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Delegation of Authority

Find out about delegation of authority, the administrative accountability structure, and authorizations for department expenditures.

Administrative Accountability Structure (areas that cannot be delegated)

Administrative Accountability

Administrative officials must develop an appropriate structure for effectively handling university resources. This may involve delegating some tasks to employees within the unit or department. This page clarifies those areas that cannot be re-delegated to others.

The chancellor has delegated various financial, administrative, and management responsibilities to administrative officials responsible for the operation of their departments or business units. This delegation from the chancellor also passes through the dean of each division and school and the director of the Medical Center to equivalent management personnel.

While administrative officials may delegate many of their responsibilities, they cannot delegate accountability. They retain accountability for the following activities in their area of responsibility:

  • Compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, university policies, and collective bargaining agreements, and with the terms and conditions of gifts, contracts, and grants
  • Maintenance of a sound financial condition and good business practices for the department or business unit
  • Establishment of an effective system of internal controls consistent with the UCSD Principles of Accountability and Regulatory Compliance
  • Adherence to ethical business standards
  • Administration of human resource activities in a manner that fosters diversity in the workforce and ensures due process
  • Ensuring appropriate access to, and use of, university information and systems, including the integrity of data and transactions entered or modified by staff in their area of responsibility
  • Protecting university assets, including the proper use and disposition of personal and sensitive information

Delegation of Authority and Potential Risk

Academic Affairs

Read the Administrative Responsibilities Handbook's section on responsibilities and delegation of authority in the area of academic affairs.

Administrative officials can delegate certain duties to staff. Even so, administrative officials remain accountable for all activities in their areas of responsibility and should take appropriate precautions to avoid risk.

Responsibilities that cannot be delegated by administrative officials

  • Maintaining accountability for the academic and administrative leadership of the department
  • Conducting annual assessments for all academic appointees
  • Ensuring that the department complies with policies and procedures
  • Managing academic misconduct
  • Consulting with faculty on academic personnel actions, as well as programmatic and curricular issues
  • Overseeing the department review process and ensuring that assessments are performed with all academic appointees

Responsibilities that can be delegated by administrative officials

  • Carrying out administrative details to comply with university policies and procedures pertaining to peer reviews, academic layoffs, confidentiality, and related ethical and legal issues
  • Carrying out administrative details concerning negotiations and advertisement of academic appointees about terms and conditions of employment
  • Overseeing faculty compliance with compensation plans
  • Overseeing the allocation of support services

Practices that should be in place to avoid risk

  • Academic appointments and academic reviews: Follow procedures outlined in Policy and Procedure Manual — Academic Personnel Appointment and Advancement Process PPM-230.
  • Compensation: Be aware that problems may arise as a result of negotiating faculty compensation agreements and administering faculty compensation plans/ agreements.
  • Misconduct, complaints, grievances, or legal actions: Immediately involve the Office of Academic Employee Relations, Office of Sexual Harassment Prevention and Policy, or the Conflict of Interest Office if it appears that any of the following circumstances may lead to a formal complaint, grievance, or legal action:
    • Academic recruitments, appointments, and reviews
    • Confidentiality (records/ privacy)
    • Conflict of commitment
    • Conflict of interest
    • Disability accommodations
    • Discrimination, dismissal for cause, layoffs, retaliation
    • Academic misconduct, including misconduct in science
    • Misuse or mismanagement of resources
    • Sexual harassment

Conflict of Interest

Read the Administrative Responsibilities Handbook's section on conflict-of-interest responsibilities and delegation of authority.

Administrative officials can delegate certain duties to staff. Even so, administrative officials remain accountable for all activities in their areas of responsibility and should take appropriate precautions to avoid risk.

