Delegation of Signing Authority

Research Procedure: Research Grant Delegation of Signing Authority


The purpose of this procedure is to facilitate delegation of limited signing authority by the research account holder to another employee of the University.


This procedure applies to all holders of grant and research funds administered by Trinity Western University.


Research expense requests are signed by the research account holder and submitted to the Research Office for signature before being processed by the Finance Office. If the authorization of research expenses by the research account holder becomes impractical due to research activities such as extended travel, the account holder may delegate limited signing authority for the research expenses to another employee of the University.

Research account holders who wish to delegate signing authority for certain expenses allowed by their funding must ensure that a Delegation of Research Signing Authority Document is completed and accepted by the Research Office. No research expenses will be accepted under a delegate signature until this procedure has been completed.


  1. Delegation is invalid if precluded under University procedure, or donor/sponsor/granting agency terms and conditions (e.g., when delegation of one-over-one approval is not permitted).
  2. Only the research account holder (i.e. research grant PI or sub-award recipient) can authorize delegation.
  3. The research account holder may be able to delegate responsibility; however, the research account holder cannot delegate accountability.
  4. Delegation must be writing.
  5. Authorization to approve transactions can only be delegated to employees with the skill and knowledge necessary for the effective exercise of the authority (i.e. knowledge of the research).
  6. The delegator exercises control sufficient to ensure the discharge of his/her responsibilities.
  7. Effective procedures for the regular review and approval of the actions of the delegate must be in place and adhered to.
  8. The research account holder may not delegate the signing of financial reports.
  9. A delegate may not authorize disbursements for which he/she is the recipient or for which the delegate might be seen to have received some personal benefit.
  10. There are instances when delegation of signing authority is not required. When a research account holder allows a number of individuals to carry out an activity that may result in charges to the research account (e.g., photocopying, purchase from departmental central stores), all that is required is a written authorization by the account holder giving access to the mechanisms that allow these activities (e.g., notification to the University IT department to establish a unique photocopy code for the research account). This written documentation fully establishes the parameters of the delegation of authority and therefore completion of a Delegation of Signing Authority Document is not required.


Ultimate responsibility for the administration of this procedure rests with the Vice Provost of Research and Graduate Studies. Typically, the Vice Provost of Research and Graduate Studies delegates the administration of this responsibility to the Research Grants Officer.

The Vice-Provost, Research and Graduate Studies or his/her delegate ensures that the parameters of delegated authority are documented and understood (see Delegation of Signing Authority Document); maintains files for Delegation of Signing Authority documentation; confirms that the signature for the authorizing of transactions is that of the research account holder or the research account holder’s authorized delegate; and, investigates unusual items and take appropriate action where necessary.

Delegation of Signing Authority Document

Submit with original signatures to Sue Funk in the Office of Research, Suite 101, Fosmark Building.