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					University College Cork
Office of Corporate and Legal Affairs Strategic Plan 2009 - 2012

Contents
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. Background Context Functions of the Office of Corporate and Legal Affairs Values Our Stakeholders Our Mission Capability – Environmental Analysis Our Vision Key Strategic Assumptions Strategic objectives Link to University Objectives Risks to Implementation Targets and Operational Plan Office Structure Staff / Skills Style Review 2 2 4 6 6 6 7 7 8 8 11 11 12 18 19 19 19

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1. Background
The Office of Corporate and Legal Affairs [“OCLA”] has undergone significant change in recent years. The Office was under the direction of the Secretary & Bursar up to 2005 and was part of a wider function which included the Finance Office and Buildings and Estates. From 2005-2007 the Office was under the direction of the Secretary/Chief Legal Officer followed by an interim period under the Administrative Secretary. Since May 2008 the current title and functions have been operative and a number of student and campus services, formerly under the direction of the Office, have been transferred to newly established areas. This was a very specific policy decision which has given the OCLA very clear and focussed responsibilities within the University Structure and defined responsibilities to the Corporate Secretary as part of the University Management Team.

2. Context
This Plan has been developed as part of the University-wide planning process. It is intended to assist the early development of a Strategic Plan for the University from the Strategic Framework in place since 2006. This planning process has identified five Strategic Goals for the University for 2008-2012:

    

Improve the Student Experience Improve the Staff Experience Increase Research Output Strengthen External Engagement Strengthen the Resource Base

The Office of Corporate and Legal Affairs [OCLA] has considered its role with respect to these objectives and the functions it is charged with by the University in relation to Governing Body, Secretarial Matters, Legal Affairs, Compliance, Risk Management and Insurances. The objectives outlined for the Office for 2008-2012 are what the OCLA considers central to fulfilling the remit of the Office and responding to the five objectives set by the University for that period.

2.1 External Environment
Universities function in an ever-more complex and onerous environment in which the Objects of the University, as set down in the Universities Act, 1997, have been augmented by the requirements of Government policy and initiatives, developments in governance and management including the HEA Code of Governance of Irish Universities, an increasing raft of legislation which applies to universities, and the expectations of universities which flow from their position as publicly-funded bodies. Some of the challenges which follow from this changed environment include: Governance

    
Strategy

Greater Accountability Openness and Transparency in the conduct of business Increased Governance Standards Increased emphasis on Risk Management and Internal Control Governance challenges arising from size and complexity and changed structures

    

Strategic Direction and Planning Implementation, Monitoring and Review Modernisation of Structures to align with Strategy The clear alignment of strategy to Government Policy Competitive Positioning of the University in both the medium and long term
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Academic Independence


Finance

Autonomy

       
Core Business

Funding- reliance on government The impact of targeted / strategic funding Sources of independent funding Financial Sustainability Value for Money Procurement Borrowing requirements and the Framework controlling borrowing Remuneration and salary scales

    
Research

Students – Numbers / Quality / Sources / Equality of Opportunity – Access Fourth Level – national policy on Fourth-Level and the expected increases in postgraduate numbers and PhD graduates Non-Traditional Students The Student Experience Teaching and Learning – Quality / Assessment / Facilities / Technology

  
Compliance

An increasingly competitive environment for research funding More extensive and intensive collaborations with other universities in Ireland and abroad and with commercial parties Greater emphasis on Intellectual Property and its Commercialisation

   

Audit and Internal Control Compliance with a multitude of statutory requirements such as Freedom of Information Act, Ethics in Public Office Act, Data Protection Act, Protection of Employment (Fixed Term Employees) Act, Official Languages Act etc. Pending legislation such as the Charities Bill and extension of the Ombudsman Legislation to universities Employment and Equality legislation

Legal Environment


Competition

An increasingly litigious environment and recourse to external bodies and the Courts for resolution of disputes

    

Globalisation International Student Recruitment The need for differentiation from competitors both national and international University League Tables Recruitment and Retention of the best staff
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Accountability



More sustained scrutiny and interest from media, funding agencies, Government and other stakeholders.

