Revised University Financial Regulations - (2) to No 4554



<br /> Oxford University Gazette: Revised University Financial<br /> Regulations (supplement)

Oxford University Gazette

Revised University Financial Regulations

Supplement (2) to Gazette No. 4554

Wednesday, 5 July 2000



Contents of the supplement:

To Gazette
No. 4555 (6 July 2000)

To
Gazette Home Page


Curators of the University Chest

Revised University Financial Regulations

With effect from 1 August 2000

Explanatory note

The University's first formal Financial Regulations
(Statutes, 1997, p. 558) were made by the Curators
of the University Chest in 1996 under Ch. II, Sect. I, § 6,
cl. 2 (ibid., p. 217) and were then ratified by Council. In 1998
Council ratified a number of amendments to the regulations
(Gazette, Vol. 128, p. 1138).

The curators have now reviewed the regulations in the light of
the impending governance changes and have approved the following
revised version, on the understanding that the revised
regulations may need to be further amended at a later date in the
light of experience of the new structures. The revised
regulations have been ratified by Council, and they will (as
usual) be circulated to departments, etc. in booklet form for
ease of reference.

Revised University Financial Regulations


I. INTRODUCTION

These Financial Regulations are made by the Council of the
University in accordance with its statutory responsibilities for
the proper control of the financial business of the University.
The regulations apply to the conduct of all financial business
of the University of Oxford, irrespective of the source of
funding.

The Financial Regulations are included as regulations in the
Statutes, Decrees, and Regulations of the University.

The primary objective of these regulations is to ensure the
proper use of finances and resources in a manner which satisfies
the requirements of accountability and internal control and also
fulfils any legal or financial obligations as laid down by the
Inland Revenue, the Higher Education Funding Council for England
(HEFCE), Customs and Excise, and other government authorities.
The regulations do not extend to non-financial activities of the
University nor are they a definitive statement on the governance
of the University.

Copies of the regulations are circulated to the heads of all
university divisions, departments, and institutions and to the
secretaries of all university committees and boards that receive
and hold funds. It is their responsibility to ensure that all
those to whom any financial authority is delegated are made aware
of the existence and provisions of these regulations, and that
an adequate number of copies are made available for reference.
Those with financial and accounting responsibilities must have
their own copies.

Compliance with the Financial Regulations is a requirement for
all employees of the University (irrespective of whether their
appointment is financed by general university funds, research
grants and contracts, or trust or other funds) and for all those
not directly employed by the University who have responsibility
for the administration or management of university funds.

Additional copies of these regulations may be obtained from the
Director of Finance and Secretary of the Chest, who should also
be contacted for advice if there is any uncertainty as to their
application.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



II. DEFINITIONS AND ABBREVIATIONS

The following definitions and abbreviations have been used in the
text in order to shorten and simplify the regulations:

Director of Finance refers to the Director of
Finance and Secretary of the Chest

Budgetary units/units/bodies refers to all
divisions, departments, institutions, committees, and boards that
receive and administer funds disbursed by the University or
received from external sources, and that are subject to the
provisions of these regulations

Head of unit refers to heads of divisions,
departments, and institutions and secretaries of committee and
boards as defined above

Finance Committee refers to the Finance Committee
of Council

PRAC refers to the Planning and Resource Allocation
Committee of Council

RSO refers to the Research Services Office

Parent body refers to a budgetary unit that
allocates funds to other units under delegated authority

VAT refers to Value Added Tax

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



III. THE FINANCIAL REGULATIONS


§ 1. General

1. These regulations apply to the conduct of all financial
business of the University, irrespective of the source of
funding. They do not extend to the non-financial business of the
University and are not a definitive statement on the governance
of the University. The University is a civil corporation, and the
structure of its governance is laid down in the Statutes and
Decrees of the University. The University is an exempt charity
by virtue of the Charities Act 1993.

2. Compliance with the regulations is a requirement for all
employees of the Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars of the
University of Oxford (other than those responsible to the
Delegates of the University Press) and for all those not directly
employed by the University who have responsibility for the
administration or management of university funds.

3. The staff of the Internal Audit Section will point out any
non-compliance they encounter during the course of their work.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 2. Application

1. The regulations apply to all bodies included in the
University's annual audited financial statements except
subsidiary companies and colleges without independence. Such
entities are expected to develop their own regulations based on
this document, appropriately amended to take account of their
differing governance arrangements. The regulations apply to all
funds received and held by university bodies from whatever
source.

2. The regulations do not apply to those colleges of the
University that are independent.

3. The regulations do not apply to the Delegates of the
University Press, who have their own internally established
financial policies and procedures.

4. Where the Finance Division or any body within the
University provides an accounting or other financial service for
organisations that are not part of the University, it is acting
as a custodian of the funds it is holding and has a duty to
exercise the same care as with its own funds. The regulations
apply to these funds while the University holds them.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 3. Distribution

1. The Director of Finance is responsible for ensuring that
copies of the regulations are distributed to the heads of all
budgetary units.

2. The heads of all budgetary units are responsible for
ensuring that all members of their unit or all those responsible
to their committee or board are aware of the regulations, have
a proper understanding of their operation, and have access to
them and that those with financial and accounting
responsibilities have their own copies.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 4. Updating

Every five years, or more frequently if appropriate, the Director
of Finance shall arrange for the regulations to be reviewed and
for any proposed changes to be submitted to Council for its
consideration.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 5. Financial Responsibility
within the University

1. Council is (subject to the provisions of the
statutes) responsible for the administration of the University
and for the management of its finances and property and has all
the powers necessary for it to discharge these responsibilities.
To perform these responsibilities effectively, it delegates
detailed management to budgetary units and officers, retaining
ultimate responsibility subject to the statutes.

2. Congregation is the ultimate legislative body
of the University and is composed of virtually all academic staff
and certain research support staff, administrators, and
librarians. It has to approve changes to the Statutes and Decrees
of the University.

3. The Finance Committee is responsible under
Council for the approval of the University's Annual Financial
Statements and for consideration of proposed financial
regulations.