Responsibilities that cannot be delegated by administrative officials

  • Implementing systems that manage conflict-of-interest activities
  • Ensuring that their area of responsibility does not include a significant individual, near relative, or personal financial benefit

Responsibilities that can be delegated by administrative officials

  • Establishing departmental policies and procedures to meet conflict-of-interest codes and disqualification requirements
  • Monitoring, preventing, and reducing any potential conflict-of-interest situation

Practices that should be in place to avoid risk

  • Non-disclosure of financial interest: Designated employees must report their financial interests. Those who do not are in violation of the university's Conflict of Interest (COI) policy as well as federal or state laws and are subject to disclipinary action.
  • Sponsored projects: Principal investigators, co-principal investigators and/or key personnel must disclose any financial interest prior to the acceptance of gifts, contracts, or grants from certain governmental and non-governamental sponsors.
  • Purchased goods, leased goods, or contract services from university employees or near relatives: University employees should not participate in any business decisions that could lead to personal gain or give an advantage to firms in which employees or a near relative have an interest.
  • Use of university resources: Supplies, equipment, facilities and staff time may not be used for the benefit of a company without proper compensation.
  • Potential issues: Academic appointees and employees should be encouraged to discuss any potential conflicts of interest with the appropriate department officials.

If a situation involving conflict of interest occurs or seems likely to occur, involve the appropriate office immediately.

Environment, Health, and Safety

Read the Administrative Responsibilities Handbook's section on responsibilities and delegation of authority in the areas of environment, health, and safety.

Administrative officials can delegate certain duties to staff. Even so, administrative officials remain accountable for all activities in their areas of responsibility and should take appropriate precautions to avoid risk.

Responsibilities that cannot be delegated by administrative officials

  • Being accountable for safety leadership and environmental awareness
  • Being accountable for compliance with UCSD policies and official safety and health directives
  • Ensuring that no one is exposed to recognized and unmitigated hazards
  • Assuring that employees attend required safety training

Responsibilities that can be delegated by administrative officials

  • Performing administrative functions that support and document safety awareness program participation and emergency action plans
  • Assuring compliance with laboratory and other safety guidelines
  • Promoting a safe and healthy work environment
  • Designating a safety officer or department committee to implement safety programs
  • Developing and maintaining departmental emergency action plans
  • Reporting and documenting injuries and accidents
  • Reporting any occurence of environmental pollution

Practices that should be in place to avoid risk

  • Identification of a "serious concealed danger": Notify affected employees and Cal/ OSHA in writing within 15 days of an incident as required by the Corporate Criminal Liability Act of 1989.
  • Remodels and construction plans: Have EH&S review and approve plans before construction begins.
  • Vacated space and laboratory relocations: EH&S clearance requirements must be met prior to entry of construction personnel and/ or future occupancy.
  • Granting agencies: Granting agencies may stipulate specific safety requirements.
  • Outside inspection requests: Contact EH&S when outside regulatory officials request entry for inspection.
  • Hazardous waste and chemical disposal: When an employee leaves UCSD, hazardous waste and unwanted chemicals must be properly disposed of and useful chemicals must be put under the control of another responsible party.

If a situation involving health or safety risks occurs or seems likely to occur, involve the appropriate office immediately.

Finance

Read the Administrative Responsibilities Handbook's section on financial responsibilities and delegation of authority.

Administrative officials can delegate certain duties to staff. Even so, administrative officials remain accountable for all activities in their areas of responsibility and should take appropriate precautions to avoid risk.

Responsibilities that cannot be delegated by administrative officials

  • Ensuring that proper controls and monitoring procedures are in place
  • Ensuring that reports are accurate and meaningful

Responsibilities that can be delegated by administrative officials

  • Establishing financial plans that result in maintaining a positive financial fund balance and avoid overdrafts
  • Complying with applicable laws and regulations, policies, and contract terms
  • Implementing monitoring and reporting procedures to measure financial performance against established budgets
  • Implementing ethical business practices and operating procedures
  • Safeguarding assets against waste, loss, and misuse
  • Assuring that costs are properly recorded and charged
  • Segregating duties to prevent any one individual from exercising control over all financial transactions
  • Reviewing work for policy compliance, accuracy, and timeliness
  • Ensuring that employees provide explanations and documentation to support post-authorization review and audit
  • Identifying unauthorized transactions, loss of university assets, or material irregularity and inform management
  • Providing fiscal support staff with core systems training to effectively complete responsibilities

