Statutes and Ordinances of the University of Cambridge

In this section


Finance Committee.

1. The Finance Committee of the Council shall consist of:

  1. (a)the Vice-Chancellor, or a duly appointed deputy, who shall be Chairman;
  2. (b)three members of the Regent House elected by representatives of the Colleges;
  3. (c)four persons appointed by the Council, at least two of whom shall be members of the Regent House;
  4. (d)one member of the General Board appointed by the General Board;
  5. (e)three members of the Regent House appointed by Grace of the Regent House;
  6. (f)not more than two persons co-opted by the Committee, provided that it shall not be obligatory for the Committee to co-opt any person or persons;

subject always to the requirement that not less than three members of the Committee (including the Vice-Chancellor) shall be members of the Council. The Registrary or a University officer designated from time to time by the Council shall act as Secretary of the Committee.

Appointment and tenure.

2. Members in classes (b)–(e) shall be appointed or elected in the Michaelmas Term, and shall serve from 1 January next following. Members in classes (b) and (e) shall serve for three years, and members in classes (c) and (d) for four years. Co-opted members shall serve until 31 December of the year in which they are co-opted, or of the year next following, as the Committee shall determine at the time of their co-optation. If a member in class (b) or class (e) ceases to be a member of the Regent House, or if the member in class (d) ceases to be a member of the General Board, such a member's seat shall thereupon become vacant.

College representatives.

3. For the purpose of the election of members of the Committee in class (b), each College shall appoint one representative, whose name shall be communicated to the Registrary. The election shall be conducted in accordance with the Single Transferable Vote regulations; voting shall be by postal ballot. The arrangements for the election shall be determined by the Registrary.


4. No business shall be conducted at a meeting of the Finance Committee unless five members at least are present.


5. It shall be the duty of the Council, acting through the Finance Committee:

  1. (a)to collect the contributions for University purposes due from the several Colleges under the provisions of Statute G, II;
  2. (b)to publish the accounts of the several Colleges;
  3. (c)to perform such duties with regard to the supervision of College catering as are prescribed by Statute.
Property and securities.

6. The Finance Committee shall have authority under the Council to exercise the powers of the University under Statute F, III, 1–3, subject to Regulation 9 below and subject to the following restrictions:

  1. (a)approval by Grace of the Regent House shall be required for the sale or transfer of any real or leasehold property belonging to the University, or for the grant of a lease on behalf of the University for a period of sixty years or more, if in the judgement of the Council such a sale or lease would deprive the University of the use of lands or buildings which are of present or prospective use to the University;
  2. (b)all investments capable of registration shall be registered in the name of the Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars of the University of Cambridge or of nominees appointed by resolution of the Finance Committee;
  3. (c)all certificates for securities shall be deposited for safe custody at a bank or other recognized financial institution, which shall be approved by resolution of the Finance Committee;
  4. (d)all purchases and sales of bearer bonds or securities transferable by mere delivery or by delivery and endorsement shall be conducted through bankers approved for the purpose by resolution of the Finance Committee.

7. Barclays Bank plc shall be Bankers to the University until further order.

Financial year.

8. The financial year of the University shall end on 31 July.

9. Regulations 6–8 shall not apply to the finance and property of the University Press, which shall be governed by Statute J and by the regulations for the Press Syndicate made under that Statute.

Audit Committee


1. There shall be a standing committee of the Council, called the Audit Committee, which shall consist of:

  1. Chairman.
    (a)a member of the Council in class (e) appointed by the Council to serve as Chairman of the Committee,
  2. (b)two members of the Council appointed by the Council from among its members who are members of the Regent House, provided that neither the Vice-Chancellor, a Pro-Vice-Chancellor, nor the Chairman of a Council of a School shall be eligible to serve,
  3. (c)four persons, not being members of the Regent House or employees of the University, appointed by the Council with regard to their professional expertise and experience in comparable roles in corporate life, including at least two members with experience of finance, accounting, or auditing,
  4. (d)not more than two persons, of whom at least one shall be a member of the Regent House, neither being members of the Council, co-opted by the Committee, provided that it shall not be obligatory for the Committee to co-opt any person or persons.

2. Members in classes (a), (b), and (c) shall be appointed in the Michaelmas Term to serve for three years from 1 January next following their appointment. Co-opted members shall serve until 31 December of the year in which they are co-opted or of the following year, as the Committee shall decide at the time of their co-optation.


3. No person may be a member of the Audit Committee who is a member of the Finance Committee of the Council. If a member of the Audit Committee becomes a member of the Finance Committee, his or her place shall thereupon become vacant.


4. The Audit Committee shall meet at least twice in each financial year. It shall be the duty of the Committee:

  1. (a)to keep under review the effectiveness of the University's internal systems of financial and other control;
  2. (b)to advise the Council on matters relating to the external and internal auditors, including their appointment, the provision by the auditors of any additional services outside the scope of their regular responsibilities, the remuneration of the auditors, and any questions relating to the resignation or dismissal of auditors;
  3. (c)to ensure that sufficient resources are made available for internal audit;
  4. (d)to approve proposals for internal audit put forward by the internal auditors;
  5. (e)to review annually with the external auditors the nature and scope of the external audit;
  6. (f)to consider any reports submitted by the auditors, both external and internal;
  7. (g)to monitor the implementation of any recommendations made by the internal auditors;
  8. (h)to satisfy themselves that satisfactory arrangements are adopted throughout the University for promoting economy, efficiency, and effectiveness;
  9. (i)to establish appropriate performance measures and to monitor annually the performance and effectiveness of the external and internal auditors;
  10. (j)to consider, in consultation with the external auditors, (i) any financial statements annexed to the abstract of accounts, including the auditors’ report, and (ii) any statement provided by the Council on the governance of the University;
  11. (k)to ensure that all significant losses are properly investigated and that the internal and external auditors, and where appropriate the Higher Education Funding Council for England, are informed;
  12. (l)to oversee the University's policy on fraud and irregularity, and to ensure that they are informed of any action taken under that policy;
  13. (m)to make an annual report to the Council, the Vice-Chancellor, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England;
  14. (n)to receive reports from the National Audit Office and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and to advise the Council thereon;
  15. (o)to forward minutes of their meetings to the Council.

