Delegations of Authority

Administrative Functions

Senate is the governing authority of the University and has the functions conferred or imposed on it by or under the University of Sydney Act 1989.

As discussed further in the About the University section on the University website, the functions of Senate are set out in section 16 of the Act and are:

  • to act for and on behalf of the University in the exercise of the University's functions
  • to control and manage the affairs and concerns of the University
  • to act in all matters concerning the University in such manner as appears to the Senate to be best calculated to promote the object and interests of the University.

Senate has the power, under section 17 of the University of Sydney Act, to delegate any or all of its functions in relation to any matter or class of matters, or in relation to any activity or function of the University.

Section 17 of the Act provides:

The Senate may, in relation to any matter or class of matters, or in relation to any activity or function of the University, by resolution, delegate all or any of its functions (except this power to delegate) to:

  • any member or committee of Senate
  • any authority or officer of the University (including any advisory council)
  • any other person or body prescribed by the by-laws.

Specific activity, financial and human resource delegations of Senate are set out in University of Sydney (Delegations of Authority - Administrative Functions) Rule 2010 (the Delegations of Authority).

The OGC receives frequent inquiries about the operation of the Delegations of Authority. Section 2 of the Delegations of Authority sets out general principles which apply to a delegate's level and scope of authority under any delegation of authority. Section 2 is therefore the starting point for understanding the operation of the Delegations of Authority. Importantly, Section 2 of the Delegations of Authority specifies:

  • Where authority is delegated in the Delegations of Authority to approve transactions, that authority extends to the execution of all documents necessary to give effect to those transactions.
  • A delegate of the Senate is not permitted to sub-delegate any or all of the delegate's delegated functions to another person or group of persons.
  • In the performance of a delegated function authorised in the Delegations of Authority, a delegate can seek assistance from a third party provided that the Senate delegate retains and exercises a substantial degree of control over the exercise of the function entrusted to the delegate and the delegate's own mind is directed to the exercise of the delegated function.
  • A delegation of authority applies to the occupant of the position described in the Delegations of Authority, and may be exercised by a staff member formally appointed on an acting or temporary basis to that position.