4. The Planning and Resource Allocation
Committee
is a committee of Council that keeps under
review the financial resources and needs of the University, and
makes recommendations to Council, in particular on long-term
financial planning, the annual budget, the allocation of
resources, and the use of the University's capital funds. The
committee is also responsible for ensuring that university bodies
to which financial management has been delegated exercise proper
management over delegated resources.

5. The Vice-Chancellor is the chief officer of
the University, who normally presides over Congregation and
chairs Council. The Vice-Chancellor also chairs PRAC. He or she
is the Designated Officer appointed by Council in accordance with
the University's Financial Memorandum with HEFCE, and may be
required to appear before the Public Accounts Committee on
matters relating to Funding Council grants made to the
University.

6. The Registrar, under the Vice-Chancellor, is
the head of the central administrative service of the University
and is also secretary of Congregation and of Council.

7. The Director of Finance is the Chief
Financial Officer of the University with right of direct access
to the Vice-Chancellor and Council on financial, technical, and
professional matters, and is responsible to the Registrar. The
Director of Finance is responsible:

(a) to Council for ensuring that adequate controls
and procedures are in place to record all transactions of the
University in an accurate and timely manner;

(b) for the provision of financial information and
advice to all budgetary units; and

(c) for advising the relevant university bodies and
officers on financial policies and planning, and the financial
implications of any proposals.

8. Financial Memorandum with the Higher Education
Funding Council for England
. Council is responsible for
ensuring that the University complies with the memorandum and
related guidance. HEFCE is required to be satisfied that Council
has appropriate arrangements for financial management and
accounting and that the uses to which HEFCE funds are put are
consistent with the purposes for which they were given. Council
is also required to ensure that the University has a sound system
of internal financial management and control and that value for
money is delivered from public funds.The Financial Memorandum
sets out detailed guidelines covering a number of areas referred
to in these regulations; in such cases the regulations have been
framed to incorporate the requirements of the memorandum.

9. Heads of Divisions, Departments, and
Institutions
. Accountability for financial management is
delegated from Council, through PRAC, to Divisional Boards.
Within divisions, financial management is further delegated to
departments and other budgetary units in accordance with rules
laid down by each Divisional Board, but within the overall
framework of these Financial Regulations. At each level, the body
or individual concerned must ensure that funds received or spent
by those bodies or individuals are properly controlled and their
use monitored. Responsibility for internal control within a
budgetary unit rests with the head of that unit, who should
ensure that appropriate and adequate arrangements exist to
safeguard all assets, that university policies including these
Financial Regulations are complied with, and that records are
maintained in as complete and accurate a form as possible. Heads
of units must ensure that adequate procedures for regular
independent checks of financial transactions are in place.

10. Guidance on recommended internal control procedures may
be obtained from the Internal Audit Section.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 6. Ethical Policy

1. University employees and others with responsibility for
the administration or management of university funds should never
use their authority or office for personal gain and should always
seek to uphold and enhance the standing of the University.

2. The University has published Guidelines on Conflict of
Interest which employees and others who have responsibility for
the administration or management of university funds are expected
to follow in order to avoid such conflicts. A Conflict of
Interest Committee has also been set up to give formal and
informal advice. Enquiries should be directed in the first
instance to the secretary of the Conflict of Interest Committee,
from whom details of the guidelines are also available.

3. Members of university bodies should declare any relevant
interests (financial or otherwise) in matters under discussion
and should, if requested by the chairman, withdraw from such
discussion.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 7. Audit

1. The University's audit arrangements are required to be in
accordance with the HEFCE Audit Code of Practice.

2. The Audit Committee is a committee of Council
whose members are appointed by Council but are not officers of
the University.

The committee reviews the effectiveness of the financial and
other internal control systems of the University including the
scope and effectiveness of the work of the Internal Audit Section
and the audit of the University Financial Statements. The
committee must produce an annual report for Council, which, after
consideration by Council, must be sent to the Chief Internal
Auditor of HEFCE.

3. The Internal Audit Section is responsible for
carrying out an independent appraisal of the internal control
systems of the University's activities, financial and otherwise.
It provides a service to all levels of management by evaluating
and reporting to them the effectiveness of the controls for which
they are responsible. The section may provide advice concerning
controls and other matters in the development of systems but does
not have direct responsibility for the development,
implementation, or operation of systems. The section is
responsible for giving assurance to the Audit Committee, Council,
and the Vice-Chancellor on all financial and other control
arrangements.

The Internal Audit Section has unrestricted right of access to
all vouchers, documents, books of account, computer data, and any
other information which it considers relevant to its inquiries
and which is necessary to fulfil its responsibilities. This
includes the right to verify assets and to have direct access to
any employee or person responsible for the administration or
management of university funds with whom it is felt necessary to
raise and discuss such matters.

4. External Auditor. Council shall annually
appoint, on the recommendation of the Audit Committee, the
University Auditor.

The University Auditor audits the Financial Statements of the
University and reports to the Vice-Chancellor whether in his or
her opinion the financial statements give a true and fair view
of the state of the financial affairs of the University and its
related bodies and subsidiary companies (other than the
University Press) at the balance sheet date, and of their income
and expenditure for the year then ended.

The University Auditor has unrestricted right of access to all
vouchers, documents, books of account, and computer data, and any
other information. The University Auditor has the right to verify
assets and to have direct access to any employee or person
responsible for the administration or management of university
funds with whom it is felt necessary to raise and discuss such
matters. The University Auditor may visit any budgetary unit.

5. Other Auditors. The University may be audited
by the HEFCE Audit Service and may be visited by the National
Audit Office. These auditors have the same rights of access as
the Internal and External Auditors.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 8. Fraud and Irregularity

Any suspicion of financial irregularity should be notified
immediately to the Internal Audit Section, who will advise the
Director of Finance and others as appropriate. Action must not
be taken without the approval of the Director of Finance. The
Thames Valley Police should not be contacted directly. In cases
that involve or may involve students, the Proctors will also be
informed by Internal Audit at an early stage.

Serious weaknesses, significant frauds, or any other major
accounting breakdown must be reported by the Director of Finance
to the Vice-Chancellor as the University's Designated Officer in
accordance with HEFCE requirements.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 9. Budgets and Forecasts

1. University Budget. PRAC is required to report
to Council on the budget for the ensuing financial year.

All heads of budgetary units must, by the date stated by the
Director of Finance, supply the Finance Division with any
information requested for the university budget.