Many of the foregoing challenges inform the University‟s Strategic Plan and the internal context in which the planning process is taking place.

2.2 Internal Environment
The Internal Environment is influenced strongly by the external factors outlined above and also includes:

           

The impact of funding policy decisions of Government on the ability of the University to fulfill its remit Revised governance structures at Governing Body and University Management Team level The process of restructuring the University into Colleges and Schools and the impact of that restructuring in terms of governance, accountability arising from such delegated authority, policy, controls, statutes, rules etc. The revision of University Statutes and Regulations to reflect changed structures and a changed environment The need to enhance the Student Experience in terms of Teaching and Learning, Student Services, accessibility of the campus, opening hours and campus life at weekends The development of a shared vision and changes necessary to the culture of the organization to encourage high performance and commitment Focus on internal resolution of disputes when they arise The effectiveness of internal and external communications including website communication Shared strategy across Colleges and Research Institutes The Governance of Research Institutes The physical space necessary to fulfill the University‟s ambitions Increasing funding from non-exchequer sources

3. Functions of the Office of Corporate and Legal Affairs
The Office of Corporate and Legal Affairs is responsible for the management of the University's Corporate, Legal, Secretarial, Insurance and Risk Management functions. Part of the remit of the Office is to support and enhance the academic endeavor by upholding the highest standards of risk management, probity and accountability, by complying proactively with statutory and regulatory requirements and by ensuring effective, transparent and accountable governance in line with best practice. Every aspect of Governing Body administration is carried out by the Office. The Corporate Secretary, as Head of the Office, is also the Secretary of the Governing Body and the Office of Corporate and Legal Affairs provides administrative support to Governing Body Committees. In recent years as the consciousness of legal action and consequent activity grows, the scope of legal advice and work involved in the defence of legal actions has expanded. The Office of Corporate and Legal Affairs provides, either directly or through the assistance of a number of legal firms, detailed legal advice to Departments and Offices within the University, in areas of legislation and regulatory compliance, property and related matters, procurement and EU procurement directives, litigation and dispute resolution, commercial and company law, tax law, intellectual property and general issues. Responsibility for compliance with legislation and the regulatory framework by the University rests with the Office of
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Corporate and Legal Affairs. legislation.

This includes Freedom of Information , Data Protection and Copyright

The statutes and regulations of the University are drafted, processed and promulgated by the Office. The University‟s Strategic Framework, as one of its aims under Governance and Management, sets as an objective: “ [to] support and enhance the academic endeavour by upholding the highest standards of financial, resource and risk management, probity and accountability, by complying proactively with statutory and regulatory requirements, and by ensuring effective, transparent and accountable governance in line with best practice”. The Office of Corporate and Legal Affairs is key to realising this objective. In summary, the Office of Corporate and Legal Affairs is a central administrative function of the University dealing with:

     

Corporate Governance – Governing Body, GB Committees, - coherence in governance across the institution Secretarial Matters – including Governing Body Administration and University subsidiary companies, legislation, statutes, regulations, rules Management of the University’s Legal Affairs – advice, contracts, property, litigation, employment [in conjunction with Human Resources] Management of Compliance - with a broad spectrum of legislation such as Freedom of Information, Data protection, Copyright, Ethics in Public Office Acts, Official Languages Act etc. Risk Management – Establishment and embedding of risk management across the University. University Insurance matters – management of procurement, cover, claims, advice, litigation etc.

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4. Values of the OCLA

In the Office of Corporate and Legal Affairs we value:

 

professionalism as demonstrated through communication, people focus, diligence, helpfulness, exactness, thoroughness, commitment and knowledge; integrity as demonstrated through independence and confidentiality.

5. Our Stakeholders
We consider our Stakeholders to be the following: a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. Chairperson & Governing Body President & University Management Team Committees and Committee Chairpersons Heads Of College / Schools / Departments Students Staff External providers of professional services Public

6. Our Mission
We provide advice, support and service to the University Governing Body, the President, Senior Management and the University Community with professionalism and integrity on legal issues, governance and secretarial matters, compliance, risk management and insurance.

