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UNM Policy Office

MSC05 3357
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Scholes Hall
114 A and B

Phone: (505) 277-6531

Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual - Policy 2000: Responsibility and Accountability for University Information and Transactions

Date Originally Issued: 07-01-2004
Revised: 01-01-2012

Authorized by RPM 3.1 ("Responsibilities of the President")
Process Owner:  University Controller and HSC Senior Executive Officer for Finance and Administration

1. General

University administrative processes, systems, and forms provide electronic and manual mechanisms for business and administrative functions such as finance, student, student financial aid, and human resources. Use of University information and systems is restricted to authorized University business and administrative users. This policy defines the specific responsibilities of individuals who request, initiate, approve, and/or review business and administrative transactions and reports. These individuals are accountable for fulfilling the responsibilities defined in this policy.

2. Deans, Directors, and Department Heads

Deans, directors, and department heads define departmental approval processes and designated individuals in their organizations who are authorized to process business and administrative transactions. Deans, directors, and department heads are responsible for exercising good judgment, upholding ethical standards, and should have internal procedures in place to ensure periodic review of designations and related training.  

2.1. Authorizing and Processing Transactions

Each of these two functions, authorizing transactions and processing transactions, carry distinct responsibilities listed below. If the functions are performed by the same person, that individual is accountable for both sets of responsibilities.

2.1.1. Requesters

The requester is the individual who identifies the need for the transaction and authorizes the request to be processed. The requester is responsible for:

  • determining the validity and appropriateness of the transaction; and
  • evaluating the transaction for compliance with contractual requirements.

This individual will be accountable for fulfilling the above responsibilities, exercising good judgment, and upholding ethical standards.

 2.1.2. Initiators and Originators

Initiators/Originators are individuals who have been authorized by a dean, director, or department head to enter transactions into electronic business or administrative systems and/or prepare paper forms. If the Initiator/Originator is not the requester of the transaction, the Initiator/Originator should make sure he or she has designated authority to initiate a transaction. Departments should develop procedures for documenting requests. Initiators/Originators are also responsible for:

  • ensuring the electronic transaction and/or form is complete and accurate;
  • verifying all backup documentation;
  • notifying approvers and requester if a transaction will cause an account to go over budget;
  • ensuring compliance with administrative processes; and
  • ensuring deadlines are adhered to in submission of the transactions.

Initiators/Originators are accountable for fulfilling the above responsibilities, exercising good judgment, and upholding ethical standards.

2.2. Departmental Approvers

Approvers are individuals designated by deans, directors, or department heads to review and approve electronic transactions and/or forms before they are released for processing. Depending on the type of transaction and the level of risk, there may be more than one individual required to approve a transaction. However, the first-level approver is responsible for:

  • conformity with budget;
  • verifying the appropriateness of the transaction; and
  • ensuring compliance with University policies and procedures.

Subsequent approvers are primarily responsible for acceptance of the added risk associated with high dollar and/or risk transactions. Approvers will be accountable for fulfilling the above responsibilities, exercising good judgment, and upholding ethical standards.

3. Core Office Approvers

Core office approvers are responsible for:

  • verifying proper transaction processing; and
  • verifying compliance with University policies, federal and state laws and regulations, and administrative processes; and
  • periodic review of transactions including trend analysis, internal controls, and review of departmental approval processes.

Approvers are accountable for fulfilling the above responsibilities, exercising good judgment, and upholding ethical standards.

4. University Information

All individuals authorized to process, approve, and/or review transactions and reports are responsible for the proper use of any information they view.  Departments heads or designees are responsible for a monthly review of transactions affecting their business and administrative processes to ensure appropriateness of transactions and conformity with approved processes including budget.

5. Sanctions

Individuals who do not demonstrate due care and good judgment in the administration of their duties may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.