Banking Arrangements and Cheques
The University's banking arrangements shall be decided by Council on the recommendation of the Finance Committee from time to time. All arrangements with the University's bankers concerning the University's bank accounts shall be made by the Director of Finance on behalf of the Finance Committee. No other employee shall under any circumstances open or operate a bank account in the name of the University or a Subsidiary, or of one holding itself out to be. No employee other than those mandated by Council may sign or endorse cheques or other similar instruments on behalf of the University. No individual other than those mandated by Council shall be empowered to give instructions to the University's Bankers.
The University effects the normal range of insurance and related cover for an organisation of its size and complexity. These arrangements are the responsibility of the Director of Finance who has delegated their co-ordination to the Insurance Services Manager.
Heads of Departments must ensure that any agreements negotiated within their Departments with external bodies cover any legal liabilities to which the institution may be exposed. The advice of the Senior Legal Advisor and Insurance Services Manager should be sought to ensure that this is the case.
All Heads of Departments shall bring to the notice of the Director of Finance, in writing, all insurable risks relating to their areas of responsibility and should inform the Director of Finance immediately of all events giving rise to a claim under an insurance policy and provide promptly all information required in connection with any such claim. This notice may be given orally initially but must be confirmed, in writing, within 24 hours.
All contracts to borrow for a period in excess of one month, for any purpose, will require the prior approval of the Director of Finance.
Contracts to borrow for a period over one year shall be considered by the Finance Committee, and subject to approval by Council. The University must comply with the OfS regulations in respect of new borrowings.
The Director of Finance will be responsible for short term borrowing at competitive rates, as required to cover day-to-day cash shortfalls.
Gifts and Hospitality
No lay member of the governing bodies of the University, in his or her capacity as such, nor employee in the course of his or her employment, may accept any gift of more than nominal value (i.e. greater than £50 in any three month period) otherwise than in the name and for the benefit of the University. Gifts of money should always be refused.
The past, current and prospective suppliers of goods and services to the University and the purchasers of goods and services from the University may from time to time offer hospitality to employees of the University. Hospitality offered may include meals, accommodation, travel costs, entertainment. Hospitality must not be accepted by employees of the University in circumstances which may allow the employee to appear to be unduly influenced in favour of the provider of the hospitality. Heads of Department shall maintain a register of hospitality received by members of staff within the Department with an estimated value in excess of £50 in any three month period, which shall record the nature, name of the provider, and the estimated value of the hospitality. A register shall be maintained by the Director of Policy, Planning and Compliance for members of UEB. A register shall be maintained by the Head of Strategic Governance for all members of Council.
Further guidance on when to accept offers of gifts and hospitality can in found in the Anti-Bribery Policy
The regulations governing consulting or other work undertaken by a member of staff for a body other than the University are set out in Ordinance 18 (External Work) and amplified within the procedure on academic consultancy.
Conflicts of Interest
No member of the University nor employee shall take an active part in any discussions, negotiations or transactions involving the University in which they or their spouse, partner or any family member has an existing or potential, financial, or other beneficial interest. If any circumstances arise where this may be the case, the member of staff shall be obliged to report to their Head of Department. They may proceed only with the approval in writing of the Vice-Chancellor.
No employee of the University shall, without the express written approval of the Vice-Chancellor take or hold any financial or any other beneficial interest in any commercial entity, whether incorporated or unincorporated, with which the University has, or may reasonably be expected to enter into, a commercial relationship. For the purposes of this regulation the term "entity" shall include a commercial activity by an individual acting as a sole trader. The term "interest" shall include any right or entitlement to share in the commercial profit/losses of such entity, other than by way of a shareholding in a public limited company listed on a recognised Stock Exchange.
All members of Council, UEB, Deans and Heads of Department will be required annually to complete a register of interests.
Details of specific guidance on our conflict interest requirements for; US Public Health Services Agency can be found here.
Companies and Commercial Activities
No company may be set up to exploit any University activity without the specific approval of Council.
The Finance Committee approves procedures to encourage and assist staff to maximise the commercial exploitation of inventions and procedures resulting from research within the University.
The Finance Committee has a duty to monitor the University's investments in any trading activities or operations in which the University has a managing interest and to examine the basis and structure of any trading companies which the University might propose to set up.