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7. Capability – Environmental Analysis - Strengths, Challenges, Opportunities and Threats
Strengths  Dedicated and hardworking staff;  Organisational skill;  Knowledge of University Statutes and Legislation;  Strong “can-do” attitude;  Reliability;  Teamwork under pressure;  Good relationship with other University Offices/functions;  Administration of meetings;  Links with similar functions in the other six universities. Challenges  Office structure;  Need for clearer individual role definition;  Internal legal skills;  To establish a staff development programme;  To develop a procedures handbook;  Risk management skills and expertise;  Developing career prospects;  To establish balance, fun and flow at work;  Work pressure – not enough time. Opportunities  New structure will enhance the Office;  New president invites greater involvement;  Support required by new Colleges;  The development of Alternative Dispute Resolution and its potential impact on employee relations;  Collaboration with similar functions in other Universities;  Emphasis on compliance and governance externally. Threats  Increasing volume of work impacting efficiency;  Likely cuts in funding and resources;  Possible staffing embargo;  Sudden departure of a staff member;  Lack of a coherent strategy - Office/University – cross purposes;  Four colleges – if lacking in coherent governance.

8. Our Vision
     
An effective contribution being made by the Office to the University‟s Mission and Strategic Plan; An efficient and effective Governing Body and Governing Body Committees; Clear and robust systems of governance in the University; Reduced levels of legal action and fair and effective systems of internal dispute resolution; Greater internal expertise on legal matters and alternative dispute resolution; More effective compliance with legislation and reduced impact on staff ;
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  

Risk Management embedded across the University; Coherence between the University‟s Strategy, Risk Management and Internal Controls; An effective, efficient and pleasant Office which provides a challenging and supportive place to work.

9. Key Strategic Assumptions
      
Continuing strong emphasis on governance, accountability and transparency nationally and internationally; Increasing emphasis from regulatory and statutory bodies on risk management and internal control; Focus on University autonomy and the importance of robust systems of governance in protecting such autonomy; Continuing development of legislative framework and consequent increasing levels of compliance requirements; Ever-increasing levels of sophistication of dispute resolution; The need for clarity and simplicity in the rules by which the University is governed; Continuity in staffing levels and support.

10.

Strategic Objectives of the OCLA
Legal Affairs Compliance Risk / Insurance Establish and embed risk management at all levels of the Institution and continue to provide high quality advice and support on insurance issues Resource Risk Management and establish the function Cross Function Ensure that the structure and functioning of the Office is fit for purpose in support of the implementation of this Plan and the University’s Strategic Plan Enhance the knowledge base and skills of staff of the Office

Governance & Secretarial To ensure bestpractice governance across the University and provide highquality Secretarial support to Governing Body and GB committees Ensure coherence of Governance across the University, GB, UMT, AC, Colleges

Provide accurate, independent legal advice and reduce the exposure of the University to legal action and external dispute resolution

Ensure compliance with existing and emerging areas of legislation thereby reducing risk and enhancing the University’s reputation Continue to comply with FOI and DP requests on time and within the legislation

Resource Legal Affairs with a solicitor for technology transfer, legal agreements, leases, licenses, staff briefings and student discipline. Provide accurate and timely legal advice to University Officers and Heads of College

Ensure clear separation of Governance & Management

Provide best practice guidance to management and staff of the University on compliance with the Universities legislation and other relevant legislation Ensure compliance
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Deliver good claims management to minimise cost and provide insurance advice in an efficient and accurate manner

Enhance communication within the University through improved website

Consolidate

Provide an efficient

Finalise and monitor

Restructure the

Governance & Secretarial To ensure bestpractice governance across the University and provide highquality Secretarial support to Governing Body and GB committees University Statutes

Legal Affairs

Compliance

Risk / Insurance Establish and embed risk management at all levels of the Institution and continue to provide high quality advice and support on insurance issues the University‟s Fundamental Risk Register

Cross Function Ensure that the structure and functioning of the Office is fit for purpose in support of the implementation of this Plan and the University’s Strategic Plan Office and clarify roles, responsibilities and reporting relationships.