5. No business shall be conducted at a meeting of the Audit Committee unless five members at least are present, of whom at least one shall be a member from class (b) and two shall be members from class (c).


Ethical guidelines on the acceptance of benefactions

1. Under Regulation 6 of the regulations for the Vice-Chancellor1 the Regent House has delegated the acceptance of benefactions to the Vice-Chancellor. In exercising this responsibility, the Vice-Chancellor will seek the advice of the Executive Committee of the Council for all benefactions over £1m, or that are likely to give rise to significant public interest.

2. Charity law places certain constraints on charities, and in recommending acceptance of any benefaction the Executive Committee shall make available to the Vice-Chancellor information under the following headings:

  1. (a)Are the purposes of the benefaction compatible with the purpose of the University as defined in its Statutes?
  2. (b)Do the purposes of the benefaction fall within the University's mission and strategic plan?
  3. (c)What additional costs or burdens, if any, would acceptance of the benefaction create for the University?
  4. (d)Is there published evidence that the proposed benefaction arises in whole or in part from activity that
  5. – evaded taxation?
  6. – violated international conventions that bear on human rights?
  7. – limited freedom of inquiry?
  8. – suppressed or falsified academic research?
  9. In the case of unproven allegations of criminality against a potential donor, no account shall be taken of mere rumour, but care will be exercised in accepting any benefaction, or continuing negotiations towards a possible benefaction, where there is a risk of significant damage to the University's reputation.
  10. (e)Is there evidence that the proposed benefaction, or any of its terms, will
  11. – require action that is illegal?
  12. – limit freedom of inquiry?
  13. – suppress or falsify academic research?
  14. – create unacceptable conflicts of interest for the University?
  15. (f)Is there evidence that acceptance of the proposed benefaction or compliance with any of its terms will damage the University's reputation, including deterring other benefactors?

Although benefactions which are uncontroversial and which are worth less than £1m may not be subject to detailed scrutiny by the Executive Committee, acceptance will nevertheless be considered explicitly against these ethical guidelines.

3. All members of the University involved in fundraising are encouraged to consult the Development Office at an early stage in their discussions with a potential benefactor. The Development Office can advise on the use of these guidelines, and consultation will also reduce the risk of unco-ordinated approaches to a single potential donor; spread familiarity with the process for accepting benefactions; and may allow an early warning of anyone unknowingly approaching a potential benefactor whose donation is not likely to be acceptable.

Financial Regulations

The following Financial Regulations have been issued by the Council on the advice of the Finance Committee. These replace the Regulations published on p. 925 of the Statutes and Ordinances.

The purpose of these Financial Regulations is to ensure the proper use of finances and resources in a manner which not only satisfies the requirements of internal control expected of a substantial and prominent organization, but also fulfils any legal or financial obligations as laid down by the Statutes and Ordinances of the University, HM Revenue and Customs, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), and other authorities.

The Financial Regulations apply to all bodies included in the University’s Financial Statements and includes all subsidiary companies except for Cambridge University Press and Cambridge Assessment. They have been circulated to all Heads of Department, Chairmen and Secretaries of Faculty Boards, Heads of institutions under the supervision of the Council, including the University Offices, and those designated as such for financial management and control purposes. It is the responsibility of Heads of all University institutions to ensure that staff under their jurisdiction are made aware of the existence and provisions of these Financial Regulations, and that an adequate number of copies are made available for reference within the institution. In particular they must ensure that all staff are made aware of the wider implications of not complying with the Financial Regulations.

Additional copies of the Financial Regulations may be obtained from the office of the Deputy Director of Finance (Financial Operations), Finance Division, University Offices, The Old Schools, who should also be contacted for advice if there is any uncertainty as to their application. The Financial Regulations are also available on the Division’s website (

Adopted and approved on 21 July 2008 by the Council after consultation with the Finance Committee

A. Preliminary

Terms in capitals are defined in Schedule 5 where necessary to aid interpretation.

The Council is responsible for the supervision and management of University resources and finances. The purpose of these Regulations is to provide sound arrangements for internal financial management, accounting, and control, promote best value for money, and fulfil the University’s legal and financial obligations.

1. Scope

1.1. These Regulations apply to

  1. • all University Income and Business;
  2. • all Staff; and
  3. • all Departments and University subsidiary companies but not Cambridge University Press or Cambridge Assessment.

2. Ethical Principles

2.1. University Business shall be conducted in accordance with the Nolan Principles: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, and leadership.

2.2. Staff must not use their authority or office for personal gain and must always seek to uphold and enhance the standing of the University

2.3. Staff must declare to their Head of Department any personal interest which may affect any University Business and act in accordance with the instructions given as to management of any conflict.

2.4. Staff must seek written permission from their Head of Department before accepting gifts or hospitality directly or indirectly from suppliers, other than low value items such as a gift worth less than £25 or hospitality worth less than £50. Receipt of gifts or hospitality must not influence or appear to influence the choice of supplier or prejudice the University’s reputation. If in doubt, gifts and hospitality must be refused.

2.5. Where Heads of Department have a conflict of interest or wish to accept gifts or hospitality (other than low value items) they must seek the advice of the body or person to whom they are responsible, for example Head of School, management board or General Board, and act as advised.

3. Staff Responsibilities

3.1. Staff shall, irrespective of sources of funding,

  1. • comply with these Regulations and Statutes, Ordinances, and University policies;
  2. • take all necessary advice;
  3. • assess and manage risks (including to health and safety) entailed in University Business they transact;
  4. • safeguard University property and Income for which they are responsible;
  5. • use University resources economically, efficiently, effectively, and secure value for money; and
  6. • comply with the University’s legal, financial, administrative, and other obligations including to HEFCE, HM Revenue and Customs, and other government authorities.

3.2. Non-observance of these Regulations may result in disciplinary action.

B. Heads of Department

4. Definition and Responsibility

4.1. ‘Head of Department’ means any of the following: the Head of a Department or a Faculty not organized in Departments, Secretaries of Faculties, Head of a Centre, Institute or other body under the supervision of the General Board or Council and Head of a Division within the Unified Administrative Service. ‘Department’ is interpreted accordingly.

