Skip to main content

Delegations Policy

Policy overview

1 Purpose

To set out the principles for all Delegations conferred by the University of Southern Queensland Council (the Council) under the University of Southern Queensland Act 1998 (USQ Act) as well as those Delegations conferred on Employees through other Acts. The Delegations constitute the legal authority conferred on Delegates to perform particular functions assigned to them.

This policy is enacted to meet the requirements of the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2011 issued under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 which requires the Council to ensure that its financial, academic and managerial Delegations are appropriate, documented, observed and regularly reviewed and the Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009 which requires the University to establish a delegations system which supports its objectives and operations.

2 Scope

This policy applies to all Council members, Employees, Students, members of Council committees, other University committees and non-incorporated bodies of the University such as centres, associations and institutes.

Nothing in this policy invalidates past acts validly performed by Delegates.

3 Policy Statement

Under the authority of Section 11(1) of the USQ Act, Council may Delegate powers to:

  1. an appropriately qualified member of the Council
  2. an appropriately qualified committee that includes one or more members of the Council
  3. an appropriately qualified Employee.

Powers that cannot be delegated are:

  1. the power to make University statutes or rules
  2. the power to adopt the annual budget
  3. the power to approve spending of funds if the expenditure is for a matter funded by bequest, donation or special grant and the amount of expenditure is in excess of $100 000.

The Delegations contained in the Schedules to this policy constitute a Delegations framework which record all Delegations and is a tool aimed at enhancing standards of accountability and responsibility in Decision making. It is designed to reflect the University's organisational structure and to provide a mechanism to assign authorities. It comprises:

  1. Delegations existing under the USQ Act and other legislation
  2. Delegations approved by Council under the USQ Act pursuant to this policy
  3. Delegations to Council Members under resolutions of Council
  4. Delegations contained in Terms of Reference of Council Committees and Academic Board.

4 Principles

The following principles apply to all Delegations set out in the Schedules.

Considerations for Decision making in relation to Delegations will:

  • be free of conflict of interest and will inform relevant solutions
  • include input from relevant people with suitable recommendations.

4.1 Council authority

Under the USQ Act, Council is vested with the ultimate authority for all University functions and can Delegate all powers except those specifically stated in the Act to be non-delegable. Even though Council has delegated its powers to Employees or bodies, Council still retains and can exercise all those same powers and authorities.

4.2 Vice-Chancellor's general Delegation

The Vice-Chancellor has the power and authority to exercise any Delegation conferred by Council on an Employee or body except Delegations:

  1. made to a member of Council
  2. made to a Council or other University committee
  3. that would exceed the financial Delegation granted to the Vice-Chancellor
  4. made to the University Secretary in respect to that officer's duties to Council or its members
  5. pertaining to the Vice-Chancellor's appointment, resignation or retirement.

Under Section 32(5) of the USQ Act, the Vice-Chancellor may delegate powers of the Vice-Chancellor to an appropriately qualified employee.

4.3 Sub-Delegation

Delegations granted by Council under the USQ Act cannot be sub-delegated to other Employees. The exception is the case of the Vice-Chancellor who may delegate powers of the Vice-Chancellor.

Delegates may sub-delegate powers granted under other Acts only if those Acts expressly permit sub-Delegation.

4.4 Authorisation of routine functions

Although Delegates may not sub-delegate a function the Delegate may authorise in writing a person or group, such as a committee, to advise about the exercise of a delegated function or to perform routine tasks or actions under a Delegation that do not require significant independent judgment. The Delegate, however, always remains responsible for the exercise of the delegated power and for the ultimate Decision made under the Delegation.

A financial or human resources Delegate may temporarily authorise an appropriately trained Employee in the organisational unit to utilise a financial or human resources Delegation during any absence of the Delegate without additional approval. Responsibility for the exercise of the Delegation continues to remain with the Delegate who will confirm that the Delegation has been appropriately managed.

Certain delegated functions may not be authorised if:

  1. The terms of a Delegation requires the Delegate to personally exercise a significant, independent Decision (e.g. whether criteria for probation has been met).
  2. The Decision would affect the rights of an individual (e.g. termination of employment.
  3. The Decision requires the expenditure of funds by the University in excess of $5000.
  4. The Decision requires the signing of University contracts and agreements.

4.5 Delegation hierarchy

Levels of authority are hierarchical following the relevant lines of organisational authority (but not academic levels) up to and including Council.

Provided there is no legal reason why a named Delegate must exercise a particular Delegation, the Delegate's supervisor or line manager and each officer in line of organisational authority superior in turn to that officer, hold the same delegated function.

Delegation holders in management responsibility are ultimately subject to the direction and supervision of the Vice-Chancellor through established lines of accountability.

4.6 Delegations by position

Delegations may be conferred on a position and individuals occupying that position are responsible and accountable for Decisions made under the approved Delegation.

4.7 Delegations by individual

Delegations may be conferred on an individual if authorised by the divisional head and related to a specific financial or human resources Delegation. It is appropriate to also include a termination date on any position-based Delegation.

4.8 Acting positions

An Employee who has been formally appointed to act in a position can exercise any Delegation attached to that position unless the appointment to act specifies otherwise.

4.9 Restructured positions or committees

If a position or a committee is abolished or re-named so that there is a reassignment of responsibility for a particular function, the Delegation is reassigned accordingly.