Provide accurate, independent legal advice and reduce the exposure of the University to legal action and external dispute resolution

Ensure compliance with existing and emerging areas of legislation thereby reducing risk and enhancing the University’s reputation in a practical manner with Ethics Acts, FOI Acts, DP Acts, Copyright Acts, Official Languages Act Prepare for and ensure compliance of the University with the Charities legislation

contract management service to the University Community

Complete the implementation of the HEA Code Of Governance

Enhance the research activities of the University through support on contract neg. and administration

Embed risk management across University Colleges, Schools and Departments

Enact clear and explicit Signing Authority for Central Administration and Four Colleges

Source the most independent, accurate and up-todate legal advice for the University at the most economically advantageous rates Put in place policies with regard to legal action and legal costs and defined levels of service from legal firms

Support the Colleges with clear advice on governance matters

Develop systems which ensure compliance in a practical manner without greatly increasing the admin burden on staff Enhance liaison with external agencies such as the Data Protection Commissioners Office thus expanding the sources of advice and support available to office staff

Ensure close monitoring of risk at all levels of University operation

Hold individual informal development reviews on 6monthly basis looking at role, goals, development Enhance teamwork in the OCLA

Provide advice, guidance and expertise to senior management on Risk Management

Collaborate with the other Universities and stay current on legislative issues.

Advise on and assist with the improvement of University management structures to ensure good governance

Enhance the skills of University staff in management positions through the provision of briefing materials and training sessions on legal

Prepare and brief staff on the implications of the extension of the Ombudsman legislation to Universities

Link the Risk Register of the University to the Work Schedule of the Internal Audit function

Devise proactive approach to advising and supporting the Four Colleges on the areas of responsibility of the

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Governance & Secretarial To ensure bestpractice governance across the University and provide highquality Secretarial support to Governing Body and GB committees

Legal Affairs

Compliance

Risk / Insurance Establish and embed risk management at all levels of the Institution and continue to provide high quality advice and support on insurance issues

Cross Function Ensure that the structure and functioning of the Office is fit for purpose in support of the implementation of this Plan and the University’s Strategic Plan OCLA

Provide accurate, independent legal advice and reduce the exposure of the University to legal action and external dispute resolution

Ensure compliance with existing and emerging areas of legislation thereby reducing risk and enhancing the University’s reputation

and contractual matters Lead, or contribute to, the review of key University policies and procedures To provide advice and support to the Student Discipline Committee and Student Ombudsman thus ensuring appropriate and relevant procedures for dealing with student difficulties Establish a system of Alternative Dispute Resolution in the University to minimise external adjudication Monitor emerging legislation and prepare for its implementation where necessary Monitor uninsured risks and put cover in place where possible/economic

Ensure that the restructured Office provides the most cost effective service to the University

Review wholly owned and campus companies and develop policy on same

Support the implementation of UCC Scheme under the Official languages Act

Enhance the efficiency of Governing Body and GB Committees in line with Governing Body Effectiveness Review Enhance Communication with staff from GB, GB Committees and other University Committees such as UMT

Strengthen external links with the HEA and IUA and with external providers of

Develop a proactive approach to legal affairs through advice and briefing to University management to preempt legal difficulties Contribute as appropriate to the development of supporting documentation in the research area such as submissions, memoranda of understanding etc. Establish policy on initiation and management of legal action and the
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Continue to work with Buildings and Estates and the Health and Safety Office to follow through on the outcome of insurance claims Establish and support the Risk Management Committee of UMT

Document Office Policies and Procedures

Implement significant saving in pay budget through revised structure and non-pay budget through reduced legal costs Ensure all staff are trained in the use of the new FMS System and agree sign off authority on invoices

Review specific areas of insurance cover to ensure adequacy

Governance & Secretarial To ensure bestpractice governance across the University and provide highquality Secretarial support to Governing Body and GB committees professional services Review the size and composition of the Governing Body prior to the end of the term of office of the current GB Develop Governance Guidelines for the University which set out clearly the structures of the institution and the relevant authorities and accountabilities

Legal Affairs

Compliance

Risk / Insurance Establish and embed risk management at all levels of the Institution and continue to provide high quality advice and support on insurance issues

Cross Function Ensure that the structure and functioning of the Office is fit for purpose in support of the implementation of this Plan and the University’s Strategic Plan

Provide accurate, independent legal advice and reduce the exposure of the University to legal action and external dispute resolution

Ensure compliance with existing and emerging areas of legislation thereby reducing risk and enhancing the University’s reputation

distribution of legal costs within the University

11.

