintaining the institution’s tax records, making tax payments, receiving tax credits, and submitting tax returns by their due date as appropriate.
The University Court in making arrangements for internal audit and external audit shall comply in full with the requirements of the Scottish Funding Council.
External and internal auditors shall have authority to:
access University premises at reasonable times.
access all assets, records, documents and correspondence concerning any matter under examination.
require and receive such explanations as are necessary concerning any matter under examination.
require any employee of the University to account for cash, stores or any other University property under his/her control.
access records belonging to third parties, such as contractors, when required.
The ARC shall, after consideration and on advice received, appoint an independent external auditor. The ARC shall keep under review its external audit arrangements and conduct a formal review at least every three years.
The primary function of the external auditor will be to report on the annual financial statements of the University and to carry out such examination of the statements and underlying records and control systems as is necessary to reach their opinion on the statements. The external auditor’s report shall be reviewed by the ARC.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services is responsible for drawing up a timetable for final accounts preparation and will advise staff and the external auditor accordingly.
The ARC shall, after consideration and on advice received, appoint an internal auditor or an internal audit service for the purpose of providing the University Court with assurance on the adequacy and effectiveness of the University’s system of internal control.
The responsibility for the maintenance and operation of the systems of internal control shall remain fully with officers of the University.
The terms of reference for internal audit shall be in accordance with the guidelines contained in the CUC Handbook for Members of Audit Committees in Higher Education Institutions. The internal auditor will also comply with the Auditing Practices Board’s auditing guideline for Internal Auditors.
The internal audit service remains independent in its planning and operation but has direct access to Court, the Principal and the Chair of the ARC.
At all times, the University will try to secure the best value for the money it spends, making appropriate use of all contract arrangements made. It should keep under review its arrangements for managing all the resources under its control, taking into account guidance on good practice from time to time by the Scottish Funding Council, Audit Scotland, or other relevant bodies.
Internal audit is to have regard to value for money in its programme of work. This will be used to enable the ARC to refer to value for money in its annual report.
The institution may, from time to time, be subject to audit or investigation by external bodies such as the Scottish Funding Council, Audit Scotland, the Scottish Government and HM Revenue & Customs. They have the same right of access as external and internal auditors.
The University’s Treasury Management Policy shall be determined by the University Court on the advice of FCPC, which shall take into account current advice issued by the Scottish Funding Council or other relevant public bodies.
The University's bankers shall be appointed by the University Court on the recommendation of the FCPC. The appointment shall be for a specified period after which consideration shall be given by the Committee to competitively tendering the service.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services will determine appropriate arrangements and procedures to ensure the effective operation of the University’s bank accounts.
Bank accounts may only be opened by the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services, acting on the authority of the University Court.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services is responsible for ensuring that all bank accounts are subject to regular reconciliation and that large or unusual items are investigated as appropriate.
The University’s borrowing powers are set out in the governing Order and the Financial Memorandum. Authority to borrow, lease or enter into other appropriate financial instruments shall only be granted by the University Court acting within the said powers.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services shall be responsible for placing funds for investment in accordance with the investment policies approved by the University Court and shall provide, as required, reports on such investments to the FCPC.
FCPC shall take account of advice from investment advisers and managers as may be appointed from outwith the University.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services is responsible for ensuring that appropriate procedures are in operation to enable the institution to receive all income to which it is entitled.
It is the responsibility of all staff to ensure that revenue to the institution is maximised by the efficient application of agreed procedures for the identification, collection and banking of income. In particular, this requires the prompt notification to the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services of sums due so that collection can be initiated.
In the event of services that the University are providing such as Room Bookings or attendance at Courses or Conferences run by the University, it is the responsibility of the Dean of School/Director of Service providing the service to ensure that where possible, the University obtains payment before the individual/company has the benefit of the service.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services is responsible for ensuring that all grants notified by the Scottish Funding Council and other bodies are received and appropriately recorded in the University’s accounts.