4.2. Heads of Department shall ensure

• proper allocation of funds;

  1. • sound financial control, authorizations, and separation of duties;
  2. • that accounts are correctly maintained;
  3. • that funds available for spending are not exceeded;
  4. • that these Regulations are publicized and observed within their Department; and

• that all information and explanations required by the University’s internal or external auditors are provided promptly.

5. Departmental Management

5.1. Heads of Department may designate in writing one or more people to execute specified tasks for and subject to the supervision of the Head of Department. The Head of Department remains responsible.

C. Contract Execution and Commencement

6. Authority to Sign Contracts

6.1. 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.

6.2. 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 EMBS and are subject to the Sites and Buildings Regulations (see further Regulation 31 and Explanatory Note in Section M).

6.3. The Director of RSD shall approve and sign all contracts relating to sponsored research activity.

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

  1. • the Vice-Chancellor;
  2. • a Pro-Vice-Chancellor;
  3. • the Chair of the Faculty Board or Head of School where all the Departments affected are in that Faculty or School;
  4. • the Registrary;
  5. • the Director of Finance; and
  6. • Head of Purchasing.

7. Sealing

7.1. The following persons have authority to authorize affixing of the University’s seal, where any necessary approvals are in place

  1. • the Vice-Chancellor;
  2. • a Pro-Vice-Chancellor;
  3. • the Registrary; and
  4. • (for assignment of University intellectual property) the Director of RSD.

8. Documentation, Liability, and Performance

8.1. The person having authority to execute a contract is responsible for its safekeeping. If required, the Registrary will keep the documentation for contracts affecting more than one Department.

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

8.3. Contract performance shall not begin before

  1. • all necessary approvals have been obtained; and
  2. • the contract has been executed or the person having authority to execute the contract gives prior written consent, which consent shall normally be given only if key terms have been agreed and the risks created by delay outweigh the risk of proceeding prior to full contractual agreement.

D. Income and Expenditure

9. Cash and Banking

9.1. All University Income, including donations to support any individual’s research, must be paid promptly into a bank account in the name of the University (and into no other account) and be accounted for in CUFS. All University expenditure must be paid from a University bank account and be accounted for in CUFS.

9.2. Departments and Staff have no authority to open bank accounts (whether in the UK or abroad) for any University activities without the prior written consent of the Director of Finance.

9.3. Where possible Departments shall separate duties for receiving and recording University Income. Where this is not possible regular independent checks shall be made.

9.4. Further cash, petty cash, banking, and related requirements are set out in Schedule 1.

10. Management of Expenditure

10.1. Heads of Departments are authorized to incur expenditure not exceeding the limits of funds available to the Department. They are responsible for ensuring that monitoring and control arrangements are adequate to prevent over-commitment of expenditure and that all monies under their control are safely kept and are used only for the purposes for which they are allocated. The Head of Department (or budget holder where authorized by the Head of Department) shall approve expenditure.

11. Accounting and Other Records

11.1. Heads of Department shall

  1. • maintain financial records as specified in Statutes and Ordinances;
  2. • certify whether annual statements of account (which are distributed by the Finance Division) are true and fair and that responsibilities under these Regulations have been discharged during the year; and
  3. • properly record all transactions in CUFS and any other financial system the use of which has been authorized by the Director of Finance.

11.2. Staff must comply with CUFS rules.

11.3. Record-keeping must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. The University is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and members of the public may request copies of University documents. Advice on these matters must be obtained from the University’s Data Protection and Freedom of Information Officers.

12. Supplying Goods or Services including research

12.1. Heads of Departments must establish procedures to ensure that

  1. • all supplies of goods and services are authorized and are supplied as agreed;
  2. • trading accounts are kept in credit (deficits are only permitted with the Director of Finance’s prior written consent);
  3. • new activity complies with Regulation 24;
  4. • there are adequate credit control procedures and that supplies are made only where the credit risks are acceptable;
  5. • all relevant risks to the University are considered and managed;
  6. • the University’s standard terms and conditions are where possible applied;
  7. • invoices other than for sponsored research funding (see Regulation 13.3) are raised
  8. in the name of the University of Cambridge showing the University’s VAT number;
  9. through CUFS unless prior written consent is given by the Director of Finance; and
  10. wherever possible in sterling for settlement in sterling (any exchange risk lies with the Department for invoices in a currency other than sterling);
  11. • the liability for all taxation is established and tax is charged and accounted for as appropriate;
  12. • except for research contracts, which are subject to Regulation 13, the full economic cost to the University is recovered, unless the advice of the Taxation Section is sought and it is appropriate to do otherwise having regard to the particular circumstances (see further Regulation 28);
  13. • best value is obtained for sale of any goods to external bodies or to staff (and the Taxation Section consulted about VAT and tax implications);
  14. • sales to staff or their families below the cost incurred by the Department in providing the benefit (including where no charge is made) are recorded and reported as a taxable benefit at the end of the tax year;
  15. • where payment for goods is received in cash, the sum does not exceed the cash equivalent of ¤15,000 (£9,000) for any single transaction (per the Money Laundering Regulations 2003 SI 3075);
  16. • invoices are issued promptly (not more than one month subsequent to the transaction to which it relates) and are properly recorded and processed;
  17. • overdue accounts are followed up effectively; and
  18. • the Finance Division is informed if there is non-payment or dispute.

12.2. Debt management rules are set out in Schedule 2.

13. Research Grants

13.1. Staff shall send grant applications and proposals for research contracts to RSD for approval before their submission.

13.2. Heads of Department shall ensure there are appropriate arrangements

  1. (a)in conjunction with RSD to
  2. • cost grant applications and proposals on the basis of the full economic costs of the research; and
  3. • recover charges for facilities and overheads in accordance with and at the rates specified in University policy or record the extent and justification for subsidizing the cost where in exceptional cases the Head of Department agrees not to apply University policy for recovery rates; and
  4. (b)that research which is funded is conducted to meet the funding conditions.

13.3. RSD shall raise all invoices for sponsored research funding. All research grant or contract income and expenditure, from whatever source of funds, must be notified to RSD and no part of this income may be transferred into donation accounts or other special funds, other than funding remaining unspent at the end of the research which the funder has agreed the Department may retain.

13.4. Heads of Department shall ensure that expenditure on research activity complies with these Regulations. Financial control and record-keeping shall also comply with any additional Research Council or other funder’s requirements.

