Responsibility for policy: Chief Financial Officer
Approving authority: Vice-Chancellor
Last reviewed: July 2017
Next review date: July 2022
- This policy applies to all staff of the University of Waikato.
- The purpose of this policy is to:
- set out the principles and processes that apply with respect to procurement by the University
- ensure that the University's procurement function is carried out within a clearly defined and transparent internal control framework
- ensure that the University's procurement processes comply with relevant legislation and accounting practices, and
- ensure that procurement processes are conducted in a manner that ensures the University maintains a reputation for being fair and unbiased when dealing with suppliers.
- This policy applies to all procurement activities using funds held or managed by the University of Waikato, regardless of their source, and including Research Trust funds.
- In this policy:
approved supplier means a supplier that has been approved by the Chief Financial Officer to supply goods and services to the University; some approved suppliers are also 'preferred suppliers'
fixed asset means an item that has a purchase value that satisfies the capitalisation thresholds as set by the Chief Financial Officer, and has a useful life that is estimated by the Chief Financial Officer to be in excess of one year
hospitality means the provision of food and drink to cater for the wellbeing of students, visitors to the University or external stakeholders
hospitality partner means the University's catering company which has been awarded the status of preferred supplier for catering services following a competitive tender process
ICT means desktop computers, laptops, servers, monitors, printers, audio-visual (AV) equipment, software and network equipment, but excludes basic office IT printer consumables such as laser or ink printer cartridges that can be order through the Unimarket system
independent contractor means a person who is engaged by the University under a contract for service to undertake a specific activity, and is paid by invoice
mobile device means a mobile phone, smart phone (internet capable mobile phone), tablet (e.g. iPad), data card and/or mobile broadband device purchased partly or fully with University funds
preferred supplier means a supplier that has been awarded 'preferred supplier' status by the Chief Financial Officer for the supply of specified goods and services to the University following a competitive tender process which has resulted in a procurement contract; where a preferred supplier exists for a given good and/or service, that supplier must be used
procurement means the identification of potential suppliers, the tender process, the selection of a preferred supplier, the contract negotiation, the management of a contract, and purchasing processes
purchase order means the approved University documentation by which goods and/or services are purchased and supplied
self-catered means catered by means other than through the University’s hospitality partner, e.g. food and beverages purchased from supermarkets
sensitive expenditure has the meaning defined by the Office of the Auditor-General, namely "expenditure that provides, has the potential to provide, or has the perceived potential to provide a private benefit to an individual staff member that is additional to the business benefit to the entity of the expenditure, it includes expenditure that could be considered unusual for the entity's purpose and/or functions"
tender period means the period beginning at the time the University has notified a person or organisation of the intention to go to market with a tender - this may be earlier than the publishing of the tender - and concluding when the procurement contract is signed by the University and the successful respondent and the unsuccessful respondents have been notified
voucher means a document or card that is exchangeable for goods and/or services to a specified value
'whole-of-life cost' means the total cost, including purchase cost, maintenance costs and residual value (where applicable).
- The following University policies must be read in conjunction with this policy:
- The following documents also set out further information relevant to this policy:
- Alcohol on University Premises Policy
- Environmental Sustainability Policy
- ICT Equipment and Procurement Policy
- Independent Contractor Policy
- Merchandise Policy
- Mobile Device Policy
- Purchase and Finance Manual
- Rental Vehicle Policy
- Supplier Contract Management Manual
- Tender Processes Manual
- Travel Policy
- University of Waikato Event Guidelines
- Voucher Guidelines
- This policy takes account of, and reflects, the following documents produced by the Office of the Auditor-General and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment:
- University funds may only be used for University business.
- Before considering the purchase of a new item, staff must consider the option of re-using an existing item; information about re-using existing items is set out in the Purchase and Finance Manual.
- Where a preferred supplier contract is in place, the supplier(s) specified in that contract must be used for the purchase of the relevant goods or services.
- Where there is choice of preferred suppliers for particular goods or services, staff may choose which one to use.
- When purchasing items for which an approved or preferred supplier contract is not in place, staff must satisfy themselves that the purchase offers the most cost-effective 'whole-of-life cost' for the University, and must adhere to the principles that:
- if all relevant factors are equal, the University prefers to favour New Zealand and Australian suppliers, in that order of priority, and
- if all relevant factors are equal, the University prefers to select goods and services that are less environmentally harmful.
- Staff must raise purchase orders before goods or services are supplied.
- Staff must not approve purchase orders that they themselves have raised.
- Unless negotiated otherwise, all procurement contracts and purchasing agreements must include a reference to, and comply with, the University's Standard Terms and Conditions of Purchase.
- The Chief Financial Officer, the Vice-Chancellor and the relevant approving authority (as set out in the Financial Authority Policy) have the authority to disallow any expenditure that they consider, at their discretion, to be unreasonable.
