Delegated Fiscal Authority and Responsibility

Policy Statement:

Effective with CSU Executive Order 1000, (including former EO648 and EO551) the President is delegated authority and responsibility for the effective oversight and approval of expenditures and transfers for the University.  Additionally, the University’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is designated by Executive Order 1000 as the primary campus financial officer in respect to administration of these delegations of authority and responsibility.   At HSU, this is the Vice President for Administrative Affairs.

In order to ensure the independence of the approval process and avoid conflict of interest issues, those delegated this authority cannot approve transactions reimbursing themselves and expenses cannot be approved by a person who reports directly or indirectly to the person being reimbursed. Since the approving official is receiving a direct benefit from their own reimbursement, they must obtain authorization for reimbursement from the next higher level of fiscal authority for these transactions. The exception is approval of President’s expenditures by the CFO.

In addition those delegated expenditure authority should carefully review transactions related to hospitality, professional development, travel and individual membership related transactions submitted for approval.

Who the CSU Policy applies to:

Within the organizational structure of the University, specific employees are identified to have division, college, program, or department fiscal authority and responsibilities for University resources and the use of funds. These individuals are granted expenditure authority by the President and by further delegation of the divisional vice presidents.  This initial delegation is to the person, by virtue of the position held and is authority  to purchase goods and services through the use of the ProCard, order office supplies on-line, authorize petty cash reimbursement and direct reimbursement, approve purchase requisitions, request expenditure transfers, authorize travel requests and claims, and approve payroll expenditures and transfers.  In addition, authority is granted to approve budget transfers.  This policy and subsequent guidelines apply to all individuals who have been delegated fiscal authority and responsibilities in the use of the University funds, and is applicable to their area of responsibility.  In addition, delegation of authority is extended to the CFO for the General University Obligation funds and selected Financial Services administrative funds.  The auxiliary organizations maintain similar information about who is authorized to commit funds housed with those operations. 

Why the HSU policy to implement CSU EO 1000 and CSU EO 1052 is necessary:

This policy governs the responsibilities of individuals who have been delegated fiscal authority and responsibilities in the use of University funds in accordance with established law, education code, Chancellor’s Executive Orders, Trustee policy, CSU Administrative and university policies.  CSU EO 1052 further states that University and auxiliary organization funds must be accounted for separately.  This means that wherever possible, the University employees who have been delegated spending authority will manage and spend their money from the source fund.  Any exceptions, where funds will be transferred out of the source fund, must be petitioned and approved in writing by the CFO in advance of the transfer action.

Responsibilities:

Division Vice Presidents – It is the responsibility of the Vice Presidents to ensure funds for their division and units are used appropriately, legally, and not over-committed.  In the event of shortfalls, as determined by the official financial records of the University, the shortfall may be deducted from other division resources. In the event no appropriate division funds are available and the University is required to meet the commitment, the University will take steps to cover the shortfall. 

Major Budget Unit/department administrators are granted fiscal expenditure authority by virtue of the position held and have the responsibility to ensure funds for their program needs are used appropriately, legally, and not over-committed.   If a fund manager anticipates a potential shortfall they need to work within their division to resolve the problem.

All members of the campus community who have been delegated the responsibility to approve expenditures have the responsibility to ensure funds for their area of responsibility are used appropriately, legally, and not over-committed.  They must become familiar with spending guidelines and restrictions for the various funds; and must certify that they have read the Funds Overview, especially as it pertains to expenditures from funds that they have been authorized to approve.

The University’s Chief Financial Officer – The CFO and her/his designees are responsible for the administration of Executive Order 1000 and related policies.  Addressing violation of Executive Order 1000 and related policies are at the discretion of the CFO in consultation with the appropriate division Vice President, other senior administrators, and as appropriate, the President.

Delegation of Signature Authority:

President Delegation to Vice Presidents

The President has delegated responsibility to the Vice Presidents to ensure funds for their division and units are used appropriately and legally.  In the Common Financial System, this designation is differentiated by a divisional attribute.  This written delegation by position serves as authority for employees in these positions to approve the use of any funds within their area of responsibility, without need of a signature on file.

Vice President Delegation within Their Divisions

The divisional vice presidents also accept the President’s delegation within the divisions, to their respective positions titled Vice Provost, Chief of Staff, Associate Vice Presidents, Chief Information Officer, Deans, Directors, and Department Chairs.  In the Common Financial System, this designation is differentiated by a major budget unit or department attributes.  This written delegation by position serves as authority for employees holding these positions to approve the use of any funds within their area of responsibility, without need of a signature on file.

Other Expenditure Authority

Further expenditure authority beyond that designated above, can only be authorized within the delegate’s area of responsibility and must specify the name of the individual.  This master delegation of authority list is maintained in HSU’s Contracts, Procurement and Risk Management Office, and requires a form signed by both the delegate and the authorized employee to activate the expenditure authority for specific funds and/or department IDs. 

Exception to Delegation of Authority -- When an Employee Is “Acting” On Behalf Of the Positional Authority Listed Above

The positions listed above may choose to identify a short list of administrators who will be delegated signature authority to act on behalf of, and in the absence of, the positions listed above.  This delegation must be in writing and must be to another administrator within their area of responsibility.  The protocol for the signature is: (1) the employee’s signed name; and (2) the title they are acting on behalf of. For example, Jose Gomez is Vice President for Student Affairs.  Jane Denver is an Associate Vice President in that division.  When Jane is acting on behalf of Jose, she would sign:  Jane Denver, Acting VP for Student Affairs

It is encouraged that leadership through the Vice President level send formal email notification to the President, the other Vice Presidents, and one’s divisional senior staff, if one plans to be out of the country or on personal leave.  The formal email notification should: (1) identify the employee authorized to act on one’s behalf, and (2) state the duration of the “acting” designation.  It is recommended that you dispose of those authorizing emails after retaining them for three (3) years.

Overview / Definition of Funds:

University Funds Overview

Typical uses of University funds are briefly described in the University Funds Overview.  Descriptions and uses can and do change periodically to reflect system-wide reporting requirements.  Business Services will do its best to keep the campus up-to-date with changes in definitions.  If you have questions with regard to a proposed use of funds, please call Business Services to discuss prior to authorizing the expenditure.  One-on-one training is available upon request.

Certification

As part of granting your fiscal expenditure authority, you are required to certify that you have read and understand the University Funds Overview which describes the spending guidelines and restrictions for the various funds.  Print the Certification, sign and forward to Business Services in SBS 345.