Financial Regulations

Financial management and control

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10. Financial Planning

10.1 General

The Director of Finance is responsible for preparing annually a rolling five-year financial plan for approval by Council on the recommendation of the Finance and Resources Committee and for preparing Financial Forecasts for submission to HEFCE. Financial plans should be consistent with the College's strategy as approved by Council.

10.2 Budget Objectives

Council will, from time to time, set budget objectives for the College. These will help the Director of Finance in preparing his/her more detailed financial plans for the College.

10.3 Resource Allocation

Resources are allocated annually by Council on the recommendation of the Finance and Resources Committee, and on the basis of the above objectives. Heads of Department are responsible for the economic, effective and efficient use of resources allocated to them and for ensuring they are managed in accordance with the Financial Regulations.

10.4 Budget Preparation

The Director of Finance is responsible for preparing each year an annual revenue budget and capital programme for consideration by Finance and Resources Committee before submission to Council. The Director of Finance must ensure that detailed budgets are prepared in order to support the resource allocation process and that these are communicated to Heads of Department as soon as possible following their approval by Council.

During the year, the Director of Finance is responsible for submitting revised budgets to Finance and Resources Committee for consideration before submission to Council for approval.

10.5 Capital Programme

The Capital Programme includes all expenditure on land, buildings, equipment, furniture and associated costs whether or not they are funded from capital grants or capitalised for inclusion in the College's Financial Statements. Expenditure of this type can only be considered as part of the Capital Programme approved by Council. The Director of Finance will establish detailed guidance within the Financial Procedures for the inclusion of capital projects in the Capital Programme for approval by Council (following consideration by Estates Committee, Information Management and Systems Committee, and Finance and Resources Committee. These will set out the information that is required for each proposed project as well as the current sectoral guidelines and any other criteria that they are required to meet. The Director of Finance will also establish procedures for the approval of variations, including the notification of large variations to the funding body, as laid down in HEFCE guidelines. The Director of Finance is responsible for providing regular statements concerning all capital expenditure to Finance and Resources Committee (and/or other committees where appropriate), for monitoring purposes.

The Secretary to Council is responsible for liaising with the Funding Council to ensure that Capital expenditure is carried out in accordance with College guidelines and the guidelines of the Funding Council. He/she will also ensure that projects are monitored and completed and, if appropriate, audited in the timescale specified by the funding body.

Following completion of a capital project, a post-project evaluation or final report should be submitted to Finance and Resources Committee and/or another appropriate committee (normally Estates Committee under current arrangements), including actual expenditure against budget and reconciling funding arrangements where a variance has occurred as well as other issues affecting completion of the project. Post-project evaluations may also need to be sent to the relevant funding body, as laid down in HEFCE guidelines. The Registrar and Secretary is responsible for post-project evaluation of final reports (supported by the Director of Estates and Facilities).

10.6 Overseas Activity

In planning and undertaking overseas activity, the College must have due regard to the relevant guidelines issued by HEFCE and the QAA.

10.7 Other Strategic Initiatives

Any new aspect of business, or proposed establishment of a company or joint venture, which will require an investment in buildings, resources or staff time of more than an amount agreed from time to time in any given year should be presented for approval to the Finance and Resources Committee. For these major developments Finance and Resources Committee will approve protocols, proposed by the Director of Finance, setting out the information required for formal consideration of any proposed development, as well as the financial criteria which must be met.