2. Delegated Budgets. Each body that receives
or spends central university funds is required before the start
of each financial year to prepare a budget for that financial
year, based on its submission to the University's planning cycle,
and before the start of the financial year to which the
allocation applies to notify its income and expenditure plans to
the body to which it is responsible.

3. Surpluses and Deficits. Budgetary units are
required to keep their expenditure within the resources available
to them. A unit may budget for a surplus or deficit for the year
provided that this is consistent with the strategic plan for the
division and agreed by PRAC. Accounts for funds that are
earmarked by the body from which they are received must not be
in deficit.

If a unit finds in the course of a year that it will be unable
to achieve its budget and is likely to show a worsened outcome
at the end of the year, it must report the situation to its
parent body without delay. The parent body may agree to allow the
variation to stand only if it is satisfied that the unit has
plans in place to recover the position.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 10. Staff Establishment

1. New academic-related and non-academic posts at the grades
of P06, Whitley Council MLS01, MT02, and below, Nurse E and
below, Administrative and Clerical 3 and below, and
outside-grant- funded academic-related RSIA and RSIB may be set
up by budgetary units without the prior approval of the grading
by the Personnel Services Section of the Central Administration
(acting on behalf of the Personnel Committee), provided that if
the post is outside-grant-funded the relevant procedures
specified by the RSO for the acceptance of the outside grant have
been completed. The grading of all other new academic-related and
non-academic posts, or changes to the grade of similar existing
posts, must be approved by the Personnel Services Section on
behalf of the Personnel Committee unless otherwise specifically
covered by Council. Advice can be obtained from the Personnel
Services Section.

2. A separate panel of the Personnel Committee considers the
proposed grading of new posts (or the regrading of existing
posts) in respect of all administrative, library, curatorial, and
other staff in receipt of salaries in grades ALC6 or RSIV.

3. The setting up of any new posts and any changes to
existing posts should also be approved, in the case of academic
units, by the Divisional Board with responsibility for the budget
of the unit, subject to appropriate consultation with colleges
and written confirmation that the anticipated commitment will be
within the budget set for the board by PRAC, such confirmation
to be obtained from the Finance Division.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 11. Accounting Records, Annual
Accounts, and University Financial Statements

Advice on accounting matters may be sought from the Head of
Financial Accounting in the first instance.

1. Accounting Records. The head of each body to
whom funds are entrusted shall ensure that all moneys under his
or her control are safely kept and are used only for the purposes
for which they are allocated and that all transactions are
properly recorded in the University's central accounting system.

2. Retention of Financial Documents. Prescribed
periods and recommended guidelines have been published by the
Internal Audit Section, as set out in the schedule below.

3. University Computerised Accounting System.
All members and staff of the University with access to the
University's computerised accounting system must comply with the
password and other security controls established within the
Central Administration. Advice can be obtained from the Financial
Systems Team.

All members and staff of the University must comply with the
University Policy and Rules for Computer Use. Advice can be
obtained from the Director of Computing Services.

All members and staff of the University must comply with the
University Data Protection Policy. Advice can be obtained from
the Director of Management Information Services.

4. Financially related Software. Heads of
budgetary units are required to inform the Director of Finance
of any software packages with financial applications that they
may be intending to acquire, in order to ensure that such
projects have been properly planned and resourced and that the
software will provide the required functionality and be
compatible with existing financial systems.

5. New Budgetary Units. No new budgetary unit
may be established with resources from central university funds
otherwise than on the authority of the appropriate parent body.
No resources from central or divisional funds may be transferred
between bodies without the permission of the appropriate central
body or Divisional Board.

6. Annual Financial Statements. The Finance
Committee shall approve, on behalf of Council, audited Financial
Statements of the University for each year to 31 July, and report
to Council accordingly by the last meeting of Michaelmas Term.

The head of each budgetary unit shall provide such information
as the Finance Committee may require to enable it to prepare the
Financial Statements.

The Vice-Chancellor, the Chairman of the Finance Committee, and
the Director of Finance shall sign the financial statements.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 12. Banking Arrangements

1. University income comprises all moneys receivable by the
University, and any part thereof. University income includes all
moneys made available to individuals on the basis of their
association with the University. All university income must be
paid into a university bank account and properly accounted for,
and all university expenditure must be paid from a university
bank account. The opening of private bank accounts that result
in the diversion of any moneys receivable by the University is
not permitted.

2. The setting up of university bank accounts, other than
imprest accounts, including the mandate for those bank accounts
and subsequent changes to the mandate, must be approved by the
Finance Committee. All bank accounts shall be in the name of the
University.

3. The Director of Finance may approve the setting up of an
imprest bank account. Such an account may be used only for making
payments and not for banking receipts other than for the
reimbursement of the account. Imprest bank accounts cannot be
used for payments that are in the nature of employment or for the
settlement of normal commercial invoices. They can be used to
reimburse travel expenses under £30 provided that a travel
claim form is used. They must not be overdrawn. The department
holding the account is responsible for ensuring regular
reconciliation of the account and for providing information
required by the Finance Division at the year end. Advice can be
obtained from the Head of Treasury.

4. The approval of the Director of Finance is needed in
advance for the setting up of any university charge or credit
cards. Advice can be obtained from the Head of Treasury.

5. When a unit becomes aware that it will become subject to
foreign exchange risk through the future receipt or payment of
foreign exchange, it should notify the Finance Division and
arrange to discuss how the risk can be reduced or avoided. Advice
can be obtained from the Head of Treasury.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 13. Deposit Pool

1. The University has a Deposit Pool in which units and trust
funds may invest certain cash balances for a minimum period of
one month. The pool attracts the same income as the University's
short-term cash deposits but does not offer investors any capital
growth. Investments are made at the discretion of the Investment
Committee, which shall determine from time to time the minimum
amount that may be invested by a budgetary unit or trust fund and
the minimum withdrawal or additional investment. It will also
determine the monthly dates when deposits and withdrawals may be
made.