14. Donation Accounts and Trust Funds

14.1. Heads of Department must ensure that

  1. • donation accounts and trust funds are maintained in credit;
  2. • funds are applied for the public benefit for charitable, educational or research purposes only; and
  3. • any Ordinances or regulations governing the receipt of donations and the conduct of individual accounts are followed.

14.2. Donation accounts must only be used for donations and must be set up on the basis that the monies are charitable funds which belong to the University and not to an individual.

14.3. University trust funds are governed by regulations set out in Statutes and Ordinances. Trust fund managers shall ensure that funds are used for proper purposes in accordance with the rules of the specific fund and the University’s general charitable purposes.

14.4. Transfers of donated funds to other institutions must always be approved by the Head of Department and be in accordance with the terms of the gift and the University’s general charitable purposes. Transfers shall not be made until the receiving institution has confirmed in writing that the terms of the gift will be observed. Where the transfer relates to the Head of Department’s research, the Director of Finance’s prior written consent must be obtained.

14.5. Donations cannot be transferred to individuals, except where the individual is the donor and the University is unable to meet the terms of the original gift. In such cases the donation may be returned. However no adjustment may be made for interest accrued or for any other putative increase in the value of the donation unless the University accepted this condition when the donation was made.

E. Investment and Borrowing

15. The Cambridge University Endowment Fund (‘CUEF’)

15.1. The University’s Chief Investment Officer is responsible for all CUEF investment management activities. The Chief Investment Officer appoints and monitors external investment managers.

15.2. No Department or trust of the University may invest in any securities or other investments (including land and buildings) without the prior approval of the Finance Committee.

15.3. Acquisition of land is also subject to the Sites and Buildings Regulations (see para 31.1 below).

16. Investment in the CUEF and Deposit Account

16.1. Surplus funds (only) may be invested in the CUEF and Deposit Account. The Director of Finance is responsible for approving all new and any changes in CUEF holdings. Deposit Account eligibility rules and interest rates are published by the Director of Finance from time to time.

17. Borrowing, Guarantees, and Loans

17.1. Departments must not borrow money outside the University.

17.2. No guarantees or letters of comfort may be issued except with the prior written consent of the Director of Finance.

17.3. No Department may make a loan including to staff or (outside the normal course of business) extend credit arrangements without the Director of Finance’s prior written consent.

F. Purchasing

18. Obtaining Goods, Services or Construction Works

18.1. Expenditure of £2,000,000 or above on capital items (inclusive of VAT) requires the consent of the Planning and Resources Committee.

18.2. Value for money in purchasing is normally demonstrated through competition. The table below sets out the minimum competition requirement when obtaining goods, services or construction works. This applies to all expenditure irrespective of the source of funding (including spending of grant monies and leasing arrangements). If there is any reason to believe that offers which have been received are not competitive, further offers must be obtained.

Total Value

(before VAT)

Procedure for inviting offers


Standard purchases

Framework Contracts*




no quote required

follow procedures

only the quote


£250 – £500

telephone/web quotes

recommended by

provided is


>£500 – £10,000

3 Competitive Quotes*

CPO for the contract



>£10,000 – £50,000


3 Competitive Proposals*




3 Invitations to Tender


EU Thresholds, currently:


EU Tenders


>£139,893 (goods and services)


>£3,497,313 (works)


*see definitions in Schedule 5

EU Thresholds as at January 2008 (updated biennially)


18.3. In exceptional circumstances only, prior written consent not to follow the competition procedures may be granted

  1. • for construction and construction related procurement by
  2. the Director of EMBS where the Total Value is less than the EU Threshold; and
  3. the Registrary where it is at or exceeds the EU Threshold;• 
  4. • for other procurement by
  5. the Head of Department after consultation with the departmental administrator where the Total Value is £10,000 or less; and
  6. the Director of Finance where the Total Value exceeds £10,000.

18.4. Departments must seek all necessary advice.

  1. (a)The Head of Department’s prior written consent is needed for one or more payments in advance in relation to any contract totalling £10,000 or less.
  2. (b)The Director of Finance’s advice and prior written consent is needed as follows:
  3. • procurement (other than construction) where the Total Value exceeds £100,000 (advice only);
  4. • procurement where the Total Value exceeds £10,000 and supplier terms are used (advice only);
  5. • leasing or hire purchase where the Total Value exceeds £10,000;
  6. • payments in advance exceeding £10,000; and
  7. • payment under early settlement terms exceeding £250,000.
  8. (c)The Director of EMBS’s advice is needed for procurement falling within Regulation 6.2.

18.5. All competition shall be based on a specification drafted after consultation with anticipated users and assessment of the risks associated with the procurement. The Procurement Procedures provide further guidance on purchasing.

18.6. Goods and services may be purchased externally only if

  1. • they are required for the achievement of financial, academic or organizational plans;
  2. • they are not reasonably available elsewhere within the University; and
  3. • the source, sufficiency, and terms of the funding have been checked and confirmed.

18.7. Heads of Department must establish levels of authorization and segregation of duties for contracts where the Total Value exceeds £500 for:

  1. • short-listing and acceptance of tenders;
  2. • ordering and inspection of goods and services; and
  3. • payment.

Where payment duties cannot be segregated, transactions must be independently checked on a regular basis.

18.8. Orders must state the nature, quantity, and price of goods and services to be provided and where possible apply the University’s terms and conditions. Copies of orders must be kept securely. Where an order is placed through CUFS, the electronic record suffices.

18.9. Official orders must be produced in a form approved by the Director of Finance for all purchases above £100 or any lower threshold set by the Head of Department.

19. Receipt of Goods or Services, Payments for services to individuals

19.1. All goods and services must be checked promptly on receipt to ensure that they accord with order requirements and suppliers advised promptly about any discrepancies. Copies of signed delivery notes must be retained. If deliveries have to be acknowledged prior to checking, endorse the delivery note ‘Goods received unchecked’.

19.2. Invoices must be checked and not authorized for payment until the goods or services have been checked, unless authority is in place to pay in advance (see Regulation 18.4).

19.3. Payments to individuals must comply with Regulation 30.6.

19.4. Heads of Department shall establish arrangements for monitoring and regular appraisal of purchasing activity to ensure that best value for money is secured for current and future purchases.

