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SOAS Standing Orders: Annex XXII: Financial Authorities

Annex XXII
Financial Authorities

1. Setting and Varying Budgets

1.1 Governing Body Approves all capital and revenue budgets recommended by Resources & Planning Committee and delegates financial authority to Resources & Planning Committee in accordance with these regulations.

1.2 Chair of Governing Body If decisions are necessary before the next meeting of Governing Body, the Chair and Treasurer may approve amendments to capital and revenue budgets.  All such Chair’s actions should be reported to the next meeting of Governing Body.

1.3 Resources & Planning Committee Resources & Planning Committee may, under delegated authority from Governing Body, vary revenue budgets by up to £150,000 and vary capital budgets up to £300,000.  All variations to budget should be reported to the next meeting of Governing Body.

1.4 Treasurer (Chair of  Resources & Planning Committee) If decisions are necessary before the next meeting of Resources & Planning Committee, the Treasurer may approve recommendations by Executive Board, to vary revenue and capital budgets by £150,000 and £300,000 respectively.  All such Chair’s actions should be reported to the next meeting of Resources & Planning Committee.

1.5 Executive Board Executive Board receives proposals for revenue and capital budgets for consideration, and recommendation to Resources & Planning Committee.   Executive Board may, under delegated authority from Resources & Planning Committee, vary revenue budgets up to £100,000 and vary capital budgets up to £200,000.  All variations to budget should be reported to the next meeting of Resources & Planning Committee.

1.6 Chair and members of Executive Board If decisions are necessary before the next meeting of Executive Board, the Chair, and the Director of Finance & Planning or at least one other member of Executive Board, may vary revenue and capital budgets by up to £100,000 and £200,000 respectively.  In the absence of the Chair, the Director of Finance & Planning and one member of Executive Board may exercise this power.  All such Chair’s actions should be reported to the next meeting of Executive Board.  

2. Viring (transferring sums) between budgets

2.1 General Virement from a non-permanent staffing budget to a permanent staffing budget is not permitted without express permission from Executive Board.

Responsibility for viring between budget heads is delegated to Executive Board and individuals as outlined in points 2.3-2.9 below.

2.2 Executive Board Executive Board must approve all virements which fall outside of the ranges outlined in 2.4 to 2.9 below.

Executive Board may approve virements from the School’s general contingency budget and academic development fund

2.3 Chair and members of Executive Board The Chair, and the Director of Finance & Planning or at least one other member of Executive Board, may approve virements which fall outside of the financial ranges outlined in 2.4 to 2.9 below.  In the absence of the Chair, the Director of Finance & Planning and one member of Executive Board may exercise this power.  All such virements should be reported to the next meeting of Executive Board.

2.4 Faculty Deans The Faculty Dean, and the Director of Finance & Planning or in his/her absence the Registrar, may make virements of up to £50,000 between budgets under his/her control.  All such virements should be reported to the next meeting of the Faculty Board.

2.5 Registrar The Registrar and the Director of Finance & Planning or in his/her absence the Chair of Executive Board, may approve virements of up to £50,000 between administrative budgets.

2.6 Director of Finance & Planning The Director of Finance & Planning may make virements of up to £30,000 between budgets (including the contingency budget).

2.7 Director of Library & Information Services The Director of Library & Information Services, and the Director of Finance & Planning or in his/her absence the Registrar, may make virements of up to £25,000 between budgets under his/her control.

2.8 Director of Estates & Facilities The Director of Estates & Facilities, and the Director of Finance & Planning or in his/her absence the Registrar may make virements of up to £20,000 between budgets under his/her control.

2.9 All Other Budget Holders All other budget holders, and the Director of Finance & Planning or in his/her absence the Registrar may make virements of up to the lower of £15,000 or 20 per cent of the specific budget from which the monies are to be vired.


3. Financial Commitments

3.1 Research Grants and Contracts All research grants and contracts must be approved by the Director of Research & Enterprise or the Research Manager.

3.2 Executive Board All non-research contracts or purchase orders that commit the School to £250,000 or more in the current or subsequent financial year must be approved by the relevant budget holder, the Chair, and the Director of Finance & Planning or his/her absence at least one other member of Executive Board.

3.3 Registrar, Director of Finance & Planning
All non-research contracts or purchase orders that commit the School to between £75,000 and £249,999 in the current or subsequent financial year must be approved by the relevant budget holder and the Registrar or the relevant budget holder and the Director of Finance & Planning.

3.4 Budget holders Budget holders may commit funds (raising an official purchase order or offering a part-time contract in accordance with financial regulations and procedures) to the full extent of the uncommitted balance on their respective budget subject to 3.2 & 3.3 above. Should the commitment fall below £75,000 but exceed 25% of the annual budget for that specific departmental account, the approval of the Director of Finance & Planning is required.

4. Authorising payment

Authorised signatories An authorised signatory for the appropriate budget should sign all requests for payment (invoices, expense claims etc.) from a particular budget or fund. Wherever practicable, the authorised signatory should be someone other than the person who made the original financial commitment.  

All external charges for personal travel, subsistence and hospitality must be authorised by an individual's line manager.  In the case of the Director, the Pro-Directors and the Registrar, such expenditure should be authorised by one of the members of this group who was not involved in the event for which the charge was made.

5. Writing off bad-debts

Resources & Planning Committee Approval by Resources & Planning Committee is required to write off individual bad debts above £50,000, and more than £250,000 in any one financial year.

Executive Board Executive Board has authority to write off individual bad debts up to £50,000, up to £250,000 in any one year.  A report of all bad debts written off should be submitted to Resources & Planning Committee.  

Director of Finance & Planning The Director of Finance & Planning has authority to write off individual bad debts up to £15,000 and up to £20,000 with a second signature from a member of the cheque-signing panel who is outside the Finance Department and up to £100,000 in any one financial year.  A report of all bad debts written off should be submitted to Executive Board.