Link Office to University Objectives

The Objectives for the Office of Corporate and Legal Affairs are linked to the Five Objectives for the University [where relevant] through the colour-coding below: Improve the Student Experience Improve the Staff Experience Increase Research Output Strengthen External Engagement Strengthen the Resource Base

12. Risks to the Implementation of OCLA Strategy
      
Funding cutbacks curtailing staffing; Failure to complete University restructuring leading to lack of clarity and incoherence in structure, authority and accountability; Inadequate resources and/or support in embedding risk management across the University; Failure to complete the consolidation of Statutes and Regulations or agree new Principal Statute; Lack of resources or unwillingness to establish or work a system of Alternative Dispute Resolution; An insufficient level of teamwork in the University management Team to tackle cross-functional University issues; Lack of „buy-in‟ by senior managers into new areas of compliance.
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13. Targets - Operational Plan
Strategic Initiatives for Q4 2008 to Q3-2009 Governance and Secretarial Enact clear and explicit Signing Authority for Central Administration and Four Colleges Timeframe Q4 08 KPI Signing Authority document approved by UMT and Governing Body Terms of reference agreed by President, TMT and UMT Governing Body approval of Code Union, UMT and Governing Body approval UMT and GB Approval Improved feedback on next GB effectiveness review Working Group running and agreed project timescales and deliverables Clear policy and guidelines on related companies in line with HEFCE guidelines Improved website structure and material – more proactive communication Revised policy to UMT and GB Improved content and Owner[s] MF in conjunction with Bursar and Finance Officer

Q3 09

Ensure clear terms of reference for the University Management Team and President‟s Top Level Management Team

Q4 08

MF and MW

Finalise Code of Practice for Governors

Q4 08

MF and GB Working Group MF and HR

Finalise Code of Practice for Employees under the HEA Code Develop Governance Guidelines for the University Enhance the efficiency of Governing Body and GB Committees in line with Effectiveness Review

Q4 08

Q1 09 Q1 09

MF, BH, BT MF,BH, BT

Commence the project to consolidate University statutes and regulations

Q4 08

MF and BH

Review wholly owned and campus companies and develop policy on same

Q2 09

MF, BH, HOK in conjunction with Finance Office

Enhance Communication with staff from GB, GB Committees

Q4 08

MF, BH,BT and Staff of the OCLA

Advise on the review of the Duty of Respect and Right to Dignity Policy Improve the presentation and quality of information and the timeliness of delivery of
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Q4 08

Q1 09

MF to support the work of committee MF, BH and BT

papers to Governing Body

Work with Bursar and Finance Officer to respond to Governing Body concerns regarding the adequacy of Governing Body consideration of the University budget and Annual Accounts

Q2 09

Improve communication with Governing Body members between meetings

Q4 08

Draft and finalise Governance Guidelines for the University

Q2 09

Finalise Governing Body Policy on Reserved Business and policy on access to professional and legal advice Review Governing Body Policy on access to files

Q1 09

Q2 09

Finalise policy on the role of Secretary to the Governing Body

Q4 08

layout of papers and greater liaison with other University Offices to ensure on-time delivery of reports Improved information and briefing for Governors on the Budget and Accounts and greater time for consideration of same Information on the GB Website in area restricted to Governors – more frequest e-mail on University news/events A clear document outlining the governance and management of the University and the relevant authorities and accountabilities Policies approved by Governing Body Revised policy approved by Governing Body Policy approved by Governing Body

MF with Bursar and Finance Officer

BH and BT

MF

MF and BH

MF and BH

MF

Legal Affairs Resource Legal Affairs with a solicitor for technology transfer, legal agreements, leases, licenses, staff briefings and student discipline.