G. Fraud

20. Fraud and Irregularity

20.1. Heads of Department shall

  1. • establish procedures to safeguard against fraud or irregularity;
  2. • report immediately any suspicion of fraud or irregularity to the Director of Finance who will advise the University’s internal auditors and if necessary the University Security Adviser and police; and
  3. • report to the Audit Committee and the Vice-Chancellor any fraud or irregularity which has any of the following characteristics:
  4. exceeds £10,000
  5. is unusual or complex
  6. public interest is likely.

20.2. Any member of staff who reasonably believes there is serious malpractice relating to any ‘protected matter’ specified in the University whistleblowing policies (see Human Resources Division website) should raise such issue using the specified procedure.

H. Corporate Requirements

21. Taxation

21.1. Heads of Departments shall ensure that their Department accounts correctly for VAT and where appropriate corporation tax. Where there is any doubt as to the correct VAT or tax treatment of a transaction, the Taxation Section must be consulted.

21.2. Heads of Departments shall ensure that any taxable benefits paid to individuals are reported to the Human Resources Division for inclusion in P11D returns.

22. Legal Advice and Proceedings

22.1. The Council’s Executive Council and the Registrary have authority to take legal advice and to conduct legal proceedings. Departments shall not take any action to initiate or defend legal proceedings or obtain external legal advice without first involving the Legal Services Office, which will seek consent from the Registrary or Executive Committee as necessary. The Legal Services Office should be contacted immediately if legal proceedings are served on any part of the University or any University subsidiary company.

23. Insurance

23.1. Departments must comply with the insurance requirements set out in Financial Procedures and on the Insurance Section web pages.

23.2. Contents whether owned, borrowed or hired must be valued, recorded, and notified to insurers. Departments should regularly review the value of contents held and notify the Insurance Section of

  1. • departmental moves;
  2. • the acquisition and disposal of high value items (exceeding £1,000,000); and
  3. • temporary removal from University premises (where the single article exceeds £50,000 or the total exceeds £100,000).

23.3. Departments must take all necessary steps to prevent losses and accidents and ensure that the Insurance Officer is advised immediately of any new unusual or significant risk. Liabilities should not be accepted on behalf of the University without careful consideration. Any liabilities not covered by insurance will fall on the Department 

23.4. Third party claims must be passed immediately to the Insurance Section without comment to the third party to ensure that the University’s legal position and insurance policies are not compromised.

I. Commercial Activity

24. New Income Generation or Trading Activity

24.1. Apart from core teaching, research, and the organization of conferences, when a new income-generating or trading activity is set up (whether in the UK or abroad), the Head of Department must consult the Taxation Section beforehand to consider the VAT implications and whether the activity constitutes trading which might be subject to Corporation Tax.

24.2. The Director of Finance may direct that transactions be undertaken through a University subsidiary company.

25. University Companies

25.1. No University company may be formed (whether in the UK or abroad) for any purpose without the prior approval of the Finance Committee. Advice must be obtained from the Director of Finance.

25.2. University subsidiary companies shall enter into and keep under review a memorandum of understanding with the University. Each company shall operate in accordance with such memorandum and within the framework provided by these Regulations, including the provisions regarding procurement, and any additional procedural requirements imposed by their boards.

26. University Embedded Companies

26.1. Heads of Department and EMBS shall maintain departmental and corporate registers of Embedded Companies.

26.2. Heads of Department shall in respect of Embedded Companies

  1. • undertake financial and space cost benefit analysis for all new and (periodically for) existing Embedded Companies;
  2. • comply with Regulation 28;
  3. • take into account University policies (including the University’s Guidelines for Establishing and Working with Embedded Companies);
  4. • ensure that Embedded Companies comply with health and safety requirements; and
  5. • put in place appropriate contractual arrangements to govern the relationship between the University and the company.

27. Consultancy and Private Activity

27.1. When engaging in consultancy or other commercial activity in a private capacity, Staff must not hold themselves out as acting on behalf of the University, use University headed stationery nor (except in accordance with Regulation 28) use any University premises, facilities or resources.

27.2. The University accepts no responsibility for any work done, advice given or activity undertaken by Staff in a private capacity. Staff are reminded of the need to take out professional indemnity insurance for such work, advice, and activity and that they are responsible for all liabilities arising including as to tax. Staff who conduct work through Cambridge University Technical Services Limited are insured under the University’s insurance policies.

28. Non-University Activities – Use of Premises, Facilities, etc.

28.1. Unless the Head of Department gives prior written consent and an appropriate contractual agreement with the University is put in place, non-University activities may not be carried out on University premises nor University facilities or resources used for such activities. Care is needed to avoid breaching any obligation of the University to a third party (for example in relation to use of computing facilities and software).

28.2. Heads of Department shall ensure that appropriate charges are made for the use of University premises, facilities or resources for non-University purposes (see Regulation 12).

28.3. The Director of EMBS must be consulted before making any arrangement (including leases or licences) for the use of any University space for non-University purposes.

29. Intellectual Property

29.1. Intellectual property generated through University activities is governed by the Intellectual Property Ordinance Graced on 12 December 2005.

J. Staffing

30. Salaries and Staff Appointments

30.1. All University employees shall have a properly authorized letter of appointment in the form approved by or under the authority of the Human Resources Committee.

30.2. No member of staff may be given a contract of employment for a period exceeding that for which funding is available to support the post, or posts, to which he or she is appointed.

30.3. The only payments which may be made to University employees are those in accordance with approved University salary scales and such other payments as have been specifically approved by the Human Resources Committee. Rules on expenses reimbursement are set out in Schedule 3.

30.4. Heads of Departments must provide the Payroll Section with and keep up to date a list (signed by the Head of Department) of persons authorized to sign salary documents for departmental staff paid through the payroll. Where the proposed signatory is not a University employee the approval of the Director of Finance is also required.

30.5. For all new employees the Head of Department or other authorized signatory shall ensure that the person is legally eligible to work in the UK. The Payroll Section will not add a non-EU citizen to the payroll unless it is clear that any necessary work permit has been obtained or that the immigration status of the person concerned does not require the University to seek permission for the specific employment proposed.

