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Delegations of Authority Policy

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Section 1 - Authority

(1) The University Council (Council) has made these delegations under section 17 of the University of Wollongong Act 1989 which provides that Council may delegate all or any of its functions (except this power of delegation) to any member or committee of Council or to any authority or officer of the University or to any other person or body prescribed by the University of Wollongong By-law 2005.

(2) These delegations are also made in accordance with:

  1. sections 12 and 13 of the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983;
  2. schedule 2 of the University of Wollongong Act 1989 and Part 4, Schedule 4 of the Public Authorities (Financial Arrangements) Act 1987; and
  3. the Interpretation Act 1987.
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Section 2 - Purpose of Policy

(3) The University of Wollongong Act 1989, and other relevant laws, authorise the University to engage in a range of functions. The functions are listed in the University of Wollongong Act 1989 and in other Acts (such as the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983). Functions broadly describe the types of activities in which the University can participate (for example, the conferring of degrees, the construction of residences, the employment of staff etc.). Under the University of Wollongong Act 1989, the authority to engage in functions is vested solely in the Council.

(4) As the Council is unable, on a day to day basis, to make the decisions necessary to run a large and complex organisation like a University, the University of Wollongong Act 1989 allows the Council to delegate its authority to officers or committees of the University.

(5) A delegation is a conferral by the Council of its power and authority to perform functions on an officer or body of the University.

(6) Under section 49 of the Interpretation Act 1987, a delegated function that is duly exercised by a delegate is taken to have been exercised by the Council.

(7) Although the Council may delegate its functions to officers or committees of the University, the Council retains and can exercise all those same powers and authorities.

(8) This Policy provides the delegations of authority relating to the following matters at the University of Wollongong:

  1. Financial Delegations
  2. Employment Delegations
  3. Academic Delegations
  4. Contract and Agreement Delegations
  5. IT Delegations
  6. Miscellaneous Delegations
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Section 3 - Application and Scope

(9) The Policy applies to staff and committees of the University of Wollongong as specified in the delegations of authority.

(10) Nothing in the delegations of authority has the effect of invalidating past acts validly performed by delegates under previous delegations.

(11) Where there is an inconsistency between this Policy and any other UOW policy document, this Policy prevails to the extent of the inconsistency.

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Section 4 - General Principles of Delegation

Context

(12) All delegations must be read subject to, and exercised in accordance with the relevant:

  1. Legislation: in particular, the University of Wollongong Act 1989 (NSW) and delegated legislation (the University of Wollongong By-Law 2005 and University Rules) and other relevant legislation (e.g. Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Commonwealth), Fair Work Act 2009 (Commonwealth));
  2. Enterprise Agreement Academic Staff, 2019;
  3. Enterprise Agreement Professional Services Employees, 2019
  4. University policies, codes of conduct, duly established procedures or guidelines; and
  5. Resolutions of the Council.

Delegates

(13) Delegations are conferred on a position and thus to the incumbent of the position at that time.

(14) The incumbent includes the acting or temporary occupant of a position where the acting or temporary appointment has been formally approved and can be evidenced in writing.

(15) Where a delegation is to a committee, the delegation refers to the committee acting as a whole in accordance with its terms of reference and not to individual members of that committee.

(16) If a position or committee is abolished or re-named, the delegation should be taken to be a reference to the principal successor to the functions of that position or committee. Such minor amendments can be made to this policy without further recourse to Council.

(17) A delegate cannot exercise a delegation in regard to functions or staff for which the delegate does not hold line management responsibility.

(18) Any delegation to incur expenditure must be exercised in accordance with the relevant budget or an approved source of funds. All delegations are to be exercised subject to the delegate’s expenditure delegation.

(19) Authority should be exercised by the lowest level delegate in the first instance and escalated to a superior level delegate if there the lower delegate is unavailable or has a conflict of interest (refer clauses 21-22).

(20) With the exception of the Vice-Chancellor and President, no delegate is authorised to sub-delegate any or all of the delegate’s delegated functions to another person or group of persons.