Q4 08

Solicitor appointed and in place

MF

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Provide accurate and timely legal advice to University Officers and Heads Of College Enhance the research activities of the University through support on contract negotiation and administration

Q4 08

Q4 08

Source the most independent, accurate and upto-date legal advice for the University at the most economically advantageous rates by putting the University‟s legal services out to tender. Put in place policies with regard to legal action and legal costs and defined levels of service from legal firms As part of the Policy on legal action put in place guidelines for reporting to Governing Body on legal action Provide advice and support to the Student Discipline Committee and Student Ombudsman thus ensuring appropriate and relevant procedures for dealing with student difficulties

Q2 09

Procedures agreed with staff of OCLA Solicitor in place and providing advice and support Procurement Exercise for legal services

MF, BH, HOK and OCLA Staff HOK and SH

MF, SH, HOK and relevant University Officers MF, BH and HOK MF, BH, BT

Q4 08

Q4 08

Q4 08

Establish regular [at least 3 annually] case reviews with University Legal firms, Insurance Brokers, University Officers

Q4 08

Policies approved by UMT and GB Policies approved by UMT and GB Support roles of OCLA staff for SDC and Student Ombudsman agreed Reviews established and functional

BH , AM and SH

MF , HOK and SH

Compliance Continue to comply with FOI and DP requests on time and within the legislation Provide best practice guidance to management and staff of the University on compliance with the Universities legislation and other relevant legislation Prepare for and ensure compliance of the University with the Charities legislation

Cont.

Cont.

Responses within timeframes Provision of accurate advice University‟s preparatory work for approval under new Charities regime completed and submitted Briefing to Senior Management and University staff on the Ombudsman legislation Greater assurance on compliance and more

COS

MF and BH

Q1 09

HOK

Prepare and brief staff on the implications of the extension of the Ombudsman legislation to Universities

Q1 09

COS

Review compliance procedures to ensure completeness and to minimise burden on staff across the University

Q4 09

COS and MF

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streamlined processes for management of compliance matters

Risk / Insurance Resource Risk Management and establish the function staffed with Risk Officer Deliver good claims management to minimise cost and provide insurance advice in an efficient and accurate manner Finalise and monitor the University‟s Fundamental Risk register

Q1 09 Cont.

Appoint Risk Officer Efficient claims management Risk Register finalised with actions and review periods specified Appropriate and up-to-date advice on Risk Management New cover where necessary and available Completion of works arising from risk assessment of insurance claims Risk Management Committee established and operating Review completed and any necessary adjustments to cover implemented

MF RH and AM

Q4 08

MF

Provide advice and guidance and expertise to senior management on Risk Management

Cont.

MF and Risk Officer

Monitor uninsured risks and put cover in place where possible/economic

Cont.

MF and RH

Continue to work with Buildings and Estates and the Health and Safety Office to follow through on the outcome of insurance claims

Cont.

RH, AM and B&E

Establish the Risk Management Committee of UMT

Q4 08

MF

Conduct review of contents insurance under the University‟s PD/BI insurance cover

Q4 08

RH and MF

Cross Function Enhance the knowledge base and skills of staff of the Office Re-design OCLA website for usability

Q1 09

Q4 08

Restructure the office and clarify roles responsibilities and reporting relationships.

Q4 08

Development needs assessment New more intuitive and functional website Re-allocation of responsibilities and clarity of

BH and OCLA staff BH and Staff of OCLA

MF

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Hold Individual informal development reviews on 6-monthly basis looking at role, goals and development

Q2 09

Ensure all staff are trained in the use of the new FMS System As part of the implementation of new FMS System agree sign off authority on invoices Devise proactive approach to advising and supporting the Four Colleges

Q4 09 Q4 08

Q1 09

Conduct full review of this document and its implementation and set objectives for 2011 2012

2010

roles within the OCLA on same 6-monthly reviews with staff of OCLA to assess progress and set objectives Training completed Signing authority agreed Colleges clear on the support available to them from the OCLA Revised Plan for final two years of planning cycle

MF

BH MF and Staff of the Office MF, BH and Staff of OCLA

OCLA Staff

Strategic Initiatives for Q4 2009 - 2012 Governance and Secretarial Ensure Coherence of Governance across the University, GB, UMT, AC, Colleges