The Director of Finance is responsible for ensuring that all claims for funds, including research grants and contracts, are made by the due date.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services will determine appropriate financial and accounting arrangements to ensure that all monies due to the University are properly recorded and for the proper collection, custody, control and banking of all cash and cash equivalents, noting that as a statement of practice that we do not normally handle cash.
It is essential that particulars of all charges to be made for services rendered by the University are notified promptly to the Finance Team by the Deans of School and Directors of Service.
All payments shall be paid over gross and no payments shall be set off against receipts.
Under no circumstances shall income be used to make cash disbursements, borrowed by staff for personal use, or used for the cashing of personal cheques.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services shall determine appropriate procedures to support the objectives of the University’s Debt Framework (Commercial Debt, Student Debt, Refunds, Bad Debt and Write-Offs).
Deans of School/Directors of Service must assist in minimising the risk to the University of the non-collection of debts and must help with the collection process where appropriate. Only the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services can implement credit arrangements and indicate the periods in which different types of invoices must be paid.
Requests to write off debts in excess of £5,000 must be referred in writing to the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services for submission to FCPC for consideration. Debts below this level may be written off with the permission of the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services and subsequently reported to FCPC. Any debts written off will be charged against the cost centre that received the income.
The procedures for collecting tuition fees must be approved by the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services, who is responsible for ensuring that all student fees due to the institution are received.
The Director of Student and Academic Services shall ensure that any student who has a tuition fee debt owing to the University shall not be allowed to graduate until all such debts have been cleared. Continuing students will not normally be allowed to register for the new session with any outstanding tuition fee debt. Continuing students with accommodation or other University debt who do not adhere to an agreed payment plan will be referred to one of the Debt Collection Agencies which the University uses.
Further guidance can be found in the Student Debt Management Policy.
All income arising from research grants and contracts awarded to staff of the University shall be vested in the University. All expenditure on pay and non-pay items in respect of research grants and contracts shall be governed by the Regulations.
Any potential conflict of interest where a member of staff is involved in any research must be disclosed to the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services prior to the commencement of such contract or arrangement.
Further guidance can be found in the Research Management Framework.
Where approaches are to be made to outside bodies for support for research projects or where contracts are to be undertaken on behalf of outside bodies, it is the responsibility of the Dean of School/Director of Service to ensure that the financial implications have been appraised. The Dean of School/Director of Service will be supported by the Finance Department in exercising this duty. This will include checking the ‘credit-worthiness’ of the funder and obtaining a set of grant terms and conditions from each organisation providing funding to enable appropriate monitoring of compliance.
Research grants and contracts shall be accepted on behalf of the University by the Dean of School/Director of Service, including where there has not been full economic recovery.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services shall maintain all financial records relating to research grants and contracts and shall initiate all claims for reimbursement from sponsoring bodies by the due date.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services shall develop and maintain supporting procedures to govern all financial aspects of the University’s research grants and contracts.
All staff must comply with any requirements of the Transparency Review, in particular the full economic costing of research activity.
Control of pay and non-pay expenditure may be delegated by the Head of School/Service to the grant holder but any overspend or under-recovery of overheads is to be the clear responsibility of the School/Service, with any loss being a charge on it.
It is the responsibility of the named grant-holder to ensure that conditions of funding are met. Any loss to the University resulting from a failure to meet conditions of funding will be charged to the School/Service.
The Business Development Unit is responsible for providing appropriate costing and pricing support.
The Business Development Unit will develop and maintain a costing and pricing strategy for University activities.
At an early stage, before contracts are entered into, the Finance Department must be given the opportunity to carry out a credit check on the client.
For commercial activity, such as new product/service development, staff should engage with the Business Development Unit to develop new or bespoke full cost recovery (FCR) models as appropriate.
The University Pricing Policy applies to commercial activity in all circumstances where funders/customers have negotiable terms, including target pricing and the approval process for variations.
All commercial contracts shall be subject to the University's standard terms of business. At an early stage, before contracts are entered, the Finance department must be given the opportunity to carry out a credit check of the client.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services shall maintain all financial records relating to commercial activity.