2. Every account that has funds in the Deposit Pool must
either have a nil or positive balance of cash with the Finance
Division, except for those accounts recording expenditure to be
reclaimed from a trust fund at the end of the financial year, in
which case the calculation will be made on the anticipated
income.

3. The Investment Committee shall approve the type of funds
that can be placed on deposit in the Deposit Pool. The Director
of Finance will approve each individual application to place
funds on deposit. No moneys received from central university
funds may be so invested. Advice can be obtained from the
Financial Accounting Office.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 14. Petty Cash

Where a petty cash float is provided to pay minor expenses, it
may not be used for payments that are in the nature of employment
or to regular suppliers. It may be used to reimburse travel
expenses under £30 provided that a travel claim form is
used. The unit is responsible for the security of the float.
Claims for reimbursement must be made using the standard form
provided by the Finance Division and be supported by invoices or
other supporting documents. Cash receipts are not to be added to
the petty cash float. Petty cash floats must not be used for
personal expenditure.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 15. Receipts

1. Each head of a unit that receives cash or cheques is
responsible for establishing procedures to ensure that all
receipts to which it is entitled are received, properly accounted
for and recorded, and banked intact within a week, or more often
if large sums are received. The head is also responsible for the
security of cash received until banked.

2. All cheques received by budgetary units shall be made
payable to `Oxford University'.

3. The postal service and University Messenger Service must
not be used to send cash.

4. Remittance advices and account code details must accompany
all receipts advised to either the Financial Accounting Office
in respect of centrally banked items, or the Treasury Section in
respect of locally banked or electronic receipts.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 16. Acceptance of Gifts,
including Gifts in Kind and Benefactions received under a Will

1. Council has given delegated authority as follows:

(a) to the Director of Finance, authority without
limit to accept gifts in respect of allocations from the Trustee
of the Campaign for Oxford Trust Fund;

(b) to the Registrar, authority to accept gifts worth
more than £20,000 and up to £100,000, subject to a
termly report to Council of action taken;

(c) to the Director of Finance, authority to accept
gifts worth more than £2,000 and up to £20,000; and

(d) to the head of each unit or, if the head so
wishes to its administrator, authority to accept for that unit
gifts worth up to £2,000;

except in each case:

(i) research grants and contracts covered by procedures
agreed by Council;

(ii) any gifts the acceptance of which involves the
establishment of a new trust;

(iii) any gifts that bear any restrictive conditions or
entail any potential commitment on university funds;

(iv) any gifts that may be considered sensitive for political
or other reasons; or

(v) any other gifts in respect of which those given delegated
authority may consider Council's approval necessary.

In appropriate cases those exercising delegated authority are
expected to ask Council to vote thanks for a gift.

2. Benefactions and endowments made to the University may be
given on trust. In order to ensure that the University complies
with any conditions attaching to the benefaction or endowment,
a decree must be made. The decree should include the purpose of
the fund, its aims and objectives, the use to which the income
is to be put (including unspent income carried forward to future
financial years), whether the capital may be spent, details of
the management committee, and provision for subsequent amendment
subject to continuing observation of the purpose of the fund.
Advice may be obtained from the Legal Services Office. The
capital is usually invested in the Trusts Pool. Advice may be
obtained from the Head of Treasury.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 17. Sales

1. Each head of a budgetary unit that receives income from
the sale of goods or services is responsible for establishing
procedures to ensure that all sales are authorised and are made
only to acceptable credit risks. Customers must be made aware of
the University's standard conditions of sale, which must be
incorporated into any contracts. Invoices must be prepared for
all goods dispatched or services supplied and be properly
recorded and processed. Procedures must also be in place to
follow up overdue accounts effectively. In the event of prolonged
non- payment or dispute, the Finance Office, and/or Legal
Services Office, should be informed as appropriate.

2. The liability to VAT of all goods and services supplied
must be established and VAT charged and accounted for as
appropriate.

3. When a new income-generating activity is set up, the
Director of Finance must be consulted to consider whether the
activity constitutes trading which might be subject to
Corporation Tax and therefore should be conducted through a
university company. Failure to do so may result in the activity
being investigated by the Inland Revenue and the consequent
payment of tax.

4. The University is required by the Financial Memorandum
between the University and HEFCE when determining the price to
be charged for research contracts, residences, catering,
conferences, and services to external customers, including
consultancy, to assess the full cost to the University. HEFCE
expects the full cost to be recovered unless it is appropriate
to do otherwise having regard to the particular circumstances.
Budgetary units are responsible for ensuring that charges make
due allowance for overhead costs and that they are aware of the
extent, if any, to which they subsidise the cost from their own
resources and can give justification for any subsidy. When
research grants and contracts are costed, the University's policy
on the charging of overheads between unit and central funds must
be followed.

5. The head of a unit must approve sales to employees,
members of the University, or other customers made without charge
or at a charge below that normally made to external customers.

6. The head of a unit should ensure that appropriate charges
are made for the use of university premises and facilities for
non-university purposes.

7. Writing-off Bad Debts. Heads of budgetary
units must ensure that procedures are in place properly to
monitor all debts and to follow up overdue accounts. A debt is
created whenever a sale is made. The following authorities to
write off bad debts after all reasonable steps have been taken
to recover them apply to all debts.

(a) The head of a budgetary unit may write off a bad
debt up to £5,000 against its own budget with the permission
of the Director of Finance.

(b) The Director of Finance has authority to write
off bad debts of up to £100,000 against general revenue and
also has authority, where he considers that the bad debt resulted
from unguarded action taken by a unit, to write off the debt
against that body's funds.

The Finance Committee will receive an annual report of the total
sum written off each year giving details of individual sums over
£5,000.

Any VAT included in bad debts that have been written off may be
recovered using the procedures prescribed by Customs and Excise.

Any legal action to recover moneys due has to be approved by the
Director of Finance. Any action arising will be taken through the
Legal Services Office

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 18. Authority for the Effecting
of Contracts

1. The Registrar, the University's senior administrative
officers, their respective deputies appointed from time to time,
and the Land Agent are authorised to enter into, vary, and
discharge on behalf of the University such contracts and such
classes of contracts (whether made in writing or by parol), and
to sign such other documents and such classes of documents, as
may be specified by Council.

