The Transaction Authority project grew out of the periodic review of the University’s bylaws by the Board of Trustees. The Trustees requested that the University review how authority to commit the University to agreements and other obligations with outside parties flows from the Trustees to those who transact business on behalf of the University. In April 2006, the Executive Compliance Committee (ECC) asked a small project team to assess transaction authority at Princeton. The project team gathered information from many people, including Cabinet officers, department chairs, and administrative and academic managers. The Transaction Authority Report (June 2007) accomplished two things: (1) it articulated the existing delegation of authority throughout the University and (2) it proposed recommendations for improvements to University process. A report was made to the Board through its Audit & Compliance Committee, and the recommendations were adopted by the University.
The ECC then asked a Working Group to implement the recommendations of the Report over the 2007-2008 year. The Working Group distilled the Report into a Transaction Authority Policy and developed many additional tools and resources, including training, over the coming months. The policy, sponsored by the Executive Vice President and the Provost, is intended to achieve three purposes: (1) clarify delegation of authority to individuals to commit to transactions with third parties; (2) establish dollar thresholds above which secondary approval is required; and (3) articulate when departments are expected to consult with others within the University prior to binding the institution. The Working Group completed its work in late 2008 and the Policy became effective July 1, 2008.
Members of the Working Group were:
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