Each contract will have a named Project Leader and will be assigned a unique cost centre or project code within the School or Service. Control of pay and non-pay expenditure may be delegated by the Head of School/Service to the lead consultant but any unexpected loss on the contract will be the responsibility of the School/Service.
It is the responsibility of the Project Leader approved by the Head of School/Service to request that the Finance Department issue an invoice for work completed. In respect of Courses and Conferences run by the University, the Head of School/Service should ensure that it obtains payment before the individuals are allowed to attend the Course or Conference in line with normal commercial practice.
The University has a Consultancy Framework in place which all staff should follow for both University Consultancy and Private Consultancy.
Any contract or arrangement whereby the University provides education to students away from institution premises and in collaboration with a partner, or with the assistance of persons other than the University’s own staff, shall be notified to the University Court via the FCPC.
Where the contract or arrangement would represent a significant departure from the University’s strategic plan, the governing body shall approve the departure, and the Principal shall inform the Scottish Funding Council.
The procedures to deal with the ownership and exploitation of intellectual property are contained in the Intellectual Property Policy.
Each Head of School/Service is responsible for expenditure within their area of responsibility. Authority to incur expenditure may be delegated to named individuals within the School/Service. In exercising this delegated authority budget holders are required to observe these financial regulations and all related procedure manuals.
The following duties must be appropriately segregated:
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services or their nominated representative shall control the creation of requisitioners and authorisers and their respective financial limits.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services or their nominated representative must be notified immediately of any changes to those authorised to commit expenditure.
The Scheme of Delegation Document further details the level of delegation afforded to the University hierarchy.
Building contracts are the responsibility of FCPC and are administered by the University’s Head of Estates.
Proposal will normally be initiated by the Head of Estates in respect of planned replacements, general improvement schemes, space planning or in response to request from School/Services. See section 11 for details of capital expenditure approval.
Consultants may be appointed if the project, as determined by FCPC or management, is too large or too specialised for internal resources. Appointments shall be subject to tendering and will comply with the University’s Purchasing and Procurement Manual.
Proposals shall be presented in the form of costings or investment appraisals prepared in conjunction with the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services as appropriate for consideration by the FCPC. Investment appraisals should comply with appropriate funding body guidance.
Where appropriate, following consideration by the FCPC and approval by the University Court, submissions should be forwarded to the Scottish Funding Council. If the required agreement is secured, the Scottish Funding Council procedures should then be followed. The Scottish Funding Council guidance on good practice should be followed even when approval is not required.
The University requires all budget holders, irrespective of the source of funds to obtain supplies, goods, and services all at the lowest possible cost consistent with quality, delivery requirements and sustainability, and in accordance with best value principles.
The Purchasing & Procurement Manual provides full guidance and methodologies to support all activities such as:
Tendering and Quotations
Request for Action
Receipt of Goods
Payment of Invoices, Consultants, Students, and Individuals
Late Payment Rules
Details of how to claim reimbursement is provided within the Guidance on Travel and Subsistence Policy. Authorisation must be sought in advance for:
Hospitality - Staff entertaining guests from an outside body at any time, must gain prior approval from the budget holder.
Claims for Reimbursement - Authorisation of an expense claim shall be taken to mean that:
The travel was authorised; The expenses were wholly, necessarily, and exclusively incurred on the University’s business and receipts (not credit card vouchers) or other supporting documentation have been supplied as required; and Consideration has been given to value for money in choosing the mode of transport.
Personal subscriptions and personal professional memberships will not be reimbursed to Staff. Subscriptions and memberships will only be paid where it is deemed by the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services that a membership is necessary for a particular function of the University.
The University’s purchasing and payment procedures are in place to enable the majority of goods and services to be procured without staff having to incur any personal expenses. However, on occasion staff may incur expenses in relation to travel and are entitled to reimbursement. All non-travel and subsistence costs must be incurred via normal purchasing procedures and not claimed as Travel and Subsistence.
