Corporate Governance

2.1      Responsibilities

2.1.1      The Board of Governors has designated the Vice Chancellor to be the accountable officer responsible for the implementation of the University’s strategic objectives.

2.1.2      The Chief Finance Officer is responsible to the Board of Governors, through the Vice Chancellor, for the financial management of the University.

2.2      Risk Management

2.2.1      The University acknowledges the risks inherent in its business, and is committed to managing those risks that pose a significant threat to the achievement of its business objectives and financial health.

2.2.2      The adoption and oversight of the University’s Risk Management Policy is the responsibility of Board of Governors. The Vice-Chancellor and the Senior Leadership Team are responsible for the implementation of the policy, which is managed by the Director of Planning & Business Intelligence. In addition the Audit Committee provides oversight of risk management, providing a formalised reporting and appraisal mechanism.

2.3      Audit

2.3.1      All accounting and supporting records are subject to annual audit by the External Auditors. The External Auditors have a right of access at all reasonable times to the books and accounts and vouchers of the university and are entitled to require from the officers of the University such information and explanations as may be necessary for the performance of their duties.

2.3.2      The University appoints Internal Auditors in accordance with the Financial Memorandum between the University and the HEFCE. This function provides an independent appraisal for the University across all systems and procedures.

2.3.3      The Internal Auditors will have a right of access at all times to all University records, information and assets which they consider necessary to fulfil their responsibilities. They are entitled to require from any officer or employee of the University such information and explanations as may be necessary for the performance of their duties.

2.3.4      The Internal and External Auditors shall be appointed by the Board of Governors on recommendation of the Audit Committee.

2.4      Fraud and Bribery

2.4.1      Heads of College/Professional Service are responsible for ensuring that appropriate procedures are put in place to ensure that all members of their areas comply with all financial regulations and any other financial instructions.

2.4.2      The Chief Finance Officer will support these regulations by the issue of more detailed guidance and instructions to Heads of Professional Service and Schools from time to time.

2.4.3      In order to act in an appropriate manner, employees are expected to observe the Financial Guiding Principles.

2.4.4      All officers and employees shall ensure that any financial transaction to which they are party, in the course of their duties, shall be wholly exclusively and necessarily in the interests of the University and shall be properly authorised and recorded in the records and accounts of the University. Where any actual or potential conflict of interest arises this should be declared to the Head of College/Professional Service. If considered necessary, further guidance and advice should be obtained from the Chief Finance Officer.

2.4.5      Heads of College/Professional Service shall promptly inform the Chief Finance Officer of any irregularities affecting income, expenditure, cash, intellectual and other property of the University.

2.4.6      It is an offence under the Bribery Act 2010 for members of staff to offer, promise, give, request, agree to receive or accept financial or other advantage with the intention of inducing or rewarding the improper performance of a function or activity or knowing or believing that the giving or acceptance of the advantage would itself constitute the improper performance. Details of gifts and hospitality that members of staff may and may not accept are included within the University’s Gifts and Hospitality Policy.

2.4.7      A register is kept by the Finance Department containing a declaration by senior officers and employees, with the authority to commit to significant amounts of expenditure, of all commercial interests of themselves and close relatives in any organisation which is a supplier or a potential provider of goods and services in any form to the University. The Chief Finance Officer is responsible for updating this register on an annual basis.

2.5      Financial Misconduct and ‘Whistle Blowing’

2.5.1      If an individual suspects any matter which is thought to involve financial misconduct in the exercise of the activities of the University, the individual should notify the Chief Finance Officer or another appropriate member of the Senior Leadership Team.

2.5.2      If an individual is not satisfied that their complaint has resulted in the appropriate action they should consider following the procedures set out within the University’s Public Interest Disclosure (Whistle Blowing) Policy which is available on the University Portal.

2.5.3      The University views fraud and bribery very seriously and will take appropriate action to ensure that the public interest is safeguarded.

Leave a Reply