Signing and approval authority

The framework to support and govern the authority to purchase goods and services, commit UVic funds and enter into contracts is outlined in the Signing Authority Policy (FM5100).  It outlines three specific types of approvals:

  • One-over-one approval
  • Account holder or delegate approval
  • Commitment authority

The allowable approval threshold depends on the commitment or contract type, the position of the approver and the type of goods or services being purchased.

Depending on the source of funding or reason for purchase, other policies may apply and other approvers may be required.

One-over-one approval

The purpose of a one-over-over approval is to provide assurance that due diligence has been exercised and that no one is placed in a position where they can authorize a payment to themselves or to their benefit.  This approval can only be delegated up the organizational chart to a higher authority.  A faculty or staff member’s one-over-one is usually their supervisor, Chair, Dean or higher.  This information is designated according to position number and can be updated or adjusted by contacting the Budget office.

Reimbursement claims, petty cash replenishments, C Card statements, payment requests to family members or relatives and professional development transactions all require approval from a one-over-one approver.

This information can be viewed within the FAST HR Reporting Module by running the “Position to Position Reporting” report available under the Position tab.

Account holder / delegate authority

Each account in FAST is the responsibility of an account holder.  Approvals are required to complete expenditures for UVic funds to outside parties such as vendors and for reimbursements, to move already recorded amounts by Journal Voucher (JV) and for allocation of funds to internal parties such as services performed by other UVic departments or entities.

The ability to approve can be delegated to another employee, although the account holder maintains overall responsibility for the account.  When approving a transaction, the account holder or delegate is attesting to all of the following criteria:

  • The expenditures are required for UVic purposes
  • The expenditures comply with UVic policy and procedures and, where applicable, external funding and / or donor terms and conditions
  • The transaction form is accurate and completely filled out and that the appropriate supporting documentation is provided
  • There are sufficient uncommitted funds available in the account to be charged

Account holder or delegate authority can be temporarily or permanently changed by following the processes outlined on the Purchasing Services webpage.

Commitment authority

Commitment authority differs from approval authority and refers to the authority to legally bind contracts between UVic and external parties.  This authority is outlined by contract type and position as a part of the Signing Authority Policy (FM5100).  Only individuals designated in Schedule A – Commitment Authority Table of this policy have the necessary authority to sign agreements or accept offers from vendors / consultants on behalf of UVic.  For more information on commitment authority, refer to the Purchasing Services website

Approval format

What is an accepted approval?
  • Electronic approval via various university systems (Chrome River, Team Dynamix)
  • An email from the approver, indicating their approval
  • Scanned and emailed image of the physically signed document (digital photo or scanned)
  • Physically signed document with pen on paper
What is not an accepted approval?
  • A copy of the scanned image of a physical signature that is then pasted onto other electronic documents
  • Electronic documents with a name typed using a 'script' font