30.6. Individuals may not be paid as suppliers through CUFS unless the Taxation Section has given prior written consent.

K. Property

31. Property

31.1. The University’s real property is governed by Statutes and Ordinances including the Sites and Buildings Regulations.

31.2. Departments may not acquire or dispose of real property without taking the advice of the Directors of Finance and of EMBS. See further Regulation 6.

31.3. The University’s Taxation Section must be consulted about VAT and the tax implications of property acquisitions, disposals, and usage.

32. Stores and Equipment

32.1. Stores and equipment shall be dealt with as set out in Schedule 4. Assets bought with University Income irrespective of the source of funding remain the property of the University until sold or destroyed, unless contracts with external sponsors specify otherwise.

L. Authority

33 Council Delegations and Directions

33.1. The Council hereby gives all delegations and directions contemplated by these Regulations.

34. Revision

34.1. Every three years, or more frequently if appropriate, the Director of Finance shall arrange for these Regulations to be reviewed and for proposed changes to be submitted to the Finance Committee for onward recommendation to the Council and adoption by Council Notice.

M. Explanatory Note

  1. • The University endeavours to conduct University Business in accordance with the Nolan Principles.2
  2. • The Council is the principal executive body and policy-making body of the University. The Council has general responsibility for administration, planning of work, management of resources, and general supervision of finances including of all University institutions other than the University Press.3 It has the authority to take legal advice and conduct proceedings on behalf of the University.4 The Council and its Finance Committee exercise the University’s powers of investment subject to certain restrictions.5 The Council has responsibilities in relation to the care, management, and maintenance of property.6
  3. • The Vice-Chancellor has the customary rights and duties of the office7 and is the designated officer responsible under the University Financial Memorandum with HEFCE and to the Public Accounts Committee.
  4. • Pro-Vice-Chancellors perform duties as prescribed by Statutes and Ordinances, the Council or the Vice-Chancellor.8
  5. • Heads of University Departments and Secretaries of Faculty Boards have financial responsibility under Statutes and Ordinances and are accountable for the proper application of funds.9 Heads of other institutions are similarly responsible under particular provisions of Statutes and Ordinances.
  6. • Acting Heads of Department may be appointed during a vacancy and count as Head of Department. The General Board appoints Deputy Heads and defines their duties and powers.10
  7. • The Registrary is the principal administrative officer of the University under the direction of the Council and is the head of the Unified Administrative Service.11
  8. • The University Offices form the Unified Administrative Service under the supervision of the Council and are organized in Divisions.12
  9. • Statute K, para 9(b) provides for delegation by any University body to any committee or University officer (including in relation to finance) subject to Statutes and Ordinances.
  10. • The Audit Committee has responsibilities under Statutes and Ordinances. The University’s internal and external auditors have unrestricted access to all records, assets, personnel, and premises, and the right to obtain such information and explanations as they consider necessary. HEFCE, HM Revenue and Customs, and others may also have the right to audit University Business.
  11. • The purpose of the EU Public Procurement Directives and implementing UK Regulations is to encourage competitive tendering for public contracts throughout the European Union. The Council on the advice of its Finance Committee declared the University to be outside their scope in December 2003. It reviews and confirms this status annually. The Council intends that the University’s procurement procedures should continue to follow the good practice set out in the Regulations.
  12. • New building needs and substantial repairs or alterations to University property require report to the Council or its Buildings Committee.13 Changes of use require Council approval.14 Substantial repairs and alterations require Building Committee approval.15 A Grace is needed for the erection of any new building or demolition or substantial alteration of any existing building.16
  13. • Ethical guidance on acceptance of donations and the provisions for acceptance of donations by or with the authority of the Vice-Chancellor are set out in Ordinances.17

Schedule 1 – Cash and Banking Arrangements, Credit Cards, Foreign Currency

1. Heads of Department who receive cash or cheques shall establish procedures and staff instructions to ensure that:

  1. • all cheques are made payable to ‘University of Cambridge’;
  2. • all receipts to which the Department is entitled are received;
  3. • all receipts, including BACS receipts, are properly accounted for and recorded;
  4. • all receipts are banked intact (using local Barclays branches) promptly within a week, or more often if sums exceeding £250 are received (the Director of Finance must give written consent for this limit to be increased and will only give consent if this is operationally justified and the Department has suitable security arrangements);
  5. • cash received is secure until banked (through the use of safes or where the cash/cheques combination does not exceed £250 by placing in a locked drawer/cabinet);
  6. • the insurance limit for the Departmental safes is known and observed by staff;
  7. • disbursements are not made from cash received; and
  8. • all cheques, postal orders, cash, etc. are promptly banked intact i.e. complete (cashing of personal cheques from cash takings/receipts is not permitted).

2. The custody and transit of moneys must comply with University insurance requirements. The postal service and University Messenger Service must not be used to send cash.

3. Remittance advices and financial coding details must accompany all receipts advised to the Cashier in respect of centrally banked items or the Cash Management Section of the Finance Division in respect of locally banked or electronic receipts. Departments are responsible for identification of their own BACS receipts. The Finance Division will assist by supplying relevant information.

4. Petty Cash Arrangements

  1. • A petty cash float (normally up to a maximum of £100, unless the Director of Finance gives written consent to increase the limit), may be provided to Departments to defray minor expenses incurred by staff on departmental activity.
  2. • Departments are responsible for the security of the float and for ensuring that all expenditure is properly supported and authorized.
  3. • Under no circumstances may petty cash be used to make payments to individuals for services provided (e.g. payments to visiting lecturers) or external suppliers for services rendered.
  4. • Departments are required to certify their petty cash float at the financial year-end.
  5. • Advice on security of cash is available from the University Security Adviser.
  6. • Petty cash floats must not be used for personal expenditure even if the intention is to reimburse the float later.
  7. • All the following conditions apply to any petty cash payment:
  8. Payments shall be limited to items of expenditure below £25 (unless the Director of Finance gives written consent to increase the limit).
  9. Payments must be supported by a receipted voucher.
  10. The claimant receiving reimbursement must sign for receipt of moneys.
  11. • Staff responsible for the petty cash float must ensure the records are always up to date, including making timely posting of petty cash journals and promptly inputting disbursements to CUFS.
  12. • Petty cash is not to be replenished unless journals are up to date.
  13. • There must be regular independent checks of petty cash balances and use.

