Delegation of Authority FAQs

Delegations of authority establish who is empowered to make decisions and to take action on behalf of the Institution. Typical examples of activities that may rely on delegated authority can range from signing contracts that commit the University to significant expenditure, to approving leave or petty cash payments.

A robust system of delegations assigns authority to individuals who are knowledgeable about the transaction and governing laws, policies, and procedures.

Delegations are made pursuant to provisions of the University of Newcastle Act (NSW) 1989, the University of Newcastle By-law (NSW) 2017 and other relevant external legislation.

Except for the Matters Reserved for the Council and matters delegated to management above the specified limits, the University Council has delegated powers to the Vice-Chancellor to manage and operate the University on a day to day basis.The University By-Law gives the Vice-Chancellor the authority to delegate these powers.

The Vice-Chancellor makes delegations to employees and officers in accordance with the Delegations of Authority Policy and Guidelines. The Delegation Schedules support staff in understanding the limits of their delegations. Below the Vice-Chancellor, delegations cannot be sub-delegated.

The Matters Reserved for Council Schedule outlines those powers and functions for which the University Council retains authority based on legislative obligations under the University of Newcastle Act 1989 and University of Newcastle By-law 2017, as well as specific areas that the Council has selected based on core responsibilities.

The Matters Reserved for Council enable the Council retain control over its statutory obligations and key strategic decisions, and monitor issues that significantly impact the University in terms of strategic direction, risk and value.

The Reserved Matters of Council are regularly reviewed by the Council.

Delegations are made pursuant to provisions of the University of Newcastle Act (NSW) 1989, the University of Newcastle By-law (NSW) 2017 and other relevant external legislation.

Council has delegated powers to the Vice Chancellor to manage and operate the University on a day to day basis.

The University By-Law gives the Vice-Chancellor the authority to delegate these powers. The Vice-Chancellor makes delegations to employees and officers in accordance with the Delegations of Authority Policy and Guidelines. The Delegation Schedules support staff in understanding the limits of their delegations.

Delegates may not sub-delegate any authority that has not been delegated to them.If your position has been delegated a specific authority, you may select an Authorised Officer to act on your behalf within the boundaries set for that specific authority. Please see the guidelines for authorising another officer.

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The Delegation of Authority Schedule outlines the authorities that the University Council or Vice-Chancellor has delegated to a particular position or committee within the University, along with the relevant limits to those authorities.

The Academic Matters Delegation Schedule is available here.

The Vice-Chancellor's Operational Sub-Delegations Schedule is available here.

Unless otherwise specified, powers are delegated to a position and not to a person. An authority delegated to a position extends to any person acting in the position.If you are appointed in an acting position you will assume the delegations related to the responsibilities of the position you are holding.

You may only be taking on some of the responsibilities of the position; in which case you will assume the delegations associated with those responsibilities.

Each Delegate is responsible for ensuring compliance with the delegations of authority as provided in the delegations schedules. Support to Delegates can be obtained by accessing the delegations web pages or by emailing a question to delegations@newcastle.edu.au. Assurance Services and Council and Records Management units support compliance with the delegations schedules.

A  Delegate may create a binding commitment on the University in a number of ways:

  • Verbally
  • By action or lack thereof
  • In writing including email
  • By making any sort of payment
  • By documenting a decision
  • By instructing others to give effect to a decision.

Care must be exercised by all Delegates to avoid unwittingly creating binding commitments on the University.

A delegate must not exercise their delegated authority if in doing so they would personally benefit or it creates a conflict of interest.

Employee expenditure and entitlements including the reimbursement of personal expenditure must always be approved by an employee's manager or supervisor.

The delegate must exercise their authority subject to and in accordance with the law, the University of Newcastle's Code of Conduct and the University of Newcastle's policies and procedures.

Delegation limits apply to the total value of the transaction; not installments. Order and/or invoice splitting is in breach of the Delegation of Authority Policy.

In exercising a delegated authority to execute a contract, agreement or otherwise commit the University, employees are to ensure that entry into the contract has been approved by a party with appropriate authority and also are to ensure that satisfactory legal and commercial due diligence has been undertaken.

Can't find the answer to your question here? Please contact delegations@newcastle.edu.au.