Practices that should be in place to avoid risk

  • Internal control documentation: Key controls that are not adequately documented could impact the university's ability to keep and/or maintain funding.
  • Bank accounts: University monies utilizing bank accounts must be coordinated through the campus Cash Handling Coordinator Thomas Qian and pre-approved by the State Treasurer's Office.
  • Cash and checks: Monies received must be deposited daily and secured in a locked recepticle.
  • Charitable or political contributions: Contributions should not be made on behalf of the university unless they are consistent with the mission of the university and approved by the chancellor.
  • Conflict-of-interest issues: University funds cannot be used for personal use or for products or services from an employee or a relative. Employees cannot accept cash, gifts, or benefits from vendors or organizations that do business with the university.
  • Cost transfers affecting governmental funds: These transactions must be processed on the ENPET system according to procedures established by the Office of Post Award Financial Services (OPAFS).
  • Department financial systems/ reporting: Departments are encouraged to use the university's Business Analytics Hub financial reports to assure that income and expense activities are reconciled to official financial records.
  • Disbursing monies to employees: Employees cannot approve payroll or other disbursements to themselves and cannot be paid as independent contractors or consultants.
  • Foreign visitor payments or reimbursements: They must adhere to Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) regulations.
  • Inadequate training: Staff should be properly trained in order to avoid inappropriate or erroneous transactions that can lead to inaccurate reporting, loss of productivity, and loss of funding to the university.
  • Purchasing goods and services: University funds cannot be committed without specific delegation of purchasing authority. Employees contemplating business arrangements with outside entities should contact appropriate offices for consultation and support.
  • Recharge activities: Activities must be processed through the Financial Analysis Office, reviewed by the Recharge Rate Review Committee and approved by the controller.
  • Safeguarding university assets: Contact Risk Management if there is a possibility of loss or damage to university goods or property. Equipment used in homes or other locations remains the property of the university and must be returned when no longer used for university business.

If a situation involving financial risk occurs or seems likely to occur, involve the appropriate office immediately.

Human Resources

Read the Administrative Responsibilities Handbook's section on human resources responsibilities and delegation of authority.

Aministrative officials can delegate certain duties to staff. Even so, administrative officials remain accountable for all activities in their areas of responsibility and should take appropriate precautions to avoid risk.

Responsibilities that cannot be delegated by administrative officials

  • Managing overall department
  • Delineating roles and responding to compliance issues as they arise
  • Fostering the UCSD Principles of Community
  • Promoting a departmental environment that respects legal and ethical requirements and university policies

Responsibilities that can be delegated by administrative officials

  • Maintaining up-to-date job descriptions with proper signatures
  • Implementing University non-discrimination and affirmative action policies and UCSD human resources policies
  • Coordinating efforts to resolve human resource issues and potential problems
  • Establishing and maintaining plans, standards, and expectations for performance management
  • Maintaining and documenting human resource actions
  • Processing the appropriate forms and ensuring that the information is readily available

Note: Whenever human resources duties are delegated to staff, the employee should understand the responsibilities, abide by the policies and procedures governing the assignment, and understand the administrative structure that has jurisdiction in the assigned areas.

Practices that should be in place to avoid risk

  • Complaints, legal actions, and grievances: Immediately contact the appropriate central administrative support department when issues arise.
  • New hires or salary changes: Employment offers for hire or promotion must be reviewed and the salary level pre-approved by Human Resources and department budget personnel.
  • Academic appointments and academic reviews: Administrative officials should adhere to academic personnel policies and procedures.
  • Classification of positions: Only properly delegated individuals (in Human Resources or those delegated by their vice chancellor) can classify positions.
  • Timekeeping: Employees' hours worked and paid (including vacation, sick leave, etc.) must be accurately documented and reported according to policies governing the classification.
  • Policy interpretations: Contact the Employee Relations Division when advice or counsel is needed to apply UCSD policies.
  • Performance appraisals: Provide complete, honest, and timely performance appraisals for all employees on a regular basis.

Information Systems and Data Integrity

Read the Administrative Responsibilities Handbook's section on responsibilities and delegation of authority in the areas of information systems and data integrity.

Administrative officials can delegate certain duties to staff. Even so, administrative officials remain accountable for all activities in their areas of responsibility and should take appropriate precautions to avoid risk.