Where this is the case, the Guidance on Travel and Subsistence must be strictly adhered to members of staff and other persons authorised to travel on official University business shall do so in accordance with these procedures, with the general objective of using the most cost-effective and convenient form of transport appropriate to the circumstances.
All arrangements for travel must be approved by the budget holder or the budget holder’s line manager in advance of committing the University to those arrangements or confirmation of any travel bookings. Where spouses, partners or other persons unconnected with the institution intend to participate in a trip, this must be clearly identified in advance and agreement to the reimbursement to the University of the expected costs shall be obtained in advance of travel.
Reimbursement of expenses shall be by BACS transfer on a monthly basis.
An application for an advance of expenses may be made to the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services or their nominated representative where it is considered necessary and authorised by the budget holder. The maximum amount of advance is 75% of expected subsistence expenditure (90% for overseas travel). With the prior approval of the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services, staff may receive advance for travel and/or accommodation, where it is clearly not practicable for the University to procure these. Staff can have only one advance outstanding at a time. Members of staff who receive such cash advances shall account fully for all actual expenditure supported by appropriate receipts as soon as possible and in any event within one month after their return to the University.
All reimbursement of expenses shall be based on the scales that at the time of the travel are approved by the University Court. In exceptional cases, claims which exceed the scales may be submitted where these have received prior approval by the Head of School/Service and the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services.
All University staff will be appointed to the salary scales approved by the University Court and in accordance with appropriate conditions of service. All letters of appointment shall be issued by the People Services Directorate.
Salaries and other benefits for senior management will be determined by the Remuneration Committee appointed by the University Court.
All contracts of service shall be concluded in accordance with the institution’s approved People Services practices and procedures. This includes offers of employment or paid work for casual hourly-paid temporary or part-time staff, with such offers being made in accordance with the procedures in force from time to time.
Budget holders shall ensure that the People Services Directorate and the Finance and IT Departments are provided promptly with all information they may require in connection with the appointment, change to terms of employment, resignation or dismissal of employees.
On occasion the University may pay relocation expenses in connection with staff recruitment. The policy and procedures pertaining to receipting of approved relocation expenses will be maintained by the Director of People and Organisational Development.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services shall be responsible for the payment of all salaries and all appropriate deductions therefrom and shall account for all such payments and deductions to the appropriate authorities or agencies. Payment of salaries shall be made monthly in arrears through BACS.
All timesheets and other pay documents, including those relating to fees payable to external examiners and assessors, will be in a form prescribed or approved by the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services.
Line managers are responsible for ensuring that all episodes of sick leave are reported immediately through the relevant HR/Payroll system.
All payments must be made in accordance with the University’s detailed financial procedures and comply with HM Revenue & Customs regulations.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services shall be responsible for keeping all records relating to payroll, including those of a statutory nature.
The University Court is responsible for undertaking the role of employer in relation to appropriate pension arrangements for employees.
The University is a participating institution in the Scottish Teachers' Pension Scheme, the Tayside Local Government Pension Scheme, Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) and the Court approved Defined Contribution pension scheme.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services is authorised by members of staff who participate in the above Schemes to deduct from their monthly salary payments the appropriate percentage of income due to the Scheme. The University contributes for each participating member of staff at the various rates laid down by the Schemes from time to time.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services is responsible for the management of pension arrangements, including:
paying contributions to various authorised pension schemes.
preparing the annual return to various pension schemes.
administering eligibility to pension arrangements.
Claims for members of the University Court will be authorised by the University Secretary.
Claims for meeting attendance will be based on the rates approved from time to time by the University Court.
Severance payments shall only be made in accordance with the University’s Severance Statement which meets the requirements listed in the Financial Memorandum and the relevant legislation.
No salary advances and / or loans to staff or students shall be made apart from those approved by the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services or their designated representative.
The purchase, lease or rent of land, buildings or fixed plant in excess of the Principal’s delegated financial authority can only be undertaken with authority from the University Court, which shall act on the advice of the FCPC and in accordance with the Funding Council requirements.
