Investment Decision Making in the University of Leeds
These guidelines relate to all University building and refurbishment projects except minor works projects.
For building and refurbishment projects costing up to £250,000 Estates will complete a Project Detail Sheet. This should include as a minimum: identification of need, outline cost, funding and benefits. The completed Sheet should be signed by the Faculty Dean or Service Director, to evidence their agreement, and approval given by the Director of Estates.
For building and refurbishment projects costing between £250,000 and £1 million, a Short Business Case should be prepared the Faculty / Service Area Finance Manager in conjunction with Estates. The Case should include the detailed academic case (including consideration against the ten key criteria derived from the University Strategy Map, which are shown at Appendix 1), an appraisal of the build options (including NPV) and identification of the impact on the University and School/Service area reserves. The completed Case should be signed by the Faculty Dean or Service Director as project sponsor, to evidence their agreement, prior to going to Capital Group. Capital Group2 approves all projects costing between £250,000 and £1 million, unless they consider that a particular project warrants a full evaluation, whereupon it is treated the same as those over £1 million (see below).
For all building and refurbishment projects costing over £1 million, the University undertakes a six-stage evaluation process to ensure they are financially viable and fit both the Estates strategy and the longer-term academic direction of the University. The six stages, which are detailed below, are as follows:-
Identification of need
Development of the prima facie case
Development of the full business case
Delivery and implementation
The Vice-Chancellor’s Executive Group (“VCEG”) will consider all building and refurbishment projects over £1 million. VCEG can give formal approval for projects up to £3 million but projects over this must be approved by Council. VCEG, in scrutinising requests, are advised through decisions reached by Capital Group. The rationale for including all projects above the threshold, irrespective of funding source, is to cover areas where University funding maybe required, and more importantly, to enable a risk assessment to be carried out as to any potential effect on the University
Accounts. In addition to the University’s guidelines, any additional requirements from HEFCE and/or other funding agencies must be met.
2 Capital Group is chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and reports to VCEG. Membership comprises the Director of Estates, the Finance and Commercial Director, the Treasury Manager, the Estate Planning and Information Manager and the Estate Services Finance Manager. Quarterly the Capital Group meeting is extended to include the Pro_Vice_Chancellors and the Deans of Faculty.