2. The Director of the RSO is authorised to effect all
contracts relating to research and associated matters.

3. Heads of budgetary units have authority to effect
contracts in the course of the ordinary business of their unit
involving only the funds over which they have delegated control,
subject to the Statutes, Decrees, and Regulations of the
University including these Financial Regulations. They do not
have any authority to enter into any contract which is illegal
or which does not comply with obligations laid down by HEFCE, the
Inland Revenue, Customs and Excise, and other government
authorities. What is ordinary business will vary but for academic
units can be taken to mean teaching and research and (save as
otherwise provided) their support. Specific funds may be used
only for the purposes given.

4. Heads of units may delegate in writing their authority to
effect contracts.

5. Heads of units should obtain the advice of the Director
of Finance in the first instance if they are unsure of their
authority to effect a particular contract.

6. The regulations for contracts of employment are stated in
§ 23 below.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 19. Expenditure

1. Each head of a budgetary unit is responsible for
establishing procedures to ensure that goods and services are
ordered only in required quantities of suitable quality at the
best terms available, after appropriate requisition and approval.
Order forms should refer to the University`s standard terms and
conditions of business.

Procedures must be in place to ensure that goods and services
received are inspected and only properly ordered items are
accepted before invoices are authorised. Invoices must be
properly recorded. Duties of staff should be segregated wherever
possible so that more than one member records and processes each
transaction. Where only one member of staff is available
procedures for regular independent checks of transactions should
be in place.

2. Orders may be placed only when funds are available to pay
for them.

3. Each head of a budgetary unit must supply the Departmental
Accounts Section of the Finance Division with a register of
authorised signatures for the authorising of documents for
payment. The register may have limits to any individual's
authority. Each entry on the register must be signed or
initialled by the unit head. Where the proposed authorised
signatory is not a university employee, the approval of the
Director of Finance is also required. The register must be kept
up to date. Advice can be obtained from the Departmental Accounts
Office.

4. The Central Purchasing Officer in the Central
Administration should be consulted for advice and information on
all purchasing matters including centrally negotiated purchasing
arrangements, to ensure that value for money is obtained. Further
information is available in the Oxford University Purchasing
Group buyer's guide.

5. Heads of budgetary units are responsible for complying
with European Union Procurement Directives. All individual
procurements and contract arrangements with a value in excess of
£150,000 must by law be advertised in the Official Journal
of the European Union. The penalties for non-compliance by the
University are severe. Further guidance on the EU Procurement
Directives is available from the Central Purchasing Officer and
is included in the Oxford University Purchasing Group buyer's
guide.

6. Prompt payment for discount must not be made earlier than
the date of supply except in cases where the supplier must itself
make cash outlays at an early stage or permission has been
obtained from the Finance Division. Advice can be obtained from
the Head of Financial Accounting.

7. Payments in the nature of employment must be made through
the university payroll and not by other means.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 20. Travel and Subsistence:
Claims for Reimbursement

1. Travel and subsistence reimbursement claims should be made
on university claim forms or other forms approved by the Director
of Finance.

2. The claims must be for the reimbursement of actual
expenditure incurred wholly and necessarily on the business of
the University and be in accordance with the rates approved by
the Director of Finance. The lower mileage rate should be used
unless the head of the unit has authorised the use of the higher
rate in advance.

3. Supporting vouchers must be provided for the cost of
accommodation, fares, and other major items of expenditure.

4. No round-sum allowances may be paid.

5. An owner whose vehicle is being used for travel on
university business must ensure that it is adequately insured for
that purpose.

6. Employees cannot be reimbursed for the cost of travel to
and from their normal place of work otherwise than in exceptional
circumstances, when permission from the Director of Finance must
be sought.

7. No one may authorise reimbursement of his or her own
expenses. Claims should always be approved by an employee senior
to the claimant. Where there is no suitable person within a
budgetary unit to authorise an expense claim, the Director of
Finance must be asked to make alternative arrangements.

8. Those travelling abroad on university business should take
out appropriate insurance cover by registration with the
University's block travel policy available through the Insurance
Office of the Finance Division. This cover includes medical
expenses incurred abroad and those costs arising from
cancellation or curtailment of the journey.

9. Advice on claims should be sought from the Head of
Financial Accounting.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 21. Travel and Subsistence:
Advances

1. Advances will normally be made only to employees and
registered students of the University for up to one month's
costs. Trips that exceed one month should be funded on an imprest
system of topping up the advance against claim forms. Only in
cases where this would be genuinely impossible or impracticable
will an exception to the time limit be made and then only on
consideration of a written application in advance to the Director
of Finance.

2. Advances will be limited to 75 per cent of the estimated
cost of up to one month's subsistence according to the daily
rates for countries abroad approved by the Director of Finance
and to the full cost of fares.

3. Requests for advances should be made on university expense
claim forms giving details of dates and countries to be visited,
and a breakdown of the advance required.

4. Claimants must submit full documentation within seven days
of return, and the process of accounting for the claims against
advances must be completed within one month of the return date.
Advances should not be outstanding for more than two months.

5. Advice on advances may be obtained from the Head of
Financial Accounting.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 22. Payments for Entertaining

1. Entertaining should wherever possible and appropriate be
carried out in the University's own facilities in departments or
in the colleges.

2. Entertainment expenditure may be an appropriate use of
university moneys and avoid tax liability only if it is incurred
wholly, necessarily, and exclusively for university purposes. A
schedule must be included with the claim that gives details of
those entertained and their institutions and the purpose of the
entertainment.

3. All expense claims for entertaining, which must be
supported by vouchers, must be authorised by the head of the unit
(except where the head is the claimant, when alternative
arrangements must be made - see § 20, cl. 7 above). The
authorising and submission of a claim for payment for
entertaining is a declaration that the cost was incurred wholly,
necessarily, and exclusively for university purposes. Only on
this basis can the Finance Division pay the claim in full without
deduction of tax.

4. In authorising entertainment expenditure, heads of units
are also undertaking that, if in any case tax is subsequently
levied, any cost which is not recoverable from the individual
beneficiaries will fall on the budget of the unit.

