Policy on signing contracts revised
The Board of Governors took action at its June 24 meeting to ensure clear and proper procedures for the signing of contracts on behalf of the U of S and for using the University seal.
The Board approved new policies on both practices in an effort to comply with all legal requirements and have the University show due diligence and ensure that only properly delegated and authorized officials sign contracts or use the seal.
Meeting documents state that, recognizing the need for better practices, the University’s administration consulted across campus and drafted the new policies and procedures.
For signing of contracts, the policy ensures that two authorized people must sign, that the signatories have clearly delegated authority, and that they ensure the contracts meet a number of tests.
Those signing a contract must be satisfied it fits with the University’s goals, administrative and academic plans, is fiscally responsible, that any risk has been addressed, and that intellectual property rights have been protected. Depending on the level of contract, various levels of U of S officials – from Board chair, president and vice-presidents down to directors and buyers in Purchasing Services and Facilities Management Division – can be authorized to sign contracts.
A similar policy was passed for use of the University seal. Until now there have been at least three seals, kept under varying levels of security. The policy states that now there shall be just one seal, kept under tight security by the University secretary. For use of the seal, which makes documents such as degrees, contracts and collective bargaining agreements authentic and legal, a number of University officials can have delegated authority, similar to the contract signing policy.
“It’s important to know that not just anybody can sign contracts or use the seal,” says Laura Kennedy, associate vice-president of financial services. “With these policies we will be practising good stewardship of the University’s resources and due diligence in contracts, avoiding unnecessary risk and liability.”