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Sensitive Expenditure Policy

Category Finance
Type Policy
Approved by University Council, 13 October 2015
Date Policy Took Effect 14 October 2015
Last Approved Revision
Sponsor Chief Financial Officer
Responsible Officer Chief Financial Officer
Review Date 14 October 2017


To inform staff of the University's policy relating to sensitive expenditure.

Organisational Scope

This is a University-wide policy, covering all group entities that are wholly owned by the University. It shall apply to all University staff or individuals (including the University’s Council members and students incurring costs on the University’s behalf).

Spending in research projects must comply with this policy and any additional more restrictive requirements contained in the funding contract, accompanying rules or legislation.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the University’s Sensitive expenditure procedures and guidance.


Sensitive expenditure is:
(a) expenditure by the University that provides, has the potential to provide, or has the perceived potential to provide a private benefit to an individual staff member, Council member or student of the University that is additional to the business benefit to the University.

(b) expenditure by the University that could be considered unusual when the University’s purpose and/or functions are considered.

Policy Content

1. Areas covered by this policy

(a) The following areas are considered to be potential areas of sensitive expenditure and are covered by this policy:

i. Travel and accommodation expenditure

ii. Entertainment and hospitality expenditure

  • Meals and alcohol
  • Cafe meetings
  • Recruitment dinners

iii. Goods and services expenditure

  • Sale of surplus assets to staff
  • Loyalty reward scheme benefits
  • Private use of University assets

iv. Staff support and welfare expenditure

  • Clothing and grooming
  • Care of dependants
  • Farewells and retirements
  • Staff recognition, team building, retreats and Christmas functions
  • Miscellaneous staff support and welfare expenditure

v. Other types of expenditure

  • Donations
  • Koha
  • Giving gifts

2. Principles of this policy

(a) University expenditure should be:

  1. subject to the standards of probity and financial prudence that are to be expected of a public entity; and
  2. able to withstand Parliamentary and public scrutiny.

(b) These standards apply the principles that expenditure decisions:

  1. have a justifiable business purpose;
  2. preserve impartiality;
  3. are made with integrity;
  4. are moderate and conservative, having regard to the circumstances;
  5. are made transparently; and
  6. are appropriate in all respects.

(c) These principles are to be applied as a set. None should be applied alone, and none should be treated as more important than another.

3. Compliance with this policy

(a) Transactions are monitored regularly by Financial Services Division for compliance with this policy.

(b) The Vice-Chancellor has the authority to disallow any expenditure considered to be unreasonable.

(c) Breaches of this policy will be reported to the Vice-Chancellor and may result in disciplinary action.

Related Policies, Procedures and Forms

Contact for Further Information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact the Chief Financial Officer on