Conflict of Interest

(21) A delegate must not exercise a delegation if it involves a contravention of the Conflict of Interest Policy. For example, delegates may not approve their own appointment, any form of remuneration or payment, promotion, transfer or secondment, travel, absence, or termination pertaining to themselves or to officers with whom they have a close personal relationship or external business relationship.

(22) If a delegate is unable to carry out the duties associated with that delegation for any reason, including a potential or actual conflict of interest or an absence or incapacity, the delegation must be exercised by a superior level delegate in this Policy.

Vice-Chancellor and President's Delegated Authority

(23) The Vice-Chancellor and President has the power and authority to exercise any delegation conferred by the Council on an officer except delegations:

  1. made to a member of the Council (except the Vice-Chancellor and President);
  2. made to a Committee of the Council;
  3. that would exceed the general expenditure delegation granted to the Vice-Chancellor and President.
  4. pertaining to the position of Vice-Chancellor and President (for example, the appointment, terms and conditions and/or resignation of the Vice-Chancellor and President).

(24) The Vice-Chancellor and President is authorised by the Council to formally sub-delegate any of the functions delegated to him/her under this Policy and through clause 23. Any sub-delegation of a function of the Vice-Chancellor and President under this Policy must be approved in writing and reflected in an amendment to this Policy.

(25) The Vice-Chancellor and President's exercise of their sub-delegation function will be reported annually to the Risk, Audit and Compliance Committee.

Exercise of Delegations

(26) The exercise of a delegation must be evidenced in writing and a record kept in an official file or system.

(27) For routine transactions, such as travel, minor equipment purchases, petty cash etc., the signing of the relevant form or similar document by an authorised delegate is sufficient evidence of the exercise of the delegation as long as the purpose for which the exercise was made is clearly described in the document.

(28) Approval exercised online within a computerised system, which has secured login access and a unique username used for tracking the delegate’s approval against transactions, will be sufficient to meet the requirements of this clause.

Execution of Documents

(29) Subject to the exceptions set out below, a delegate is authorised to execute on behalf of the University any documents necessary to implement a transaction, activity or decision which that delegate has authority to approve. This may include signing a contract, agreement or deed.

(30) Delegates must carefully consider whether they are duly delegated to approve the relevant transaction, activity or decision, having regard to the requirements, restrictions and conditions set out in this Policy.

(31) Documents that effect transactions associated with land pursuant to the Real Property Act 1900 (e.g., sale, purchase, lease) must be executed by the University Secretary and a member of Council (though there is no legal requirement to affix the Seal of the University). In some circumstances this means approval for the transaction must first be sought from Council or the relevant delegate and separately recorded (e.g., by way of memo, email or file note) prior to the document being executed. Advice on documents associated with property transactions can be sought from the Office of General Counsel.

(32) In some limited circumstances documents may need to be executed by affixation of the University Seal. For example, documents of ceremonial significance or agreements with overseas entities in countries where execution under common seal is legally required. In those circumstances, the Seal must be affixed in accordance with the requirements of the University of Wollongong Act 1989 (s 27) and the UOW By-Law (s 22 – s 24), including witnessing by the University Secretary and a member of Council. Note that there is no general requirement to execute deeds by way of affixation of the Seal.

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Section 5 - Reporting Requirements

(33) The exercise of certain delegations must be reported to the next meeting of the Council:

  1. acting on behalf of Councilon urgent matters between Council meetings (Finance and Infrastructure Committee);
  2. use of the Seal;
  3. approval of expenditure (over $1.5M) by position or committee;
  4. professorial appointments; and
  5. any other matter as specified in resolutions of the Council from time to time.
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Section 6 - Matters reserved for Council

(34) While the Council may exercise all powers and authorities delegated to officers or committees of the University, it has specifically reserved the authority to determine certain matters, including the following:

  1. power of delegation (with the exception of power granted to the Vice-Chancellor and President under clause 23 of this Policy);
  2. appoint the Vice-Chancellor and President and Chancellor of the University;
  3. establish or disestablish Senior Executive positions;
  4. approve overall University Budget;
  5. award Honorary Doctorates, University Fellowships, Emeritus Professorships, Community Fellowships and the Chancellor Robert Hope Memorial Prize;
  6. approve University Rules;
  7. approve the University Capital Management Plan;
  8. approve the University Strategic Plan;
  9. approve incorporations or the creation of new wholly owned University companies, or the winding up of such companies; and
  10. approve commercial activities in accordance with Commercial Activity Guidelines – in excess of $4M.
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Section 7 - Operation of Delegations

(35) Some delegations in this Policy are granted to groups of positions (Delegation bands). There are four delegations bands referred to in this policy which reflect different levels of responsibility: Bands 1, 2, 3 and 4. A list of the positions that comprise each delegation band is provided at Appendix 1.

(36) Where delegations are made in accordance with a specific policy or with regard to particular legislation, or when the exercise of a delegation requires completing a particular form, the relevant documents are listed alongside the delegation.

(37) Delegations to officers, committees and delegation bands are set out in the Schedules of this Policy.

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Section 8 - Roles and Responsibilities

(38) The Governance and Policy Division is responsible for:

  1. maintaining this Policy and ensuring it is accurate, consistent with UOW policy and with University structures and officers;
  2. processing requests for changes to this Policy and ensuring they approved by the delegated authority;
  3. maintaining the Delegations Database on the intranet for the use of University staff; and
  4. informing and educating the University community about the University’s delegations framework. 

(39) The Senior Executive, Executive Deans Chief Officers and Directors are responsible for:

  1. informing their staff about their responsibilities to act in accordance with this Policy and associated policies;
  2. ensuring that changes to roles and responsibilities within their portfolios are reflected in relevant updates to this Policy and related policies; and
  3. reviewing compliance with delegations held in their portfolios on a regular basis.

(40) University Staff are responsible for:

  1. acting in accordance with the principles and the relevant delegations in ths Policy.
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Section 9 - Definitions

Word/Term Definition
Acting A staff member who is appointed temporarily to perform all the duties of a higher classified position for a period of 5 days or more but not exceeding 6 months. Refer to the Higher Duties Allowance - Professional Staff Guidelines.
Commercial activities Those activities defined under the Commercial Activity Guidelines made pursuant to Section 21A of the University of Wollongong Act 1989.
Council The Council of the University of Wollongong.
Dean The Dean of Law, the Dean of Medicine, the Dean of Business, the Dean of Research and the Dean of Graduate Research.
Delegate The substantive, acting or temporary occupant formally appointed to a position or a group of persons (e.g. a committee) with delegated authority under this policy.
Delegation band A group of positions to which a delegation can be attached.
Executive Dean The Executive Dean of each of the faculties of the University of Wollongong.
For the purposes of this policy, delegations accorded to the Executive Deans also apply to the Executive Director, AIIM.
Head of School The Head of School of each of the Schools within the faculties of the University of Wollongong. For the purposes of this policy delegations accorded to the Heads of School also apply to the Dean of Law, Dean of Medicine, and the Dean of Business.
Senior Executive

Vice-Chancellor and President
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Deputy Vice-Chancellors
Vice-Presidents
Executive Deans
Any other executive reports to the Vice-Chancellor and President
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Section 10 - Appendix 1 Delegation Bands

(41) Appendix 1 Delegation Bands

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Section 11 - Schedule 1 Financial Delegations

(42) Schedule 1 Financial Delegations

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Section 12 - Schedule 2 Employment Delegations

(43) Schedule 2 Employment Delegations

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Section 13 - Schedule 3 Academic Delegations

(44) Schedule 3 Academic Delegations

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Section 14 - Schedule 4 Contract and Agreement Delegations

(45) Schedule 4 Contract and Agreement Delegations

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Section 15 - Schedule 5 IT Facilities and Services Delegations

(46) Schedule 5 IT Facilities and Services Delegations

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Section 16 - Schedule 6 Miscellaneous Delegations

(47) Schedule 6 Miscellaneous Delegations