The purpose of this guideline is to ensure the efficient operation of California State University, Long Beach, (“University”) by providing guidelines for the appropriate signature authority and delegation of authority required for various transactions and activities at the University.
In order to promote greater economy and efficiency, the legislature has delegated authority concerning certain activities, such as purchasing and contracting, motor vehicle inspections, and real and personal property to the California State University (CSU). The CSU Board of Trustees further delegates such authority to campus presidents and/or designee pursuant to Executive Order 648. Accountability for the management of the property, assets, financial and human resources of the University ultimately rests with the President who expects those with signature authority under the terms of this guideline to safeguard University resources by establishing and maintaining sound business controls that deter and detect any potential misuse of resources. The procedures outlined below identify those situations in which it is appropriate to use delegations of authority and the procedures that should be followed to make such delegations. The procedures also outline the signature authority for various University transactions.
Delegator: The employee who has authority to take action on behalf of the university, college or department who transfers (“delegates”) his/her authority to another University employee (“Delegate”).
Delegate: The employee who is officially transferred the authority to act on behalf of the delegator.
Signature authority: As used in this policy, “signature authority” is the permission to execute transactions up to limits established by relevant University policies and permission to approve transactions for execution. This approval attests to the appropriateness of the transaction within the University’s program objectives and budgetary authorizations.
Appropriate Administrator: Manager or academic equivalent who have been granted authority through delegation and/or this signature authority policy.
Approver: Individual authorized to expense funds from appropriate expenditure lines in both State and/or Foundation who have been granted authority through this signature authority policy. Typically non-management personnel. Definition refers to signature authority matrix (appendices).
Delegations of authority should be limited both in scope, number and time frame to those which are necessary to achieve efficiency while maintaining accountability. Delegations of authority are appropriate where the delegation will enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the operation without risking the integrity of the internal control necessary for accountability. A delegation of authority shall commensurate with the employee's role within the organization. No delegation shall be made of all or substantially all of the powers held by any persons making a delegation, or where checks and balances would be minimized. Delegation of authority letters must not conflict with any CSU and/or CSULB policy. Individuals who receive delegated authority shall have active involvement with the activity being conducted; and have sufficient knowledge of the University policies, rules, laws, regulations and procedures to ensure compliance.
Delegator will provide for training to the Delegate to ensure compliance with legislation and the policies referred to above.
The Office of the Vice President of Administration and Finance will maintain a centralized file of all delegation of authority letters related to this policy. Each delegation letter shall be created by the issuing department, in the format determined by the Vice President of Administration. Each letter shall be numbered and follow basic formatting, and not contain individual names but levels commiserate with this policy.
A delegation of authority shall become effective on the date the delegation is fully executed. Delegations shall continue until revoked or modified. The departments are responsible for maintaining active and up to date delegations of authority and should review all delegations annually to assure that the delegations on file are current. The delegation must be fully executed before any documents are signed by the Delegate.
The University has provided signature authority to certain individuals based on their level in the organization to approve various transactions. Signature authority is granted by department and fund. Departmental signature authority refers to General Fund and Lottery Funds.
Level 1 = President
Level 2 = Direct reports to the Level 1, typically (but not limited to) Provost, Vice President, Athletic Director
Level 3 = Direct reports to Level 2, typically (but not limited to) Deans, Associate Vice Presidents, Assistant Vice Presidents
Level 4 = Management Personnel or Academic Equivalent, typically (but not limited to) Associate Deans, Department Chairs, Directors, ASMs, Division Fiscal Officers, Managers
Level 5 = Non management personnel, typically (but not limited to) Assistant ASMs
Anyone granted authority in Level 1 to Level 4 through delegation and/or signature authority in this policy will be deemed “Appropriate Administrator” on related forms and procedures. Level 1 through Level 4 must be Management Personnel or Equivalent. Individuals with subdivision responsibility and direct Management Personnel reports can receive delegated authority by an authorized Level 2 to act as a Level 3 through written request.
