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New policy outlines signing authority

A new policy that outlines who has signing authority for various types of contracts and invoices will come into effect on June 1.

The Policy on Approval and Execution of Contracts and Invoices , which the university’s Board of Trustees approved May 8, replaces the current Contract Signing Authority policy, which was last revised in 2009.

“The new policy and procedures support the continued sound stewardship of the university’s resources by providing consistency and clarity around who is responsible for approving and signing contracts and invoices,” says Caroline Davis, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration). “The policy also sets out when certain units, such as Strategic Procurement Services or Campus Planning and Development, must be consulted during the process.”

"The new policy and procedures support the continued sound stewardship of the university’s resources by providing consistency and clarity around who is responsible for approving and signing contracts and invoices.”

- Caroline Davis, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration)

The new policy covers all types of contracts and invoices, including those related to the purchase of goods and services, construction and real estate, as well as research and academic contracts. The new policy also extends in scope to cover invoice signing authority, revenue generating service contracts and employment contracts.

Alan Harrison, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), says that nothing in the policy limits the authority of Senate, or requires changes to Senate policies and procedures.

“The new policy, like the previous one, includes appropriate acknowledgement of who has signing authority over academic and research-related contracts,” says Provost Harrison. “If a contract depends on an academic program approval or other decision that falls within Senate’s jurisdiction, that approval must be granted before the contract is executed, ensuring that Senate’s authority is in no way limited by this new policy.”

Changes in the new policy include increased overall dollar limits, allowing department heads and directors to sign contracts with a value of up to $100,000, and deans up to $500,000. Board of Trustees approval is required for contracts greater than $5 million, including purchases funded by research funds. Approval from Strategic Procurement Services is required for all contracts greater than $100,000. These dollar value limits are not annual limits, they apply to the lifetime of the contract, including potential amendment or extensions.