University Carrying Out Work As Agent
Any work carried out by the University on behalf of others when acting as Agent, is also subject to these regulations. Where a principal wishes to impose requirements which would lead to a contravention of Financial Regulations, the approval of the Director of Finance must be obtained before any contract is signed. The Director of Finance shall, if it is deemed necessary, require the proposal to be reported to the Finance Committee for approval.
Clubs and Societies
Any club or society consisting wholly or partly of members of the University may apply to the Director of Finance for registration as a University Society.
A club or society applying for registration shall submit a copy of the proposed constitution which shall provide:
- That there shall be a Treasurer and Auditor
- That the Treasurer shall be a member of the Academic Staff of the University, or a member of staff of equivalent status.
- That the Treasurer’s signature shall be required on all cheques drawn on the accounts of the club or society.
- That at least once in every year the club or society is to submit accounts to its Auditors in order that they may prepare a report.
No club or society may incorporate the name of the University in its title unless it is registered under this Financial Regulation.
A club or society registered under this Financial Regulation may hold meetings on the University premises and may reserve rooms for this purpose without charge subject to written approval by the Director of Finance.
Signing of Official Documents
In accordance with Section 30 of the Statutes of the University, a contract whether in oral or written form may be made on behalf of the University by any person acting under the express or implied authority of the University Council.
The following persons shall have implied authority to make contracts on behalf of the University and to delegate such authority to members of their staff:
- The Vice-Chancellor
- The Chief Operating Officer
- The Director of Finance
- The Director of Estates
The power to issue purchase orders has been delegated to the Head of Procurement by the Director of Finance, subject to their approval through the finance system.
Certain documents require execution by use of the University Seal.
Certain documents, notably those in the respect of land transactions and related to long-term contracts might be executed through a deed and therefore require the use of the University Seal. Article 12 of the University Charter states that Council "shall have the custody and use of the Common Seal". The Director of Academic Registry is responsible for the security of the Seal.
As set out in University Ordinance 27, the power to affix the Seal of the University to a document may be exercised and witnessed either by two members of Council of the University or by one member of Council and by the Chief Operating Officer (or in the absence of the Chief Operating Officer the Vice-Chancellor or Director of Finance).
The Director of Academic Registry shall maintain a register of documents sealed in the name of the University under the terms of this Ordinance showing:
- the identity of the document;
- the date the document was sealed;
- the names of the persons witnessing the use of the Seal in the name of the University and shall report each such transaction to Finance Committee on behalf of Council.
The University’s activities require significant funds, much of which are ‘public’; as a publicly funded body, the University is accountable to a wide range of stakeholders for the use and management of those funds, and the associated controls.
It is the responsibility of all University officers and staff to ensure that University funds and resources are used honestly and correctly, and to report any circumstances which may indicate their improper use.
For the purpose of this section of the Financial Regulations, irregularities include but are not limited to:
- Misappropriation of the physical, monetary or intellectual property assets of the University.
- Destruction, concealment or falsification of an account, record or document made for accounting purposes.
- Production or use of any account, record or document which is known or suspected to be misleading, false or deceptive in any material particular.
- Accepting, agreeing or attempting to obtain a bribe
- Giving or agreeing to give or offer a bribe.
- Attempts to conceal any of the above.
In the event of an individual identifying, or believing an incident of malpractice or impropriety has occurred then they should refer to the University Irregularities Procedure
New Programmes of Study
Quality Assurance document QA3 – Procedure for Approval of New Programmes of Study – may be found on the University's Quality Assurance Code of Practice page. This document includes a proforma QA3.1 - Resource Implications of New Programmes of Study – which should be completed and submitted to the Director of Finance for review, to ensure that the proposed programme is financially viable.
Staff and students who are not resident at a University address should not use the University postal system for the receipt of personal post, as this places an additional strain on internal resources. If however an item of personal mail is sent to a student or a member of staff at the University address for whatever reason, please note that the University shall not be liable to any person (including but not limited to the sender and/ or the recipient) for any such items becoming lost, damaged or misdelivered anywhere in the delivery chain or for any other resulting loss or damages including but not limited to any direct, indirect, special, incidental or consequential loss or damages, loss of business opportunities, loss of revenue or similar.