5. Advice on such payments may be obtained from the Head of
Tax and Advisory Services.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 23. Salaries and Staff
Appointments

1. No one shall have authority to offer any person employment
as a member of the University's staff, or to sign letters of
appointment for staff, or to dismiss staff, except with the
express consent of Council, and provided that any offer of
employment shall be on the appropriate terms and conditions of
employment for the category of staff concerned; and any dismissal
shall have complied with the appropriate procedures for the
dismissal of the member of staff concerned. Council has
delegated its powers to the Personnel Committee and to the
chairman and officers of that committee.

2. All university employees shall have a properly authorised
letter of appointment whose form has been approved by, or under
the authority of, the Personnel Committee.

3. No member of staff may be given a contract of employment
for a period exceeding that for which funding is available fully
to support the post, or posts, to which he or she is appointed.

4. The only payments which may be made to university
employees are those which relate to the operation of approved
university salary scales and such other payments as have been
specifically approved by the Personnel Committee.

5. All university employees shall be paid through the payroll
operated by the Salaries Office.

6. Each head of a budgetary unit that has staff paid through
the university payroll must supply the Salaries Office with a
Register of Authorised Signatures for the authorising of salary
documents. The register may have limits to any individual's
authority. Each entry on the register must be signed or
initialled by the head of the unit. The register shall be kept
up to date. Where the proposed authorised signatory is not a
university employee the approval of the Director of Finance is
also required.

7. All documents sent to the Salaries Office authorising the
payment of new employees or subsequent changes to their salary
or other details must be authorised in accordance with the
relevant Register of Authorised Signatures.

8. If it is proposed to employ a citizen of a country outside
the European Economic Area (EEA), it is the responsibility of the
head of the unit, or other authorised signatory:

(a) in the case of a person at present in the UK, to
ensure that the landing conditions imposed on that person by the
Immigration and Nationality Directorate of the Home Office allow
the proposed employment; or

(b) if the person is not in the UK, to obtain through
the Central Administration a work permit from the DfEE for the
specific employment proposed.

The Work Permit and Immigration Help Desk within the Central
Administration will handle centrally any applications that may
be necessary and will advise on the detail and documentation
required. (It should be noted that the DfEE normally requires,
to support a successful application, evidence that the vacancy
was advertised in an approved publication available in the EEA.)

The Salaries Office will not add a non-EEA citizen to the payroll
unless it is clear that any necessary work permit has been
obtained or that the immigration status of the person concerned
does not require the University to seek permission for the
specific employment proposed.

9. Any circulars issued by the Director of Finance on
taxation or national insurance matters must be complied with to
ensure that the requirements of the Inland Revenue and Department
of Social Security are met and to protect the University from
financial loss.

10. Advice on all staff appointments may be obtained from the
Personnel Services Section.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 24. Stocks

1. Each head of a unit is responsible for establishing
procedures to ensure that stocks are adequately protected against
loss or misuse. Stocks should be maintained at the minimum level
required to support operations.

2. A physical stock count must be conducted at least once a
year, preferably at 31 July.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 25. Equipment and Furniture

1. Each head of a unit is responsible for establishing
procedures to ensure that all items of equipment and furniture
are adequately protected against loss and misuse and that all
purchases and disposals of equipment are properly authorised,
accounted for, and recorded.

2. Equipment inventories must be maintained and be able to
satisfy the requirements of the Internal Audit Section.

3. Equipment bought from research grants and contracts
belongs to the University, unless there is explicit provision to
the contrary in the relevant contract, and is available for use
in the relevant unit on the expiry of the grant subject to any
conditions imposed by the funding body.

4. Any proceeds from the sale of equipment will normally be
credited to the account of the unit concerned.

5. Where equipment is loaned, units should have procedures
in place to ensure that it is returned in good condition, and
should consider the need for the borrower to arrange insurance
cover.

6. Items of equipment are covered for all-risks insurance if
they are included on the asset register which must be updated
regularly and a copy supplied to the Insurance Office of the
Finance Division annually. Items purchased between annual
submissions are automatically covered.

7. Units must not enter into leasing contracts for equipment
without taking the advice of the Central Purchasing Office, which
has prepared a standard contract.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 26. University Vehicles

1. No university-owned vehicle may be used unless it is
insured for the purpose for which it is being used and has a
valid DETR Certificate where required, and the driver is
qualified to drive the vehicle.

2. University-owned vehicles may be used only by persons and
for purposes authorised in writing by the head of the unit, and
a record of authorised drivers should be maintained. University
vehicles should not normally be used for travel to and from work
and they should be left on university premises at night. Where
the use of university vehicles is authorised for travel to and
from work and they are not left on university premises at night,
any employee of the University is likely to be taxed on the
benefit enjoyed.

3. Where private use is allowed, the terms and conditions of
use and reimbursement of costs must be authorised in writing by
the head of the unit, and the person granting such authorisation
is also responsible for ensuring that there is comprehensive
insurance cover.

4. University vehicles must be included in the unit's asset
register.

5. Sales of vehicles should be advertised beyond the unit
making the sale.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 27. Buildings

1. The Buildings and Estates Subcommittee shall be
responsible to PRAC for formulating and reviewing the
University's programme for all building works, for the execution
of all building projects, for maintaining university buildings
in a satisfactory condition, and for allocating space within
them.

2. All building works, however funded, in university
functional buildings require the prior permission of the Director
of Estates and University Surveyor, acting on behalf of the
Buildings and Estates Subcommittee.

3. The Current Standing Orders for Building Tenders must be
observed.

4. HEFCE Instructions for Estates Procedures must be complied
with for HEFCE-funded projects.

5. European Commission public procurement directives on
supplies, services, and works must be followed.

6. Advice on building matters can be obtained from the
Director of Estates and University Surveyor.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 28. Investments

1. The Investment Committee shall, on behalf of Council,
arrange for the investment of funds and endowments of the
University in accordance with Tit. XV, Sect. V, cl 2, or in
accordance with the Trusts Pool Scheme.

2. The Investment Committee shall report to Council at least
annually on its investment policy and the performance of the
University's investments.