4.10 Delegation to a committee

Where a Delegation is to a committee, the Delegation refers to the committee acting as a whole, not to individual members of that committee.

4.11 Limits on Delegations and financial transaction restrictions

No Delegate can exercise a power or authority that Council is not legally authorised to exercise under the USQ Act, or that the Vice-Chancellor, under the USQ Act or any other Act, is legally authorised to exercise.

Employees may not commit the University to any action unless they hold a current Delegation.

Delegations can only be exercised by a position holder within their respective management or portfolio responsibility for that delegated power or function unless the instrument of Delegation specifies otherwise.

Where an authority is dependent on the cost of a transaction or value of a contract, for the purposes of determining whether the position holds the requisite Delegation, an estimate must be made as to the likely cost to the University of the transaction as a whole over the term of the transaction.

Delegations may not be separated into parts for the purpose of exercising a Delegation and the total cost may not be offset by deductions or trade-ins.

4.12 Option not to exercise a Delegation

The fact that a Delegate holds a Delegation does not oblige the Delegate to exercise the Delegation. Where, in the opinion of the Delegate, special or unusual circumstances exist which would make it more transparent or ethical for the matter to be dealt with other than by the Delegate, the matter should be transferred to a person more senior in the line of accountability or to the Vice-Chancellor.

4.13 Conflicts of interest

A Delegate must not exercise a Delegation if there is an actual or perceived conflict of interest (e.g. making a financial commitment in which the approver has a personal interest).

Delegates must always act in accordance with the University's Code of Conduct Policy.

4.14 Breach of Delegations

A breach of this policy or of a Delegation may be regarded as misconduct and will be dealt with under the relevant University policy and procedure and (where applicable) employment agreements. Breach of a Delegation may result in disciplinary action.

4.15 Reporting misuse of Delegations

Employees who believe that a Delegation has or is being improperly exercised have an obligation to refer the matter to a senior Employee or to the Vice-Chancellor.

4.16 How Delegations must be exercised

A Delegation must be exercised in accordance with any conditions attached to the Delegation and in accordance with the USQ Act, other legislation, University statutes and rules, all University policies and procedures as well as the University of Southern Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014-2017.

4.17 Review of Delegations

All Delegations are subject to review according to the schedule prescribed in the Policy and Procedure Framework.

4.18 Effective date of Delegations

A Delegate may exercise a Delegation from the date of approval of the Delegation.

5 References

Charles Sturt University, Policy on Delegations and Authorisations, July 2013
University of Melbourne,
Delegations Policy, 6 June 2013.

University of Southern Queensland Act 1998. S. 11 (Austl.).

6 Schedules

This policy must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

7 Policy Information

Subordinate Schedules

Council Delegations Schedule

Financial Delegations Schedule

Human Resources Delegations Schedule

Accountable Officer

Vice-Chancellor

Policy Type

Governance Policy

Approved Date

6/7/2015

Effective Date

6/7/2015

Review Date

6/7/2018

Relevant Legislation

Financial Accountability Act 2009

Financial and Performance Management Standard 2009

Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2011

Statutory Bodies Financial Arrangements Act 1982

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011

University of Southern Queensland Act 1998

University of Southern Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014-2017

Related Policies

Code of Conduct Policy

Conflict of Interest Policy (under development)

Policy and Procedure Framework

Privacy Policy

Related Procedures

Employee Conflict of Interest Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Council

Council means the governing body, the University of Southern Queensland Council....moreCouncil means the governing body, the University of Southern Queensland Council.

Decision

A determination made by an Employee, contractor or other authorised delegate in the course of their duties on behalf of the University....moreA determination made by an Employee, contractor or other authorised delegate in the course of their duties on behalf of the University.

Delegate (noun)

Delegate (noun) means the officer, Employee or committee of the University to whom, or to which, a delegation of authority has been made under this Policy....moreDelegate (noun) means the officer, Employee or committee of the University to whom, or to which, a delegation of authority has been made under this Policy.

Delegate (verb)

Delegate (verb) means to authorise an officer, Employee or committee of the University with decision-making power or authority to decide to take action in a specified area....moreDelegate (verb) means to authorise an officer, Employee or committee of the University with decision-making power or authority to decide to take action in a specified area.

Delegation

A formal authority or power granted to Council members, Employees and Council committees to make Decisions on behalf of the University....moreA formal authority or power granted to Council members, Employees and Council committees to make Decisions on behalf of the University.

Employee

A person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University....moreA person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University.

Student

A person who has been Admitted or Enrolled at the University, but has not yet graduated from their Academic Program....moreA person who has been Admitted or Enrolled at the University, but has not yet graduated from their Academic Program.

Vice-Chancellor

The person bearing the title of Vice-Chancellor and President, or as otherwise defined in the University of Southern Queensland Act 1998, including a person acting in that position....moreThe person bearing the title of Vice-Chancellor and President, or as otherwise defined in the University of Southern Queensland Act 1998, including a person acting in that position.

Definitions that relate to this policy only

Keywords

Authority, Delegate, Delegation, Schedules, Framework, Authorised

Record No

13/948PL

Failure to comply with this Policy or Policy Instrument may be considered as misconduct and the provisions of the relevant Policy or Procedure applied.

* This file is available in Portable Document Format (PDF) which requires the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. A free copy of Acrobat Reader may be obtained from Adobe. Users who are unable to access information in PDF should email policy@usq.edu.au to obtain this information in an alternative format.