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last updated: 1st August 2011

Control of procurement expenditure is part of the institution's budgetary control process. Within most institutions there will be some level of devolved procurement activity down to departmental level. In consultation with the Head or Procurement, the Head or Department/Services may delegate authority to place orders to Nominated Buyers within his/her department. Where authority has been delegated, accountability and responsibility should be explicitly defined and not informally understood.  Delegation of authority does not absolve the Head of Department of ultimate responsibility and accountability for the proper execution of the procurement process within his/her area.  Neither does it absolve the Head of Procurement of his/her responsibilities.

The Head of Department, normally in consultation with the Head of Procurement, should nominate two or three specific individuals in their area to carry out the purchasing function.  An Authorised Signatories List should be produced with clearly stated expenditure limits.  The entire department's purchasing activity should then be channelled through these authorised individuals.

The central Procurement Office will help with the on-going training of Nominated Buyers and should develop a close working relationship with them.  The Nominated Buyers are, in essence, an extension of the central procurement function and possess specialist knowledge of the goods and services used within their departments.
 

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