COLLEGE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
MEMORANDUM NO. 203

EXPENDITURE APPROVAL REQUIREMENTS


Revised: February 5, 2009

Original Number: 99
Original Date of Issue: July 26, 1977

Reissued:99A -March 27, 1984
99B -May 6, 1985

The purpose of this policy memorandum is to define institutional approval levels which are required for institutional expenditures.

Expenditures on behalf of the College fall into five categories:

  1. Petty Cash
  2. Operating expenses
  3. Capital budget expenses
  4. Facilities (project) development
  5. External agreements

Approval requirements for expenditures in each of these areas are discussed below.

  1. Petty Cash Expenditures

    Internal financial control procedures, as well as the requirements of outside auditors, specify that college personnel should not approve their own petty cash expenditures. To conform with this principle, the following hierarchy of petty cash expenditure approval is indicated:

    1. Petty cash vouchers must be approved by those responsible for specific cost centers, i.e., Academic Department Heads or Administrators of support units, for those departmental expenditures incurred within their area of responsibility.

    2. The personal expenditures of Academic Department Heads or Administrators must be approved by the Division Dean or Administrator to whom they are directly responsible.

    3. The personal expenditures of Division Dean or Administrators must be approved by the Senior Officer in their area or the Senior Officer's designee. Petty cash expenditures may be in compliance with Policies and Procedures Memorandum No. 204. In every case possible, proof of expenditure should be provided at the time petty cash accounts are reconciled. For out-of-pocket expenditures greater than fifty dollars ($50), a check request form should be used.

  2. Operating Expenses

    Subject to the provisions of Policies and Procedures Memorandum No. 202, trustee approval of the operating budget is approval to effect the programs contained therein. Within the guidelines provided below, the cost center manager is authorized to undertake the expenditures contained within the approved budget plan.

    All supplies and other goods or services (except equipment repair or travel) should be requisitioned using a purchase requisition form or on-line requisition process (when available). Equipment leases should be coordinated with the Budget Office to ensure compliance with Commonwealth regulations. All purchase requisitions should be approved by a Cost Center Supervisor, their Supervisor, or the Senior Officer. Under no circumstances should an approved signature or electronic authorization be provided by any one other than the responsible individual. Any purchase requisition with a value of $10,000 or greater must be approved by the President. No commitment may be made involving consulting services (expense code 3212) where the commitment within any fiscal year will exceed $1,000 without presidential approval.

  3. Capital Expenditures

    1. Capital budget expenditures of less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), which are reflected in approved line item budgets, require approval by the Department Head, the Division Dean and the Senior Officer. Any capital item not included in the approved capital budget and any requisition $10,000 or greater also require the approval of the President. Requisition for items not included in the approved capital budget must be accompanied by an explanatory memo and budget adjustment form, if needed, showing the source of funding that will be used to pay for the unbudgeted capital item.

    2. Any single capital item or combination of complementary items with a value of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or greater requested for purchase requires the approval of the Board of Trustees. Written justification for such purchases should be presented to the Vice President for Planning and Finance along with the purchase requisition for budgetary review and placement on the agenda of the Business Affairs Committee of the Board.

    3. Normally the budget plan approved by the Board will contain a line-item capital budget. Board adoption of the annual budget constitutes authority to proceed with the purchase of all capital items itemized in the budget. However, since the Commonwealth decisions with respect to the level of capital funds that will be made available is frequently delayed, authorization to cost center managers to begin to purchase capital items in an approved budget may be delayed pending a release of state dollars for capital purchases.

  4. Facilities (Project) Development

    Any program for development or modification of college-owned facility and equipment involving the use of bond proceeds or other special capital funding source requires the approval of the Board of Trustees. Written justification for such development along with the purchase requisition and planning documents, approved by the President, must be presented to the Vice President for Planning and Finance for placement on the agenda of the Business Affairs Committee of the Board.

    All campus development projects with a value of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or greater must have prior Board approval.

  5. External Agreements

    Agreements involving the College in contractual arrangements with other institutions or agencies may not be made without approval of the President or his or her designee.

  6. Designation of Signature Authority

    Occasionally, because of vacations or absences from campus, it will be necessary for someone other than the cost center managers to authorize expenditures. If this occurs, a memo authorizing an alternative signature should be sent to the Budget, Controller and Purchasing officers. No alternative signature for expenditure will be honored unless there is an authorizing memo on file.

Date Effective: February 5, 2009


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