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.
Delegation of authority: As used in this guideline, a “delegation of authority” is the formal recorded conveyance of authority from the Board of Trustees to the campus presidents and/or designees. Any such transfers of powers and duties are therefore significant actions requiring great care and scrutiny.
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 or fund.
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|
|Delegation of Authority Request||Level 3|
|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||Employee non-cash awards||Level 3|
|Gifts to non-employees||Level 3|
|Hospitality expenses||Level 3|
|Hospitality and Gift / Award Exceptions||Level 2|
|ITS/Telecom||Telecommunications Work Order <$5k||Level 5|
|Payroll||Absence without pay||Level 4|
|Additional pay||Level 4|
|Faculty Overload||Level 4|
|Fringe benefit certification||Level 4|
|Hourly Non-Exempt||Level 4|
|Overtime authorization||Level 4|
|Salaried Exempt/Salaried Non-Exempt||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||Emergency purchase authorization (<$250k)||Level 3|
|Emergency purchase authorization (>$250k)||Level 2|
|Sole Source Purchase Approvals||Level 4|
|Purchases <$10,000||Level 5|
|Purchases over >$10,000||Level 4|
|P-card application and account maintenance||Level 4|
|Approval of P-card reconciliation statement||Level 4|
|Staples Advantage new/modify/delete user setup||Level 4|
|Affiliation agreements||See purchasing|
|Faculty Release Time Requests||See purchasing|
|Lease Agreements||See purchasing|
|Service Agreements||See purchasing|
|Property||Confirmation of Inventory Certification||Level 4|
|Off-Campus Loan Form||Level 3|
|Property Survey/Transfer Request||Level 4|
|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||Provost|
|Authorization for Level 3 domestic and international travel for State Department non-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|
|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 Request for Copy Machine Password||Level 5|
|DCP Quarterly Copier Report||Level 5|
|DCP Non-Program Paper Order||Level 5|
|Employee list request||Level 4|
|Live scan requests||Level 4|
|Service Request form (parking and events)||Level 5|
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 Delegation of Authority form must be completed and submitted to the CMS Finance Department (email@example.com).
If an employee transfers to another department or division, or other changes occur that affects their signature authority responsibilities, an updated Delegation of 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 Laws||(562) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Subject Matter Expert||Elaine Kist||(562) email@example.com|
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 Establishing 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.
February 11, 2015 – Delegation for authorization for international travel to any country on the State Department Watch List from Level 1 to Provost
March 12, 2015 – Removal of Travel card application Level 4. Changed “Controller’s Office” to “CMS Finance Department (firstname.lastname@example.org).” Changed Additional Contacts Subject Matter Expert information to Elaine Kist.
July 14, 2015 - Deleted from Purchasing/ Property Affiliation agreement: Confirmation of Inventory Certification Level 4, Delegated purchases >$5000, Off-Campus Loan Form, Property Survey/Transfer Request Level 4, Purchasing Change Request Form Level 4. Added: E&IT; checklist for P Card Purchases Only <$5k, P-Card Reconciliation Report Appropriate Approver of Cardholder, Sole Source Purchase Approvals Level 4.
November 24, 2015 – Updated General Scope of Delegation of Authority to state “authority is granted by department or fund.” Updated Signature Authority Guidelines section to reflect Delegation of Authority form. Updated forms and instructions links.
March 18, 2016 - Line item added : "Faculty Release Time Requests | See purchasing" under the Purchasing.
March 29, 2016 – Added Telecom workorder agreement <5k, type and level of authority to execute
May 16, 2016 - E&IT; checklist for P-Card Purchases amount increased from <$5k to <$10k.
Approval of P-card Reconciliation Report changed from Level 3 or 4 to Level 4.
Level 5 Purchases changed from <$5,000 to <$10,000.
Level 4 Purchases changed from <$5,000 to <$10,000.
June 9 ,2016 - Item deleted: "Approval of P-card Reconciliation Report / Level 4 "
September 16, 2016 - Remove E&IT; checklist for P-Card Purchases amount increased from <$10k; add Approval of P-card Reconciliation Statement / Level 4