5. Credit Cards: The Director of Finance must authorize every credit card facility prior to use by a Department. Cardholders must sign a statement accepting the terms and conditions under which the card can be used. The card must only be used for University business. Use must be supported by vouchers for expenses incurred. The card must be returned before an employee leaves the University. Where the card is used for entertaining the conditions in Schedule 3 below must be followed. Heads of Departments must follow University credit card procedures. Cash withdrawals using University credit cards are not permitted without the prior written consent of the Director of Finance.

6. Electronic Receipting Machines (PDQ machines): The Director of Finance must give prior written consent for any use by a Department of PDQ machines for electronic receipts. The Finance Division will provide facilities for Departments where requested, explaining the circumstances in which the facilities are suitable. Departments will incur the cost of PDQ machine facilities.

7. Internet based Receipting Facilities (e-PDQ): The Director of Finance must authorize any arrangements for receiving funds over the internet. The Finance Division will provide advice to Departments in this respect. Departments will incur the cost of e-PDQ facilities.

8. Foreign Currency: Advice on foreign payments and receipts must be sought from the Director of Finance. Any bank charges and exchange rate differences will be a cost to the Department.

9. Cheques: All cheques drawn on the University’s account must bear the signature of the Director of Finance. Sterling cheques in excess of £10,000 must be counter-signed by a designated officer within the Finance Division who may require additional information in order to be satisfied that payment complies with these Regulations. Separate signing arrangements within the Finance Division may be required for cheques denominated in foreign currency.

Schedule 2 – Debt Collection

1. Debt Collection:

A debt is created whenever a credit sale is made or any other obligation to pay money to the University arises. With the exception of research grant claims, Departments are responsible for all aspects of credit control and for debt collection in respect of invoices issued to third parties. Heads of Departments must ensure that proper procedures are in place to monitor all debts and to follow up overdue accounts and must establish a provision for any debts considered irrecoverable. Advice must be sought from the Director of Finance where legal action to recover moneys due is considered.

2. Write-Off and Settlement Procedures:

Uncollectible debts, including in respect of sponsored research activity, will be an expense against the Department. The following authorities exist to write off bad debts or for part settlement, where all reasonable steps have been taken to recover them. These authorities apply to all debts.

  1. • Debtors up to £10,000 – Head of Department to approve write-off
  2. • Debtors of between £10,000 and £25,000 – Director of Finance to approve write-off
  3. • Debtors over £25,000 – Finance Committee to approve write-off
  4. • The write-off will be actioned on CUFS by the Finance Division.
  5. • The Taxation Section must be informed of all write-offs of VAT invoices, as the VAT may be reclaimable.

Schedule 3 – Travel, Subsistence, and Entertainment

1. The following rules apply to University employees.

2. Travel and subsistence reimbursement claims must be made on University claim forms or other forms or means approved by the Director of Finance. Rates of reimbursement are set by the Finance Committee and notified to Departments by the Finance Division.

3. The following conditions apply to travel and subsistence expenses:

  1. • Only actual expenditure incurred on University business will be reimbursed, in accordance with the rates set by the Finance Committee.
  2. • Supporting vouchers for the cost of accommodation, food, and other items of expenditure must be produced.
  3. • Where a claim is made for use of an employee’s vehicle the vehicle must be adequately insured.
  4. • Subsistence expenses will only be paid where the employee is required to be away from their normal place of work.
  5. • Employees cannot be reimbursed for the cost of travel between home and normal place of work otherwise than in exceptional circumstances and the Head of Department gives prior written consent. Such reimbursement is likely to be taxable and must be made via payroll unless the Taxation Section gives prior written consent.
  6. • Expense claims for employees’ own mobile telephone calls and rental costs are not normally reimbursable.
  7. • No one shall authorize reimbursement of his or her own expenses. Claims should, whenever possible, be approved by an employee senior to the claimant. Where it is impractical for senior staff to authorize claims, the Head of Department may authorize in writing appropriate alternative arrangements.
  8. • Advances may be granted at the discretion of the Head of Department and up to the estimated cost of one month’s subsistence. The Director of Finance may give prior written consent for advances longer than one month’s subsistence if operationally required. Requests for advances must be made on University expense claim forms giving details of dates and countries to be visited and a breakdown of the advance required.
  9. • Claimants must submit full documentation promptly. Accounting for the claims against advances must be completed within one month of the return date.
  10. • Departments are responsible for maintaining such records as are necessary for the completion of annual P11D returns for taxable benefits.

4. The following conditions apply to entertainment:

  1. • Entertaining should where appropriate be carried out in the University’s own facilities in Departments or in Colleges.
  2. • Entertainment expenditure must be an appropriate use of University money. A schedule must be included with the claim giving details of those entertained, their Department, and the purpose of the entertainment.
  3. • A tax liability will normally arise for business entertainment where there are more employees than non-employees at an event. Such events must be disclosed on the annual P11D.
  4. • Expense claims for entertaining must be supported by vouchers and authorized by the Head of the Department (except where the Head is the claimant, when suitable alternative arrangements for authorization must be made).
  5. • Those authorizing and submitting claims for payment for entertaining must be made aware that this action is a declaration that the cost was incurred wholly, necessarily, and exclusively for University purposes.
  6. • If in any case tax is subsequently levied, any cost which is not recoverable from the individual beneficiaries will fall on the Department.

5. The Financial Procedures Manual makes provision for payment of expenses for some non-employees.

Schedule 4 – Stores and Equipment


1. Heads of Departments shall keep full, proper, and correct records of stock. A full stock take must be performed annually between 1 June and 31 July in addition to any regular interim stock takes. The stock value shall be reported to the Finance Division at the lower of cost (CUFS uses average cost which is equivalent to ‘cost’) or net realizable value. Details of goods may be required by the Finance Division for inclusion in the year end accounts.

2. Heads of Departments shall establish procedures to ensure that:

  1. • stock is ordered only in appropriate quantities of suitable quality at the best terms available, after appropriate requisition and approval;
  2. • stocks are adequately protected against loss, misuse or obsolescence;
  3. • stock is kept at the minimum level required to support departmental requirements;
  4. • all stock movements are recorded and allocated correctly to the appropriate user; and
  5. • stockholdings are regularly reviewed for obsolete stock which should be disposed of at an appropriate time to obtain the best value possible for the University (normally expected to be market value).