Only the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services, or staff designated by him/her may commission alterations or additions to the University's property.
Deans of School/Directors of Service shall exercise responsibility in respect of all equipment, furniture, goods, cash and other property within their School/Service. Deans of School/Directors of Service shall ensure that proper and effective inventories or records are maintained for audit and other inspection in accordance with such guidelines as may be issued from time to time by the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services.
The University shall maintain an asset register, which shall form the basis for relevant entries within the University’s annual financial statements and for such other purposes as may be required. The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services shall ensure that the register is properly maintained, recording all additions and disposals, and reflecting any relocation or deterioration.
Deans of School/Directors of Service are responsible for establishing adequate arrangements for the custody and control of stocks and stores within their School/Service. The systems used for stores accounting must have the approval of the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services or their designated representative.
Deans of School/Directors of Service are responsible for ensuring that regular inspections and stock checks are carried out. Stocks and stores of a hazardous nature should be subject to appropriate security checks.
Where stocks require valuation in the balance sheet, the Dean of School/Director of Service must ensure that the stock-taking procedures in place have the approval of the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services and that instructions to appropriate staff within their departments are issued in accordance with advice contained in the University’s financial procedures.
All vehicles owned or operated by the University shall be used only in accordance with the regulations governing such use as are currently in force.
Keys to safes or other similar containers are to be kept secure by those responsible at all times. The loss of such keys must be reported to the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services immediately.
The Head of IT and Corporate Services shall be responsible for maintaining proper security and privacy of the University’s computer network.
Information relating to individuals held on computer will be subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998. The designated data protection officer for the University is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Act and the safety of documents.
Assets owned or leased by the University shall not be subject to personal use without proper authorisation.
Disposal of equipment and furniture must be in accordance with procedures contained in the detailed financial procedures.
Disposal of land and buildings must only take place with the authorisation of the University Court. Scottish Funding Council consent may also be required if exchequer funds were involved in the acquisition of the asset.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services shall ensure the proper and safe custody of all funds administered by the University Court and shall make the necessary arrangements for the proper administration of each fund in accordance with the conditions laid down by the trust or other deed.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services is responsible for maintaining financial records in respect of gifts, benefactions and donations made to the University and for initiating claims for recovery of tax where appropriate.
As part of the overall risk management strategy of the University, all risks will have been considered and those most effectively dealt with by insurance will have been identified. This is likely to include important potential liabilities and provide sufficient cover to meet any potential risk to all assets.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services shall be responsible for maintaining adequate insurance for property, personal and other appropriate risks, whether statutory or otherwise, and shall deal with all claims on behalf of the University Court. The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services is supported in this role by the Corporate Services Manager.
Deans of School/Directors of Service are required to immediately inform the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services or the Corporate Services Manager of any alterations which will or might affect existing risks or require additional or new cover.
Deans of School/Directors of Service are responsible for all equipment, stock and other items under their control and shall ensure that, where there is a requirement for independent inspection for general safety or to comply with legislation, such inspections are carried out timeously and that suitable records are kept which shall record any defects noted at the time of inspection and the remedial measures taken.
Deans of School/Directors of Service shall immediately notify the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services of any loss, damage or injury which may give rise to an insurance claim. If a loss results from theft or other criminal offence, the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services shall be notified immediately irrespective of whether the loss or damage caused as a result thereof shall be a matter in respect of which an insurance claim may be made or not.
Items of equipment or stock shall not be removed from the University for official use without the prior permission of the Head of School/Service. Any such movement of items of equipment or stock should be notified to the Corporate Services Manager for insurance purposes. No equipment or stock of whatever nature shall be removed from the University other than for approved University use.
Where large contracts are entered into, whose value is in excess of £100,000, then consideration should be given to insuring against the contracted company becoming insolvent and therefore being unable to complete the contract. Guidance should be sought from the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services, especially where the University had not had a prior relationship with the contracted company.