Authorised purchasing systems
- Staff who wish to purchase goods or services must do so through one of the following authorised purchasing systems, and in the following order of preference:
- a purchase order generated through the Unimarket system
- a University PCard (refer to the PCard Policy)
- an online staff claim.
Online staff claims
- Staff must not use online staff claims to circumvent the use of approved and preferred suppliers through Unimarket.
- Online staff claims are subject to approval by the staff member's line manager who, before approving such claims, must be satisfied that the claim is appropriate and does not circumvent use of the University's approved and preferred supplier arrangements through Unimarket.
- The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for ensuring that appropriate consultation is undertaken when preferred supplier contracts are being negotiated or reviewed.
- Authority to approve preferred supplier contracts rests with the Chief Financial Officer and the Vice-Chancellor.
- In emergency situations staff may circumvent preferred supplier relationships.
- Existing financial delegations, as set out in the Financial Authority Policy, apply with respect to emergency procurement.
- Staff must report all emergency procurement to the Chief Financial Officer, reports must include justification for the emergency procurement undertaken.
Conflicts of interest
- Staff who have a conflict of interest, actual or perceived, that may affect their impartiality when conducting purchasing or tendering activities on behalf of the University must ensure that it is recorded in the University’s Interest Register maintained by the Chief Financial Officer.
- Responsibility for determining how to address a conflict of interest identified under clause 25 of this policy rests with the Chief Financial Officer.
- Staff involved in procurement activities on behalf of the University must ensure that the details are kept confidential to those directly involved in the relevant negotiations and activities.
Processes where a preferred supplier contract is not in place
- Where a preferred supplier contract is not in place for the relevant goods or services, staff who wish to purchase goods or services whose 'whole-of-life cost' is up to and including $50,000 must:
- use an approved supplier where one is in place, and
- follow the process set out in the Purchase and Finance Manual.
- Where a preferred supplier contract is not in place for the relevant goods or services, staff who wish to purchase goods or services whose 'whole-of-life cost' exceeds $50,000 must, before proceeding, consult the Chief Financial Officer about the procurement process that is to apply.
- If the Chief Financial Officer advises under clause 29 of this policy that a tender process is to apply, the University's tender processes set out in the Tender Processes Manual must be followed.
- The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for maintaining a Central Tender Register for all current tender processes.
- As an outcome of any procurement process advised under clause 30 of this policy, a contract will be negotiated, and is subject to approval by the Chief Financial Officer or the Vice-Chancellor.
- The relevant Dean, Director or equivalent is responsible for assigning staff to manage a contract negotiated and approved under clause 32 of this policy.
- Staff assigned to manage contracts under clause 33 of this policy are responsible for:
- uploading an electronic copy of the contract, signed by both parties, to the Central Contracts Register within Unimarket
- ensuring that the University receives the relevant goods or services at the agreed price and service levels
- managing associated risks as set out in the Supplier Contract Management Manual
- ensuring that the Chief Financial Officer is notified not less than three months prior to the end date of the contract, so that he or she can review the contract and provide any advice about its re-negotiation if appropriate.
- The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for:
- supporting the central contract management function
- ensuring that contracts negotiated and approved under clause 32 of this policy are recorded in the Central Contracts Register within Unimarket.
Purchase of ICT equipment
- Staff who wish to purchase ICT equipment must do so through Campus Computers in accordance with the ICT Equipment and Procurement Policy.
- When purchasing ICT equipment, staff and Campus Computers must take into account the 'whole of life' cost of the equipment, the standardisation and compatibility of existing equipment, and preferred supplier agreements.
- Where a preferred supplier agreement restricts the purchase of goods and/or services related to the relevant ICT equipment to a particular supplier, Campus Computers must purchase them from that supplier.
- The Director of Information and Technology Services is responsible for maintaining preferred supplier contracts and related supplier agreements for ICT equipment in the Central Contracts Register within Unimarket.
- The procurement and disposal of vehicles for the University fleet, and the repairs and maintenance of those vehicles whether owned or leased by the University of Waikato, may only be initiated by the Chief Financial Officer in accordance with the process set out in the Purchase and Finance Manual.
- The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for ensuring that all vehicles acquired for the University fleet are fuel-efficient and safe for users.
Staff gifts, benefits, functions and meetings
- Under no circumstances may a staff member be given cash from University funds unless it is an approved per diem payment under the provisions of the Travel Policy, or is an approved cash advance for international travel in accordance with the PCard Policy.
- Expenditure on gifts or other benefits which are not legitimately associated with the staff member's employment may be subject to Fringe Benefit Tax, the additional costs will be borne by the relevant cost centre, and will be equivalent to approximately 63% of the GST inclusive value of the benefit; advice about Fringe Benefit Tax can be obtained from the Chief Financial Officer.
