2.1 Financial Responsibilities in the University

2.1.1 Council is the governing body of the University and also the principal financial and legal authority of the University. Council is responsible for ensuring that proper books of account are kept, approving the annual budget and financial statements, and having overall responsibility for the University’s assets, property and estate. A full statement of Council’s responsibilities is available at the following link:  Statement of Primary Responsibilities

The main financial responsibilities of Council are:

  • To ensure the solvency of the University.
  • To safeguard the University’s assets.
  • To ensure the effective and efficient use of resources.
  • To ensure that the funds provided by the funding body are used in accordance with the terms and conditions specified in the University’s Memorandum of Assurance and Accountability with the funding body.
  • To ensure that financial control systems are in place and are working effectively.
  • To approve the University’s strategic plan.
  • To approve the University’s Financial Forecasts and Annual Budget and the annual financial statements.
  • To appoint the University’s internal and external auditors.

Council is supported by Council Advisory Committee (CAC). The role of CAC is to develop and recommend to Council the University’s corporate strategy and supporting strategies; to monitor the achievement of strategic objectives through the development and implementation of systems of institutional performance monitoring and risk management; and to recommend to Council the University's annual budget and financial forecasts. Council Advisory Committee is supported by Finance Committee in the performance of its financial responsibilities.

2.1.2 Finance Committee is responsible to Council for overseeing the financial affairs of the University.

Finance Committee is chaired by the University Treasurer, who is appointed by Council from amongst its members.

2.1.3 Chaired by the President and Vice-Chancellor, the University Leadership Team (ULT) is responsible for taking day to day decisions and steering and supporting the strategic direction of the University. The ULT reports to Council (and to Senate as required). The University Executive Board (UEB) is responsible for giving advice and guidance to the ULT.

2.1.4 Audit Committee: appoints and receives reports from the external and internal auditors; monitors implementation of audit recommendations; maintains University policy on fraud and irregularity. (The terms of reference of the Audit Committee are, with minor changes, as recommended by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Audit Code of Practice)

2.1.5 The President and Vice-Chancellor is first and foremost responsible for leadership of the academic affairs and executive management of the University and is also the University’s Accountable Officer for the purposes of HEFCE’s Memorandum of Assurance and Accountability. As Accountable Officer, the President and Vice-Chancellor is personally responsible to Council for ensuring compliance with the terms of HEFCE’s Memorandum of Assurance and Accountability and for providing HEFCE with clear assurances to this effect.

2.1.6 The Pro-Vice-Chancellors have a range of duties which include acting for the President and Vice-Chancellor in his absence.

2.1.7 The Registrar and Secretary is responsible to the President and Vice-Chancellor for the University's Corporate Services. In this capacity, he has a major coordinating role in the formulation of policy and in the development of the University's strategic plans, including the integration of academic, financial and estates aspects. The Registrar and Secretary also services the Court, the Council and principal committees of Council.

2.1.8 Day-to-day financial administration is controlled by the Director of Finance, who is responsible to the President and Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar and Secretary for:

  • The preparation of the University's Financial Statements.
  • Preparing annual capital and revenue budgets and financial plans.
  • The provision of financial advice to Council and the committees of Council.
  • Providing professional advice on all matters relating to financial policies and procedures.
  • Ensuring that the University maintains satisfactory financial systems.
  • Day-to-day liaison with internal and external auditors in order to achieve efficient processes.
  • The development of purchasing policy.

2.1.9 The responsibilities of the Director of Estates & Facilities include the control and management of all building projects, the maintenance, repair and redecoration of buildings, and overall responsibility across the University for insurance.

2.1.10 The financial administration of research grants and contracts and the University’s links with industry and commerce are required to be undertaken through the Research and Enterprise Division.

2.1.11 Heads of College are responsible:

  • to the President and Vice-Chancellor for all funds disbursed by their College
  • for the management of the College budgets in line with all financial procedures and regulations
  • for providing the Director of Finance with such financial or other information as he or she may deem necessary, from time to time, to carry out the requirements of the governing body.
  • for immediately notifying the Director of Finance whenever any matter arises which involves, or is thought to involve, irregularities concerning, inter alia, cash or property of the University.

2.1.12 Heads of Department / Division are responsible for effective financial control within their area.  The Head of Department is responsible to the Head of College for all funds disbursed by the Department or Division and should ensure that all financial procedures and regulations are observed. A Head of Department may delegate specific aspects (but not the concomitant responsibility) of his/her duties under these financial procedures and regulations to other members of staff within the department. The Director of Finance should be informed of all persons so authorised. The Director of Finance may require a Head of Department personally to authorise a specific transaction.

2.1.13 Individual members of staff should be aware and have a general responsibility for the security of the University’s property, for avoiding loss and for due economy in the use of resources. They should ensure that they are aware of the University’s financial authority limits and the values of purchases for which quotations and tenders are required. They shall make available any relevant records or information to the Director of Finance or his or her authorised representative in connection with the implementation of the University’s financial policies, these financial regulations and the system of financial control.

2.1.14 The Students' Union is established under the University's Charter of Incorporation. It receives financial support from the University but is managed independently. The Students' Union is required to provide financial information to the University on a regular basis and this is reported to the Finance Committee.


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