All staff using their own vehicles on behalf of the University shall maintain appropriate insurance cover for business use and will be required to produce the relevant records demonstrating such cover.
In certain circumstances it may be advantageous to the University to establish a company or a joint venture to undertake services on behalf of the University. Any member of staff considering the use of a subsidiary entity should first seek the advice of the Director of Finance, who should have due regard to guidance issued by the Scottish Funding Council.
The establishment of all subsidiary entities shall be subject to the approval of the University Court.
It is the responsibility of the University Court to establish the governance arrangements and appoint directors of companies wholly-owned by the University.
The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services shall report annually on subsidiary companies where the University is the sole or majority shareholder to the University Court, via FCPC, except where they are dormant. The Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services will also submit business plans or budgets as requested to enable the Committee to assess the risk to the University. The directors of such companies are responsible for appointing external and, where appropriate, internal auditors for the company.
Where the University is the sole or majority shareholder in a company, that company’s financial year shall be consistent with that of the University.
All companies and their subsidiaries in which the University has an interest shall be governed by the requirements of the Companies Acts. All wholly-owned companies shall also operate within the spirit of the Regulations, provided that such operation is not in conflict with the Companies Acts and is not specifically over-ridden by a resolution of or separate guidelines issued by such a company.
The Students’ Association is a separate legal entity from the University.
The University Court shall determine the level of grant paid annually to the Students’ Association. The University Court requires the Students’ Association to provide details of its proposed budget to assist in determining the appropriate level of grant.
The Students’ Association is responsible for maintaining its own bank account and financial records and preparing its own financial statements. These will be audited by an appropriately qualified firm of auditors and any significant matters will be presented to FCPC for information.
In accordance with an agreement between the University and the Students’ Association, the University’s internal auditor shall have access to records, assets and personnel within the Students’ Association in the same way as other areas of the University.
Misuse or misappropriation of the assets and funds of the University is a serious disciplinary matter which can ultimately lead to criminal proceedings.
Since direct contact between the University and external suppliers of goods and services is an area which is particularly vulnerable to accusations and acts of fraud, the University has established clearly auditable financial and procurement procedures as laid down in the Regulations and the Procurement Manual to govern such relations and protect individual members of staff and the University as a whole.
Staff shall have no commercial dealings with any company resorting to questionable sales tactics such as use of inducements. Business gifts or hospitality which may be deemed by others to be calculated to influence business decisions should always be refused. As a working practice any gifts other than items of very low value such as diaries or pens should be returned to the supplier and any hospitality accepted from a supplier should not significantly exceed that which the University would be likely or able to provide in return.
It is the duty of all members of staff, management and University Court to notify the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services immediately whenever any matter arises which involves, or is thought to involve, irregularity, including fraud, corruption or any other impropriety. Staff should refer to the Anti-Bribery and Corruption Code of Conduct and Policy as well as the Public Interest Disclosure (Whistle-blowing) Policy for more guidance.
The University’s procedures regarding fraud are set out, in full, in the Fraud Response Plan. As a brief summary, the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services shall immediately invoke the fraud response plan, which incorporates the following key elements:
notify the Principal and the ARC (through its Chair) of the suspected irregularity and shall take such steps as he considers necessary by way of investigation and report.
he shall inform the police if a criminal offence is suspected of having been committed.
any significant cases of fraud or irregularity shall be reported to the Scottish Funding Council in accordance with the Financial Memorandum.
the Fraud Response Group shall commission such investigations as may be necessary of the suspected irregularity, by the internal auditor or another officer of the University.
the officer investigating or internal auditor shall prepare a report for the Audit Committee on the suspected irregularity, which should include advice on preventative measures.
If the suspected fraud is thought to involve the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services and/or the Principal, the member of staff shall notify the Chairman of the University Court of their concerns regarding irregularities.
FROM THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE FOR STANDARDS IN PUBLIC LIFE (THE NOLAN REPORT)
Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their families or their friends.
Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that may influence them in the performance of their official duties.
In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all their decisions and the actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.