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6 Authority to Sign Contracts


Subject to Regulations 6.2, 6.3 and 18.4 Heads of Departments have authority to sign contracts in the course of the ordinary business of their Department in respect only of available funds for which they are responsible.


Contracts for the purchase, lease or licence of land or property or for the erection, demolition, substantial repair or alteration of buildings must be referred to EM and are subject to the Sites and Buildings Regulations (see further Regulation 32 and Explanatory Note in Section M). The Director of EM or the Registrary shall approve and sign all such contracts, provided all approvals required under Statutes, Ordinances and the Sites and Buildings Regulations have been given.


The Head of the Research Operations Office shall approve and sign all contracts relating to sponsored research activity (but not purchasing, for which see Regulation 18.2). Small collaborations directly related and subsidiary to a purchase may be executed as part of that contract provided the Research Operations Office is consulted. 


Subject to Regulations 6.2 and 6.3 the following persons have authority to sign contracts affecting more than one Department

  • the Vice-Chancellor;
  • a Pro- Vice-Chancellor;
  • the Chair of the Faculty Board or Head of School where all the Departments affected are in that Faculty or School;
  • the Registrary;
  • the Director of Finance; and
  • Head of Procurement Services.


7 Sealing


The following persons have authority to authorise affixing of the University's seal, where any necessary approvals are in place:

  • the Vice-Chancellor;
  • a Pro-Vice Chancellor;
  • the Registrary; and
  • the Director of Finance; and
  • (for assignment of University intellectual property) the Head of the Research Operations Office.


8 Documentation, Liability and Performance


Procurement Services are responsible for safekeeping of the original contracts they execute. Otherwise the Head of Department is responsible. If required, the Registrary or Procurement Services will keep the documentation for contracts affecting more than one Department. 


Departments are responsible for meeting obligations and for all costs or losses arising from contracts entered into by or for them.


Contract performance shall not begin before:

  • all necessary approvals have been obtained; and
  • the contract has been executed; or the person executing it is satisfied that key terms have been agreed and the risks created by delay outweigh the risk of proceeding prior to full contractual agreement.


Please see our CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 Assistance pages for help with areas of Finance during the current situation.

UFS issued communications and the University website also contain information on this topic

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