3. No budgetary unit or trust of the University may invest
in any securities or other investments (including land) without
the permission of the Investment Committee.

4. The Investment Committee manages the Trusts Pool Scheme,
which is designed for long-term investment, and shall approve all
new shareholders and increases in shareholdings. The terms of the
pool are included in the University's Decrees (Ch. VIII, Sect.
VIII).

5. The Investment Committee shall, on behalf of Council,
approve the appointment of managers of investments and the
investment powers of officers.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 29. Property

1. Functional Property. The authority of Council is needed
for any purchase of land or property (whether freehold or
leasehold) for the functional use of the University.

All contracts for the purchase of land or property for the
functional use of the University (whether freehold or leasehold)
and all sales of existing functional land and property must be
effected by the University centrally on the authority of Council.

2. Non-functional Property. The Property Management
Subcommittee of PRAC has charge of all real property that is not
in use for the functional purposes of the University, nor for
investment purposes, and may authorise the purchase, leasing, and
sale of real property for non-functional purposes on behalf of
the University.

3. Advice on property matters may be obtained from the
Director of Estates and University Surveyor in respect of
functional property and the Land Agent in respect of non-
functional property.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 30. Borrowing Powers

No budgetary unit may borrow moneys without the permission of
Council.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 31. Research Grants and
Contracts and Related Matters

1. All applications to outside bodies for research funds must
be submitted for university approval to the RSO before being
despatched to the sponsor. The RSO is also responsible for
negotiating, and entering into, research and related contracts
on behalf of the University.

2. The University's policy of disclaiming liability under
research agreements must be complied with.

3. The University's policy on the charging of indirect costs,
and the distribution of indirect cost income between departmental
and central funds, must be followed when research grants and
contracts are being costed.

4. The University's policies covering all aspects of research
funding and related activities must be complied with. Further
advice on such policies is available from the RSO.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 32. Personal Consultancies

Clauses 1, 2, and 5 below do not apply to CUF lecturers (Ch. VII,
Sect. I, § 5. A, cl. 10).

1. Academic staff (other than CUF lecturers) may without loss
of stipend engage in personal consultancy work with the approval
of the relevant Divisional Board and head of department in
departmentally organised faculties, provided that the amount of
time spent on these and other outside appointments does not
exceed thirty days per annum. Applications for permission to
spend more than thirty days per annum on outside appointments
(including consultancies) need the same approvals and may result
in loss of stipend. Academic-related staff may also engage in
personal consultancy work on similar terms with the approval of
their head of department, `line manager', and sponsoring body (if
applicable). Such approval is subject to clause 2 below. Advice
may be obtained from the RSO.

2. The terms of any personal consultancy agreement must be
vetted by the RSO prior to signature. Advice can be obtained from
the RSO.

3. Employees of the University must not hold themselves out
as acting on behalf of the University when undertaking personal
consultancy work. The University accepts no responsibility for
work done or advice given. Once approval to hold a consultancy
is given, appropriate disclaimers of liability will be issued on
behalf of the University by the RSO in respect of academic staff
and by departments in respect of other staff.

4. Employees of the University engaged in personal
consultancy work are covered by the University's professional
indemnity insurance only if the permission of the University has
been obtained, through the procedures in clauses 1 and 2 above,
and the fees receivable declared to the insurers. Advice should
be obtained from the Insurance Section of the Finance Division.

5. The University's policy on the payment to employees for
consultancy and services to industry must be complied with.
Advice is available from the RSO.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 33. Intellectual Property

1. Except with the express consent of Council, no official
of the University or any other person employed by the University
or working in or in connection with any department of or under
the control of the University shall in connection with any
invention, discovery, or patent, or (except under the authority
of the Delegates of the University Press, in matters falling
within their jurisdiction) process, or manufacture have authority
to make any representations on behalf of the University or to
enter into any contract on behalf of the University or to be
concerned in any transaction whatsoever in connection therewith
on behalf of the University.

2. Revenue received by the University as a result of the
exploitation of any item of intellectual property shall be
distributed in accordance with the University's Intellectual
Property Policy.

3. Advice on intellectual property matters should be obtained
from the RSO.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 34. University Companies

No university company may be set up to exploit any university
activity to which the University has rights, or for any other
purpose, unless approved by Council. Advice should be obtained
from the Director of Finance.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 35. Commercial Activities

No non-university commercial activities may be carried out on
university premises and no university facilities may be used for
such activities unless a definite agreement between the
University and the persons concerned has been approved by the
Director of Finance. In no circumstances may departmental or
institutional addresses be used for non-university commercial
activities.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 36. Private work by
Departmental Staff for Other Departments

1. When a member of staff in his or her spare time undertakes
private work for other units involving the use of facilities
operated by the unit by which he or she is normally employed,
proper invoices in respect of any charges which may be made for
such work must be prepared, and submitted to the head of the unit
by which the member of staff is ordinarily employed for approval
and signature. Payment will be made through the university
payroll unless a Schedule D tax reference for the trade has been
obtained in writing from the Inland Revenue. Advice can be
obtained from the Head of Financial Accounting.

2. Where the head of the unit allows private work to be
carried out for other units, written rules should be drawn up and
made readily accessible to all members of staff. The cost of any
materials provided should be recovered, and care taken that
safety procedures are observed. Advice may be obtained from the
Internal Audit Section.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 37. Private Patients' Fees

Persons holding honorary consultant appointments in the National
Health Service in clinical departments are permitted to engage
in private practice in accordance with the Decrees of the
University, which provide for the treatment of private patients'
fees. Advice can be obtained from the secretary of the Medical
Sciences Division.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 38. Insurance

1. The University is required by its Financial Memorandum
with HEFCE to have adequate insurance cover.

2. Central policies are held for the insurance of buildings
and contents (except library holdings and certain museum
collections) against all risks, public and employer's liability,
professional indemnity, and fidelity; these are paid for
centrally by the University.