Responsibilities that cannot be delegated by administrative officials

  • Implementing systems that ensure data integrity, proper segregation of duties, appropriate system access, and accurate and timely recording of transactions
  • Determining approval hierarchies and appointing a departmental security administrator
  • Appointing the departmental data security administrator
  • Determining whether employees are "preparers" or "reviewers"
  • Addressing reported or suspected access and security violations

Responsibilities that can be delegated by administrative officials

  • Establishing departmental access
  • Reviewing core systems transaction preparation
  • Training employees in computer access, security, software, and appropriate use of University information
  • Monitoring of departmental core systems transactions

Practices that should be in place to avoid risk

  • Accurate transaction recording: The recording and posting of financial and personnel transactions must be accurate and timely. Transactions should contain sufficient detail, be stored securely, and be safeguarded against improper alteration, disclosure, or use.
  • Department-developed systems: Internal systems must be designed, documented, and tested to ensure security and data integrity, with controls to ensure that data is synchronized and validated to core systems. Local and wide area networks, including electronic mail and calendaring systems, must be reliable, stable, and secure.
  • Financial reporting and monitoring:
    Ensure data integrity by using Activity Hubs and pulling vetted reports from the Business Analytics Hub. Shadow systems often produce inaccurate reporting and use significant resources to maintain
  • System back-up, recovery, and contingency planning: Departments must follow Office of Records retention schedules and requirements.
  • Training: Employees must be adequately trained to use online systems and process transactions properly.

If a situation involving data integrity risks occurs or seems likely to occur, involve the appropriate office immediately.

Research

Read the Administrative Responsibilities Handbook's section on research responsibilities and delegation of authority.

Administrative officials can delegate certain duties to staff. Even so, administrative officials remain accountable for all activities in their areas of responsibility and should take appropriate precautions to avoid risk.

Responsibilities that cannot be delegated by administrative officials

  • Providing administrative leadership
  • Overseeing research and academic decision-making

Responsibilities that can be delegated by administrative officials

  • Reviewing proposals submitted by faculty to ensure eligiblity and to ensure that funding, space, and time requirements are appropriate and achievable and meet university guidelines and approvals
  • Reviewing space allocation and employee health and safety programs to ensure that chemical hazards, biohazards, and fire and radiation safety programs comply with EH&S policies
  • Ensuring that laboratory spaces are free of contamination and cleared of hazardous materials
  • Approving radiation safety and radioactive drug research applications
  • Training animal care laboratory personnel

Practices that should be in place to avoid risk

  • General research compliance: Conflict of interest, misconduct in research, misuse of resources, and violation of the faculty code of conduct (PDF) require involvement by the vice chancellor – research and/ or the Conflict of Interest Office.
  • Non-compliance with federal regulations and policies: Non-compliance can result in the loss of privilege to conduct research, federal funding, accreditation and/ or licensure.
  • Human subjects: Obtain approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to research or institution of a modification. Failure to do so may compromise university indemnification of the investigator and make the investigator personally liable.
  • Animal subjects: Obtain approval from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Program (IACUC) prior to beginning research or teaching with animals. Obtain approval from the IACUC prior to receiving federal funding which includes animal studies. Administrators should know and follow all federal and university regulations relating to animal welfare.
  • Contract and grant applications: Applications must be accurate, complete, timely, and signed by employees with delegated contracting authority.
  • Gift administration: Gifts must be used for the purpose they were received, classified according to policy, and meet IRS regulations.
  • Financial management: Grants must be effectively managed and accurately reported. Violations of the Federal False Claims Act may be punishable by individual and institutional sanctions including incarceration.
  • Use of hazardous materials: Obtain approval from EH&S before beginning research. Follow regulations when using or transporting radioisotopes, hazardous biological materials, radiation machines, high-power lasers, and hazardous chemicals and toxins.
  • Intellectual property: Anyone using research facilities must sign the university patent acknowledgement (PDF) form. Consulting agreements between academic appointees and outside organizations may not conflict with university duties.

Note: If a situation involving research risks occurs or seems likely to occur, involve the appropriate office immediately.

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