Procedure: Delegations of authority
- The Delegations Framework enables the assignment of authority in a systematic way to appropriate levels within the University organisational structure. This procedure provides details of the Delegations Framework and its management of delegated authority at the University.
- Within the Delegations Framework, an individual authority (delegation) is expressed in, and limited by, a form of words, and is formally delegated (‘assigned’) by the holder of the power to a Delegate.
- Delegations in the Framework originate from sources such as Council resolutions, legislation, policy or procedure, and they are interpretations of the authority contained in the source documentation. Reference should be made to the source material to obtain context and detail when exercising a delegation, particularly in relation to legislative authorities.
- The position with the power to delegate an authority within an area of responsibility is referred to as a Senior Delegate.
- Except where authorities are specified in legislation, authorities held by a Delegate are held also by that Delegate’s line manager and successively by each subsequent senior line manager within the chain of management.
- If a line manager wishes to exercise a delegation held by a Delegate to make a decision on a matter, they must do so before the Delegate exercises their delegation, or issue an instruction to the Delegate not to exercise their delegated authority in respect of that matter.
- It is expected that this approach would be used only in special circumstances as frequent use would be inconsistent with the principle of devolved authority.
Types of Delegations
- The Delegations Framework reflects the University organisational structure and contains three types of delegations: Banded (Generic), Specialist and Legislative Delegations.
- Banded Delegations are generic authorities which are assigned in accordance with the level of responsibility of a position. Banded delegations held by lower band levels are also held by those on the bands above them (i.e. a D3 position will also hold D4 to D8 delegations). The table below outlines the banded profiles for a number of the key positions at the University. This is indicative only, as the levels of responsibility required of some positions vary across different organisational units.
Banded Delegation Profile
University Executive and College Deans
Directors of Research Schools, Directors of Service Divisions, College General Managers
Heads of Departments, School Managers in some Colleges
Delegates requiring basic expenditure up to $50,000, and supervisory delegations
Delegates requiring basic expenditure up to $10,000, and supervisory delegations
Delegates requiring basic expenditure up to $5,000, and supervisory delegations
- Specialist Delegations reflect the authorities required for specialist duties carried out by designated positions (i.e. Chief Finance Officer, Director Facilities & Services, Registrar, Chief People Officer, etc).
- Legislative Delegations are authorities outlined in legislation which are required to be exercised by specific positions prescribed by that legislation. Legislative delegations can only be delegated to other positions if the source legislation permits.
- A position will only have delegations assigned to it if its duties involve decisions that require delegated authority. This means there can be positions that do not hold any delegations.
- If a position does require delegated authority, it will usually only require one (banded) Delegation Profile. A higher-level position might require a banded profile at an appropriate level, as well as a position-related profile which combines specialist and/or legislative delegations. For example, the Director, Facilities & Services position holds D3 (with generic delegations relevant to running a business unit) as well as the DFS profile (combining both specialist and legislative delegations relevant to the duties of the Director, F&S).
- The Senior Delegate for an area of responsibility is a staff member in a position which is responsible for the assignment of delegations to sub-ordinate positions in that area. A Senior Delegate position is usually the head of the area and must hold a Banded D3 delegation profile (or above). As a result, there is generally only one Senior Delegate in any budget unit. The identity of the Senior Delegate, however, varies slightly depending on the type of delegation being assigned, as shown in the following table:
Type of Delegation
Relevant line manager holding a Banded D3 delegation profile (or above)
Relevant line manager holding a Banded D3 delegation profile (or above) who also holds a delegation profile containing the specialist delegation (e.g. only the Director F&S can assign a delegation held by the DFS profile)
The occupant of a role identified as being able to delegate an authority by the relevant legislation
- Senior Delegates have the authority to determine which positions in their area of responsibility will hold delegations. They may appoint as many, or as few, Delegates as is convenient for the efficient operation of their area of responsibility, noting the obligations required by any relevant legislation.
- The Senior Delegate is responsible for monitoring and reviewing delegation assignments within their organisational unit on a regular basis.
- Delegation assignments are recorded and managed within the HR Management System (HRMS) and recorded against position data. A staff member appointed to that position is able to exercise the position’s delegations. The delegations also extend to a person acting in that position for a specified period. In some circumstances, it may be necessary to assign delegations to a Person of Interest (POI), Visiting and Honorary Appointment (VaHA) or student who is associated with the University but does not have an employment relationship with the University.
- The delegations for a position should be established when a position is created. This can be updated as required if duties change. An online request form, available via HORUS or within the HR Management System, is used to establish or change the delegations held by a position and includes an approval workflow and notification. An online request form is also available to assign delegations to a POI or a VaHA. Guidance and links to user guides are available on the Delegations website.
- Delegates must be informed of the delegations assigned to them to ensure that they are aware of their responsibilities. The online request form system includes notification to Delegates, and individuals can also obtain information on delegations held by their own position via HORUS.
Exercising delegations in respect of oneself
- Delegates must not exercise a delegation if it creates a conflict of interest, as outlined in the Disclosure of Interest Policy.
- Delegates must not approve an action, matter or transaction in respect of themselves or their position. This includes the approval of delegation assignments in respect of acting arrangements for their own position. Delegates require approval from their supervisor for actions, matters or transactions from which the Delegate derives a direct personal benefit.
- A Delegate who is found to have exercised a delegation improperly may be subject to disciplinary action and/or having their delegation(s) revoked.
- The exercise of delegations, observance of the limits of delegations and the efficacy of the Delegations Framework will be subject to monitoring, including through the University’s internal audit program. Delegates should be mindful to preserve records of decision-making processes in accordance with University record keeping procedures.
- A review of academic legislative delegation assignments will be coordinated by the Delegations Administrator each year, in consultation with Colleges and relevant business units, with outcomes reported to the Audit and Risk Management Committee and Academic Board.
- Senior Delegates are expected to maintain a watching brief, using all means at their disposal, over the exercise of delegations in their area. They are expected to take or recommend action under the Policy: Code of Conduct and the misconduct provisions of the University Enterprise Agreement, if there is evidence of misuse of delegated authorities.
- In the case of a misuse of a delegated authority, amounting to an allegation of fraud or misconduct, the matter will be handled under the University’s Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Procedure.
Induction, training and briefing
- The Delegations Administrator is responsible for ensuring that information on delegations and delegation assignments is made available on the University website. The Delegations Administrator will also provide training on aspects of the Delegations Framework and system as required.
- Senior Delegates are responsible for ensuring that new Delegates have details of their delegations advised and are given appropriate training on delegations as part of the induction processes within their area.
Information on delegations
- A full listing of delegations by category, profile and budget unit is available on the Delegations website.
- The Delegations Administrator can also be contacted to obtain specific reports or assist with reviews of delegation assignments in organisational units (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Staff can obtain information on their own delegations, or those held by positions they supervise, via HORUS.
Proposals for new or modified delegations
- Proposals for new delegations, or modifications to existing delegations, must be sent to the Delegations Administrator who will prepare a recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor. All approved changes will be reflected on the Delegations website and HR Management System, and will be communicated to stakeholders.
|Printable version (PDF)
|Delegations of authority
|To set out the procedures pertaining to the management and use of the University's Delegations Framework.
|Governance & Structure - Delegations
|28 Sep 2023
|Next Review Date
|27 Sep 2028
|Director, Corporate Governance and Risk Office
|Chief Operating Officer
|Corporate Governance and Risk Office
Australian National University Act 1991
Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013
Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.