3. Personal accident cover is in place for certain defined
categories of personnel.

4. Insurance matters must only be arranged through the
Insurance Section of the Finance Division, which can provide all
necessary advice.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 39. VAT

1. The University is a partially exempt registered taxable
body and has a legal obligation to account properly for VAT and
to make correct returns to the Customs and Excise. Each unit is
responsible for its own VAT affairs including ensuring that it
is adequately informed about VAT and related aspects of the
matters with which it deals. All heads of units must submit
correct and timely returns of VAT and other legally required data
to the Finance Division for inclusion in the University's returns
to Customs and Excise, as well as providing the information
needed on invoices and other documents of costs incurred to allow
the University to operate its VAT partial exemption scheme.

2. Information on VAT and related matters is available from
the circulars produced by the Finance Division, and advice is
available from the VAT Officer in the Finance Division.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 40. Waivers

Where a person entitled to a fee or other payment due from the
University decides to waive it, the fee or other payment must be
completely waived without condition as to what happens to the
waived fee or other payment. The Statutes, Decrees, and
Regulations of the University do not in general allow payment to
persons and bodies other than the person to whom it is due. Also,
unless the waiver is without condition, the payment will continue
to be taxable income of the individual to whom it is due. Advice
should be sought from the Head of Tax and Advisory Services.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 41. Relocation Expenses

1. The University shall pay contributions towards removal and
travelling expenses incurred by persons taking up approved posts
in the University on such conditions as Council may approve.

2. Application must be made to the Director of Finance before
expenditure is incurred or authorised by the new post-holder.
Advice should be sought from the officer in charge of removal
expenses in the Finance Division.

3. Unit funds may not be used to fund relocation expenses
except as allowed for by the approved scheme.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 42. Appeals from Charitable
Organisations

1. Council has empowered PRAC, without reference to Council,
to make grants from revenue in response to appeals from
educational or charitable organisations of direct concern to the
University in Oxford or in places where the University owns land
or is patron of a benefice, provided that Council is consulted
on any case of doubt or difficulty or involving a grant of more
than £10,000.

2. Unit funds may not be used to make charitable donations
or grants.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 43. Fees

No person shall be presented for a degree unless he or she has
paid all the sums due from him or her to the University.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 44. Sealing

The Seals of the University shall be used in accordance with the
Statutes, Decrees, and Regulations of the University. Documents
for sealing must be sent to the Legal Services Office.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



§ 45. Projects

All proposals for expenditure from university funds of a capital
or `self-financing' nature must be assessed through the
University's approved project evaluation procedures, advice on
which may be obtained from the Management Accounting Section of
the Finance Division.

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement



Schedule: Time to hold Accounting
Documents

The period for retaining documents is a complex issue and it is
a decision which must be taken by the management of each
organisation. The most favourable retention period will allow for
records to be kept only as long as they are really needed for
legal and commercial purposes. A programme should be drawn up to
select records which are to be retained or destroyed in order to
keep the volume of records under control. The retention policy
should be just one of the elements comprised in a much broader
programme covering records management. In determining appropriate
retention periods the following aspects need to be considered:

(a) economy;

(b) legal and related requirements;

(c) potential demand within the organisation;

(d) historical value.

There are few firmly established regulations to follow in
deciding how long to keep documents. However, this guideline
covers recommended minimum retention periods for accounting
records to discharge the University's legal and statutory
obligations in respect of the various taxing authorities and
audit requirements.

1. Purchase Invoices

All paid invoices are retained at the Finance Division for at
least one year, until after the completion of the external audit.
They are microfiched one month after receipt, and the microfiche
records are retained for fourteen years. If departments take
photocopies of the invoices, these are purely for departmental
reference purposes and can be destroyed as judged appropriate.
Supporting requisitions, purchase orders, and goods-received
notes should be kept for three years.

2. Sales

Copies of all sales VAT documents, which include sales invoices
and daily till rolls from shops, must be held for seven years,
i.e. six years plus the current year. If a department has
particular difficulty in keeping six years' worth of till rolls,
it is possible to apply to Customs and Excise to request a
shorter period of retention.

3. VAT Returns

Copies of all VAT returns including the Instrastat and EC returns
are kept at the Finance Division and therefore there is no
requirement for departments to keep copies. However, as only the
actual returns are held at the Finance Division, all supporting
documentation used to compile the return should be retained by
departments for a period of seven years, i.e. six years plus the
current year.

4. Outside Grants

The Research Services Office holds the original
contracts/agreements, related correspondence, and financial
documents for at least six years after expiry of the grant.
Should a department hold any further relevant original
documentation then this should be held for a similar period. Any
detailed records supporting charges against the grant, e.g. time
sheets, should be retained for a period of three years after the
expiry of the grant. Photocopies of any original documents sent
to the RSO can be destroyed at the department's discretion.
However, any specific terms within a particular contract relating
to the retention of records will take precedence. If in doubt
consult the RSO.

5. Banking

The Finance Division keeps copies of all receipt records and as
the daily banking sheets are not prime documents supporting
individual sales transactions there is no need to keep these
sheets beyond three years. Bank paying-in counterfoils should be
kept for six years.

6. Payments to Personnel

All documents relating to payments to personnel should be kept
for at least seven years, i.e. six years plus the current year.
Any supporting documentation held in the departments and not
copied to the centre should be retained for a similar period.

7. Equipment Registers

Equipment registers (i.e. Fixed Asset Registers) should be kept
indefinitely. Copies of asset-disposal notes should be kept for
three years.

8. Accounts Printouts

Departments should keep monthly account printouts for one year
plus the current year; these should be evidenced as having been
checked by a senior officer from within the department. The
Finance Division keeps microfilmed copies of the Accounts Nominal
Ledger from 1976 onwards.

9. Payroll Printouts

Departments should keep quarterly and monthly printouts for one
year plus the current year; these should be evidenced as having
been checked by a senior officer from within the department. The
Finance Division retains all the past monthly and quarterly
salary printouts.

[Note. The above is not meant to be a
comprehensive list of all the financial documents held in a
department and does not imply that all other documentation can
be destroyed. The Internal Audit Section, University Offices,
Wellington Square, can provide guidance on the legal and related
requirements for other accounting documentation if required, as
well as further information or assistance in connection with any
other aspects of these guidelines.]

Return to List of Contents of the
supplement