3.2 Management of Budgets - General Principles

3.2.1 Agreed budgets (income, pay and non-pay and the resulting contribution) are managed at College and corporate Services level in line with the provisions made in the agreed annual plans.

3.2.2 Subject to these overall requirements, financial responsibility is delegated to various levels as described elsewhere in these Regulations.

3.2.3 The Personnel Services Office is responsible for issuing contracts of appointment for all University staff in accordance with approved University recruitment and personnel policies. Staff appointments can be made only to posts whose funding has been approved in the University’s budget, as appropriate; or by the Research Support Office in respect of posts directly financed from research grants or contracts from external sources.

3.2.4 The Estates Office is responsible for all building work in the University, including the maintenance and redecoration of buildings, and its compliance with statutory and safety requirements.

3.2.5 Heads of Department are responsible for the financial control of all expenditure within their Department and all funds held by the Department, including research projects carried out by individual members of staff. The Head of Department may delegate the duty, but not the responsibility, of budgetary control to other individuals within the Department.

3.2.6 Budget holders are required to ensure that:

  • Funds are expended on the purposes for which they were given.
  • Expenditure does not lead to overspending, unless previously authorised.
  • All steps are taken to ensure that goods and services are obtained economically and expeditiously.
  • All commitments to expenditure entered into by the placing of orders are recorded centrally.
  • Where control is delegated to members of staff, such delegation is given in writing and indicates limits of authority.

3.2.7 No individual may approve the issue of purchase orders or payments for any University expenditure, whether pay or non-pay, where the request for approval has originated from another individual with whom the approver has a personal relationship as defined in the Personal Relationships Guidelines on the HR division website.

3.2.8 The primary mechanism to aid budgetary control within the University is through the use of the central finance system, which records all expenditure and holds budgets. At Department level, budgets are entered and maintained on the system by the Finance Office to ensure that the total allocated does not exceed the total available to the Department; below this level, Departments are free to create subsidiary statistical internal order codes and to set budgets against these as they wish. Departments have on-line access to the central finance computer system and may produce budget monitoring reports at different levels at any time. There is no central distribution of hard copy reports. 

3.2.9 Non-pay budgets are available to be spent by budget holders on any items which are appropriately chargeable to public funds. In cases of doubt as to whether an item can be charged against the non-pay budget the Head of Department should consult the Director of Finance.

3.2.10 Colleges are required to inform the Director of Finance of the detailed breakdown of budgets which have been allocated to them, so that these may be entered onto the central computer system.

3.2.11 Academic Departments sometimes make payments to postgraduate students to offset expenditure necessarily incurred by them in carrying out their research, but not for normal welfare or maintenance. The principles are:

  • Departments are not permitted to make welfare payments or to make loans to any students
  • Payments to postgraduate students to support their research, or to enable them to contribute to the general research output of the department, may be made on the authority of the Head of Department who should take account of the availability of Research Training Support Grants and other Research Council funds for which students might be eligible.

3.2.12 Departments should regularly review the expenditure they have incurred and are likely to incur up to the end of the financial year and compare the forecast expenditure with the authorised budgets. Departments must report in detail on the disposal of funds allocated by the University, if required.


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