Anyone granted authority in Level 5 through this signature authority policy will be deemed “Approver” on related forms and procedures.
The following responsibilities may NOT be delegated further, but must be approved by the level indicated in the matrix or a level higher:
|Type of Agreement||Type of Transactions||Authority to Execute|
|Accounting||Budget transfer requests||Level 4|
|Establish funds and departments||Level 3|
|Establish Account, Project, Class, or Program||Level 4|
|Establish Petty Cash/Change Fund||Level 3|
|Journal entry request||Level 5|
|Petty cash reimbursement||Level 5|
|Request reimbursed activities program||Level 4|
|Employment||Appointment letters||Level 3|
|CSULB volunteer identification||Level 4|
|Employee planning and performance review||Level 4|
|Fee waiver application||Level 4|
|Fee waiver registration for class time||Level 4|
|Immediate pay voucher||Level 4|
|In range progression||Level 2|
|MPP and Confidential reconsideration||Level 3|
|MPP evaluations||Level 3|
|Permanent position recruitments (inc. Exceptions)*||Level 4|
|Personnel transactions (PTF)||Level 4|
|Position action form||Level 4|
|Position description||Level 4|
|Position pool id||Level 4|
|Professional learning and development plan||Level 4|
|Relocation expense authorization (no form)||Level 2|
|Staff leave of absence||Level 3|
|Unit 4 Merit bonus pay recommendation||Level 3|
|Facilities Use||Facilities workorder requests||Level 5|
|Auth to use private vehicles on state business||Level 4|
|Hospitality and Gifts||Gifts to non-employees||Level 3|
|Employee non-cash award||Level 3|
|Employee non-cash award exceptions||Level 2|
|Gifts to non-employees exceptions||Level 2|
|Hospitality expense and gift exceptions||Level 2|
|Hospitality expense and gift expenditures||Level 3|
|Payroll||Absence and additional time worked * (paper or system)||Level 4|
|Absence without pay*||Level 4|
|Additional pay||Level 4|
|Fringe benefit certification||Level 4|
|Hourly employee time voucher*||Level 4|
|Overtime authorization*||Level 4|
|Salaried/Hourly adjustment||Level 4|
|Student payment adjustments||Level 5|
|Student payment transaction form||Level 5|
|Student timesheet approval||Level 5|
|Student performance report||Level 4|
|Purchasing/Property||Affiliation agreements||See purchasing|
|Confirmation of Inventory Certification||Level 4|
|Delegated purchases <$5000*||Level 5|
|Delegated purchases >$5000* (Dept buyer only)||Level 4|
|Emergency purchase authorization (<$250k)||Level 3|
|Emergency purchase authorization (>$250k)||Level 2|
|Lease Agreements||See purchasing|
|Off-Campus Loan Form||Level 3|
|OfficeMax new/modify/delete user setup||Level 4|
|P-card application and account maintenance||Level 4|
|P-card lost itemized receipt||Level 4|
|Property Survey/Transfer Request||Level 4|
|Purchasing change request form||Level 4|
|Service Agreements||See purchasing|
|System Access||Peoplesoft Fin system access form without access to Level 1 data||Level 4|
|Peoplesoft HR system access form without access to Level 1 data||Level 4|
|PeopleSoft HR report authorization||Level 4|
|Peoplesoft HR system access form - central users without access to Level 1 data||Level 4|
|Peoplesoft HR system access form - timekeepers without access to Level 1 data||Level 4|
|Peoplesoft HR or Finance with access to Level 1 data||Level 3|
|Travel||Authorization for international travel to any country on the State Department Watch List||Level 1|
|Authorization for Level 3 domestic and international travel for State Department on-watch list countries||Level 2|
|Authorization for domestic travel||Level 3|
|Authorization for international travel for State Department non-watch list countries||Level 3|
|Exceptions for expenditures that are typically non-reimbursable and arise because of special or unusual circumstances||Level 3|
|Travel card application||Level 4|
|Appropriate authorized travel claim||Level 4|
|Other||Administrative guidelines||Level 3|
|Application for Payment of (Credit/Debit) Card Account - Acquisition or Change||Level 4|
|DCP copy machine request||Level 5|
|DCP password request form||Level 5|
|Employee list request||Level 4|
|Live scan requests||Level 4|
|Print shop request||Level 5|
|Service Request form (parking and events)||Level 5|
* May require system access form completion
Within each department, the dean or department head is responsible for the overall operations of the department and may assign signature authority to certain employees in compliance with this policy. The signature authority matrix will be updated for specific transactions.