- Expenditure associated with special staff functions (e.g. powhiri, retirements, end-of-year lunches) and professional development is permissible provided that such functions are directly related to the business activities of the organisational area concerned and have been approved in advance by the relevant Dean, Director or equivalent.
- The reasonable cost of providing gifts to staff in circumstances involving hospitalisation or bereavement is permissible provided it is approved in advance by the relevant Dean, Director or equivalent.
- Subject to the prior approval of the relevant Dean, Director or equivalent, the University will meet the cost of gifts to staff upon retirement after ten years' service, up to a maximum value of $200.
- Expenditure on food and drink for staff meetings is not permissible unless the meeting is required to be held at a time of the day outside normal working hours and the expenditure has been authorised in advance by the relevant Dean, Director or equivalent.
- Staff who wish to purchase vouchers for purposes other than those set out in clauses 49 or 50 of this policy must seek prior approval to do so from the Chief Financial Officer in accordance with the Voucher Guidelines; purchase of vouchers for staff may be subject to Fringe Benefit Tax, see clause 43 of this policy.
- Subject to clause 50 of this policy, staff who wish to purchase vouchers as compensation for external participants in research projects must seek prior approval to do so from the Chief Financial Officer in accordance with the Voucher Guidelines so that all relevant tax implications can be considered.
- Petrol vouchers may only be purchased by research project leaders, and only for the purposes of reimbursing external participants in research projects for private vehicle mileage claims; the purchase and issue of petrol vouchers must follow the Voucher Guidelines set out by the Chief Financial Officer.
External venues for training, development and planning
- Wherever possible, University facilities rather than external venues must be used for training, development and planning activities, unless the external venue is free of charge.
- The use of external venues for training, development and planning activities where cost is involved must be approved in advance by the relevant Dean, Director or equivalent; who, before approving such costs must be satisfied that the expenditure is justified, and that the use of University facilities have been fully explored.
Hospitality for students, visitors to the University or external stakeholders
- The primary intention of providing hospitality is to cater for the wellbeing of students, visitors to the University or external stakeholders to a level that satisfies the business objectives inherent in the situation concerned.
- Expenditure on hospitality is subject to the prior approval of the relevant line manager/cost centre manager, and must be demonstrably linked to the business of the University.
- Montana Catering, operating under the brand Kahurangi, is the University’s preferred supplier of catering and must be used to provide all food and beverages (including alcohol) for events, functions and conferences held on the Hamilton campus and official University events held off campus but within the Waikato region, with the exception of events involving 15 or fewer people which may be self-catered.
- Line managers are responsible for ensuring that staff attendance at events involving hospitality and/or entertainment is limited to those staff essential to the business concerned.
- While it is recognised that hospitality can be a matter of cultural significance, expenditure must be balanced with the University's accountabilities associated with the use of public monies.
Recording fixed assets
- Deans, Directors and equivalents are responsible for ensuring that all purchases of fixed assets within their area of responsibility are recorded on the University's Fixed Asset Register by notifying the Chief Financial Officer.
Gifts from external parties
- Staff, in their capacity as staff, must not accept cash as a gift from external parties under any circumstances.
- Staff must not allow the receipt of gifts, or their membership of any loyalty programme, to influence their business decisions on behalf of the University.
- Staff who are involved either directly or indirectly in a tender process must not accept a gift of any type from a supplier of goods or services where those goods or services are the same as, or similar to, goods or services that are currently the subject of a tender process; information about current tenders is set out in the Central Tender Register.
- Except where clauses 59 and/or 61 of this policy apply, a staff member who is offered a gift which would not ordinarily be a legitimate expectation associated with the staff member's employment with the University, and he or she wishes to accept it, the staff member must disclose the details of the offer to his or her line manager; the relevant line manager has authority to determine whether the gift may be accepted and if so, whether it must be shared with other relevant staff.
- Unless it is a prize or award from a professional organisation, where the value of a gift from an external party accepted under clause 62 is estimated by the relevant line manager to exceed $100, the details of the gift must be recorded in the University Gift Register; where several gifts have been accepted from the same external party by several staff at one time, they must be treated as one gift and the collective value calculated accordingly.
- The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for conducting regular reviews of the University Gift Register, and assessing whether there have been any breaches of clauses 59 or 61 of this policy.
- Prizes or awards granted by professional organisations to staff may be accepted by the relevant member of staff without the prior approval of their line manager, and are not required to be recorded in the University Gift Register.
Responsibility for monitoring compliance
- The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for monitoring compliance with this policy and reporting any breaches to the Vice-Chancellor.
- Breaches of this policy may result in disciplinary action under the Staff Code of Conduct.
Waivers and variations
- Only the Vice-Chancellor has authority to waive or vary the provisions of this policy in individual cases.