3. Departments must ensure that best value is obtained for the sale of any goods to external bodies or to Staff.


4. Equipment (including vehicles):

Heads of Departments shall establish procedures to ensure that all items of equipment are adequately protected against loss and misuse and that all purchases and disposals of equipment are properly authorized, accounted for, and recorded.

5. Equipment purchases under research contracts are subject to the competition requirements in Regulation 18. Staff must consider as part of the award criteria the whole life time costs to the University of equipment procurement (and take into account EMBS advice on any infrastructure impact). Specific rules may apply to the depreciation costs allocated to EU grants. Assets bought by the University remain University property until sale or disposal unless sponsors require otherwise.

6. Fixed asset registers must be maintained (with a minimum requirement for all items costing more than £10,000). The Finance Division will set this up if the relevant purchase invoices on CUFS is marked ‘track as asset’ when the invoice is being processed.

7. The Finance Division must be informed of disposals of tracked assets. Any proceeds from the sale of equipment will usually be credited to the account of the Department concerned.

8. Where equipment is loaned or received on loan, Departments must have procedures to ensure that an appropriate agreement and insurance are put in place and that the equipment is returned in good condition.

9. Vehicles:

University-owned vehicles may only be used by authorized personnel on University business. A record of authorized drivers must be maintained by the Department. University vehicles should not usually be used for travel to and from work and they should be left on University premises at night. Where the use of a University vehicle is authorized for travel to and from work and it is not left on University premises at night, the employee is likely to be taxed on the benefit enjoyed. Such use must be declared on the P11D return.

Schedule 5 – Definition, Advice, and Guidance

Definitions and Interpretation

Competitive Proposals

Written bids submitted by a specified date (the Procurement Procedures provide sample documentation)

Competitive Quotes

Quotations in writing, including via fax or email (the Procurement Procedures provide sample documentation)


The University Central Purchasing Office


The Cambridge University Endowment Fund in which the main University endowments are pooled


Cambridge University Financial System

Department, Head of


As defined in Regulation 4.1

Deposit Account

A University wide facility that allows Departments to invest surpluses


The University’s Estate Management and Building Service

Embedded Company

A company occupying University premises or whose employees’ normal place of work is on University premises, other than as temporary visitors or to provide services to the University

EU Threshold

A threshold from time to time in force above which a public contract must be let in accordance with public procurement legislation

Framework Contract

Any framework contracts approved by CPO


The Higher Education Funding Council for England

Investment Board

The board which manages for the University the investment of the CUEF


Any supplier catalogue or process for obtaining offers which is made available electronically through CUFS

Nolan Principles

The seven principles identified by the Committee on Standards in Public Life

Planning and Resources

 Committee (PRC)

Planning and Resources Committee of the Council and the General Board

Procurement Procedures

The guidance and model documents on procurement in the Financial Procedures Manual or published on the CPO web pages


Research Services Division


All employees irrespective of whether their appointment specifically includes financial responsibilities and however their employment is financed together with anyone else who has any responsibility for the administration, management or expenditure of any University Income or conducts any University Business

Sites and Buildings


The University’s Sites and Buildings Regulations set out in Ordinances

Total Value

The contract value or estimated value as follows:
  1. (a)fixed period contract: the total price to be paid or which might be paid during the whole of the period;
  1. (b)recurrent transactions for the same type of item: the aggregated value of those transactions in the coming 12 months;
  1. (c)uncertain duration: monthly payment ´ 48;
  1. (d)feasibility studies: value of the follow-on scheme


The Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars of the University of Cambridge

University Business

University business which has a financial impact

University Income

All monies, regardless of source or purpose, which are due or paid to the University or made available to individuals because of their association with the University

Terms are to be understood as used in Statutes and Ordinances, unless the context of the Regulation requires otherwise.

Words preceding ‘include’, ‘includes’, ‘including’, and ‘included’ shall be construed without limitation by the words which follow those words.

Further Guidance is contained in

  1. • the Financial Procedures Manual
  2. • Web pages of
  3. Finance Division (including CPO and Insurance)
  4. ° ‑Research Services Division
  5. Human Resources Division
  6. Secretariat (Data Protection and Freedom of Information)
  7. Management Information Services Division
  8. Legal Services Office and
  9. Cambridge Enterprise (for Cambridge University Technical Services Limited)


  1. 1. See p. 651.(Refs: 1)
  2. 2. See the University’s Corporate Governance Statement, annexed to the University’s Annual Reports and Financial Statements.(Refs: 1)
  3. 3. Statute A, Ch IV, para 1 and Statute F, Ch I para (a). See also Ordinance Ch I, Special Regulations for Syndicates, Local Examinations Syndicate, and Press Syndicate.(Refs: 1)
  4. 4. Ordinances Ch I, The Council, Legal Powers.(Refs: 1)
  5. 5. Statute F, Ch III para 6 and Ordinance Ch XIII, Financial Matters, para 6.(Refs: 1)
  6. 6. Statute F, Ch I para 2.(Refs: 1)
  7. 7. Statute F, Ch I para 2.(Refs: 1)
  8. 8. Statute D, Ch IV, para 3.(Refs: 1)
  9. 9. Statute C, Ch V para 3(c) and Ch IV para 10.(Refs: 1)
  10. 10. Ordinance Ch IX, Departments and Heads of Department paras 4 and 5.(Refs: 1)
  11. 11. Statute D, Ch VIII, para 1.(Refs: 1)
  12. 12. Ordinances Chapter XI, Special Regulations for University Officers, Unified Administrative Service, paras 1 and 2.(Refs: 1)
  13. 13. Sites and Buildings Regulation 2 and 8.(Refs: 1)
  14. 14. Sites and Buildings Regulation 6.(Refs: 1)
  15. 15. Sites and Buildings Regulation 8.(Refs: 1)
  16. 16. Statute F, Ch 1, para 2 and Sites and Buildings Regulation Sites and Buildings Regulation 4.(Refs: 1)
  17. 17. Ordinances Ch XIII, Council Notice: Ethical Guidelines on the Acceptance of Benefactions.(Refs: 1)