To assign, change or cancel signature authority, a Signature Authority form must be completed and submitted to the Controller’s Office, including the signature of the applicant.
If an employee transfers to another department or division, or other changes occur that affects their signature authority responsibilities, an updated Signature Authority form must be submitted.
Employees with signature authority are responsible for assuring the following:
Authority to sign for expense related service agreements will be verified at the time of agreement and if chartfields change. Repeated expenses can be charged in accordance with the terms and conditions of the agreement. For example, telephone, postage, copy, credit card, and EO1000 charges.
Authority for accounting activities required to reconcile, such as corrective reversals and deposits, will be completed by the appropriate functional area with timely notification to the affected parties.
It is the responsibility of the Delegator to maintain proper control and management of his/her area; the Delegator remains accountable for all actions taken by the Delegate. The Delegator shall take into account and maintain appropriate internal controls including separation of duties, reviewing reports, sampling completed transactions and monitoring the effectiveness of the controls established.
Delegates may not approve transactions for themselves, their relatives or approve transactions that directly benefit themselves or their relatives or, in any way, create a conflict of interest with the Delegate’s responsibilities to the University. Such transactions must be countersigned by another authorized person, usually the person of next higher authority.
Documents signed by anyone other than those employees who have a delegation of authority on file with the Office of the Vice President of Administration and Finance may be declared null and void unless formally ratified by the President. Persons who improperly delegate or misuse delegated authority may be subject to an investigation, disciplinary action or termination of employment.
All transactions shall be authorized according to sound management practices. Subordinates cannot approve transactions for their superiors, regardless of the authority level. Another important principle of sound management is that of segregation of duties. Segregation of duties is critical because it ensures separation of different functions and defines authority and responsibility over transactions. Segregation of duties is critical to effective internal control; it reduces the risk of both erroneous and inappropriate actions.
The fundamental premise of segregated duties is that an individual should not be in a position to initiate, approve, and review the same action. Also, the accounting/reconciling function, and the asset (e.g., money, inventory) custody function should be separated among employees. These are called incompatible duties when performed by the same individual. There must be a separation of duties between the approval of expenditures and the reconciliation of departmental financial accounts.
Responsible administrators must consider the principle of segregation of duties when designing and defining job duties. They must implement processes and control procedures that, to the extent feasible, segregate duties among employees and that include effective oversight of activities and transactions. Departments with very few staff that are unable to segregate duties require the department head to attest to the implementation of alternate compensatory internal controls.
|Guideline Contact||Mishelle Lawsfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Subject Matter Expert||Beth Ryanemail@example.com|
|Subject Matter Expert||Christine Welchfirstname.lastname@example.org|
Appendices (if any):N/A
Related Chancellor’s Office Policies:
Issue Date: September 1, 2010
Last Review Date: N/A
December 2, 2010 – Added transaction types: Live Scan, Fee Waiver Application, and P-Card Application. Modified level for Establising Account, Project, Class, or Program to Level 4. Updated scope to specify lottery funds and updated internal control language to guard against subordinate approvals for superiors.
March 24, 2011 – Added Service Request Form and changed travel levels (domestic and international). Added language regarding service agreement authorization.
May 23, 2013 – Added Exception for lodging per night maximum – Level 2, under travel
Oct 30, 2013 – Changed delegations for Travel (all except travel card and travel claim authorizations) and PeopleSoft Access forms moved to level 4 for those without access to Level 1 data.
November 26, 2013 – Added Application for Payment Card Account.