1.1      Introduction

1.1.1      The University is a higher education corporation created under the provisions of the Education Reform Act 1988, as amended by the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. Its structure of governance is laid down in the Instrument and Articles of Government. The Instrument of Government can only be amended by legislation and the Articles of Government by the Privy Council. The University is accountable through its Board of Governors, which has ultimate responsibility for overseeing its activities and securing its solvency.

1.1.2      The University of Lincoln is an exempt charity with the charitable objects of providing higher education and further education, and of carrying out research and publishing the results. The members of the Board of Governors, who include the Vice Chancellor and staff and student members, are the trustees of the charity.

1.1.3      Since 1 June 2010, the University has been regulated by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) as the principal regulator of English Higher Education Institutions. The University also receives grant funding from HEFCE. The Financial Memorandum between HEFCE and the University sets out the terms and conditions on which grant is made. The Board of Governors is responsible for ensuring that conditions of grant are met. As part of this process the University must adhere to the HEFCE Code of Practice on Accountability and Audit, which requires the University to have sound systems of financial and management control.

1.1.4      The Board of Governors is responsible for the effective and efficient use of resources, the solvency of the University and the Corporation and for the safeguarding of assets. The Financial Regulations of the University form part of the overall system of accountability and financial management and control in support of these responsibilities.

 

1.2      Status of the Financial Regulations

1.2.1      These Financial Regulations have been approved by the Board of Governors and are mandatory. Officers and employees are required to apply and abide by these regulations to ensure that the University operates with integrity and in accordance with the HEFCE Financial Memorandum.

1.2.2      The Financial Regulations are subordinate to the University’s Articles of Government. They are also subordinate to any restrictions contained within the University’s Financial Memorandum with HEFCE and the HEFCE Code of Practice on Accountability and Audit.

1.2.3      The Financial Regulations apply to the University and all subsidiary undertakings. In these Financial Regulations, where relevant, the term ‘University’ includes the University and all subsidiary companies under the control of the University.

1.2.4      The Chief Finance Officer will review the regulations annually and propose any amendments to the Board of Governors, via Audit Committee.

 

1.3      Responsibility for Compliance

1.3.1      Compliance with the Financial Regulations is compulsory for all officers and employees of the University.

1.3.2      Officers and employees include all University staff members on a permanent or fixed term employment contract.

1.3.3      It is the responsibility of all officers and employees to read and understand the Financial Regulations and underpinning policies and procedures.

1.3.4      Any officer or employee who fails to comply with the Financial Regulations may be subject to disciplinary action under the University Disciplinary Policy and Procedure.

1.3.5      The Financial Regulations also apply to all temporary employees and contractors working at, or on behalf of, the University who carry out activities that fall within the scope of the Financial Regulations. It is the responsibility of all Head of Colleges and Heads of Professional Service to ensure that any temporary employee or contractor operating under their responsibility reads and adheres to the Financial Regulations where relevant and applicable to the services they are providing.

1.3.6      In exceptional circumstances, the Chief Finance Officer may authorise a temporary departure from the detailed provisions within the Financial Regulations to a limit of £25,000. The form in Appendix B should be completed when requesting a temporary waiver of the regulations. Any authorised departures shall be reported to the Chair of Audit Committee.

1.3.7      Any departure from the Financial Regulations involving an amount greater than £25,000 requires prior approval of the Chair of the Board of Governors (or, if absent, the Deputy Chair) and shall be reported to Audit Committee.

 

1.4      Scheme of Delegated Financial Authorities

1.4.1      The purpose of the Scheme of Delegated Financial Authorities is to provide clarity as to who is authorised to conduct financial transactions on behalf of the University. The scheme is to ensure efficient day-to-day working whilst minimising the risk of fraud, error and inappropriate commercial transactions.

1.4.2      The Scheme of Delegated Financial Authorities is set out in detail in Appendix A.

1.4.3      Within the Scheme of Delegated Authorities, and as applicable throughout these Financial Regulations, the term ‘Budget Holders’ includes all officers and employees with direct budget responsibility, along with those who have been delegated authority to control budgets.

1.4.4      The following principles underpin all decisions taken within the Scheme:

  • The person to whom the authority has been delegated should only make decisions within their own area of responsibility. That is, one Budget Holder should not take a decision that commits another Budget Holder without their consent.
  • Where sub-delegation takes place this may only be delegated down one tier (as set out in Appendix A).
  • Financial decisions should only be taken when the relevant University Policies and Procedures have been followed.
  • Where a third party has provided funding, decisions should only be taken when the relevant funding body’s regulations have been followed.
  • Approval documentation must always be maintained.

1.4.5      The following financial decisions can never be delegated and always vest with the Board of Governors:

  • To approve the University budget and five year plans
  • To approve the annual Financial Statements
  • To appoint the University bankers
  • To appoint the internal and external auditors
  • To approve the Treasury Management Policy