Timeframe 2010

KPI Clarity on the role and function of each University body in the governance structure Principal Statute, Transition Statute Pension Statute and Regulations agreed by IUG, AC and GB All aspects of the Code implemented All issues arising from Audit completed Audit conducted Review completed

Owner[s] MF in conjunction with University Officers such as Senior VP Academic and Heads of College MF, BH and Statute Consolidation Working Group

Consolidate University Statutes

Q4 09

Implement the HEA Code of Governance

Q4 09

MF, BH, BT

Finalise outstanding items arising from Governance Audit in 2007

2010

MF, BH, BT

Conduct further audit of University Governance Review the size and structure of the Governing Body in advance of GB elections for 2012

2011 2011

MF, BH, BT Chair of GB, MF and GB

Legal Affairs
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Enhance the skills of University staff in management positions through the provision of briefing materials and training sessions on legal and contractual matters Establish a system of ADR in the University to minimise external adjudication.

Q4 09

Web materials and briefing sessions System if Internal agreed

HOK

Q4 09

MF, BH with HR

Compliance Develop systems which ensure compliance in a practical manner without greatly increasing the admin burden on staff

Cont

Monitor emerging legislation and brief Senior Management on the implications for the University

Cont.

Compliance procedures which minimise impact on workload System for monitoring Bills going before the Oireachtas and relevant Ministerial Orders

COS

COS and HOK

Risk / Insurance Link the Risk Register of the University to the Work Schedule of the Internal Audit function

Q4 09

Embed risk management across University Colleges, Schools and Departments

2010

Ensure close monitoring of risk at all levels of University operation

2010

In conjunction with the Risk management Committee establish University Risk Strategy

Q4 09

In conjunction with the Risk management Committee establish University Risk Policy

Q4 09

Work schedule of Internal Audit linked to Risk Register Risk Management part of management processes and thinking Risk Management part of management processes and thinking Risk Strategy finalised and agreed Risk Policy finalised and agreed

MF, Risk Officer and Internal Audit

RO

RO

MF

MF

Cross Function Enhance teamwork In the OCLA
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Cont

Clear lines of

Staff of OCLA

Collaborate with the other Universities and stay current on legislative issues.

Cont

Document Office Policies and Procedures

Q4 09

responsibility but flexibility of staff in providing overall service to the University Monitoring of Bills presented to Oireachtas and likely impact on the University All main policies and procedures in OCLA documented

MF

OCLA Staff

14. Office Structure

Office of Corporate and Legal Affairs

Secretariat

Legal Affairs

Compliance

Risk Mgt./ Insurance

The structure of the Office will be revised based on the following changes which have been or are due to be implemented and which are required for the implementation of this Plan: 1. Appointment of Corporate Secretary 2. Non-filling of the post of Administrative Secretary 3. Restructuring – in particular the re-location of student services which formerly reported to the Administrative Secretary to the Vice-President for the Student Experience 4. Re-location of Audio-Visual Services in line with University restructuring 5. Delegation of responsibility for certain secretarial and compliance functions within the Office 6. The responsibility of the Office under the revised structure for Legal Affairs and Risk Management 7. The staffing and skills necessary to implement this Plan for the Office 8. The necessity to ensure value for money in the use of University resources.
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15. Staff / Skills
Additional skills in the areas of Legal Affairs and Risk Management will be required in the Office. Staff Training The enhancement of the skills of current staff members, particularly in light of increased responsibility, will be a key objective during the life of this Plan. Particular roles such as Head of Secretariat and Information Compliance Officer will generate specific training and development requirements, as will the enhanced roles of administrative support staff in the Office in areas such as minute taking etc. Review It is proposed that six-monthly reviews will be conducted with each staff member to discuss progress, highlight training and development requirements, review and set objectives etc. This will be additional to and will facilitate the University Performance Management System currently in place.

16. Style
In implementing this Plan and in providing service and support to our Stakeholders the staff of the Office undertake to conduct business on the following basis:

     

With respect for every individual - colleagues, governors, staff members, students or members of the public with whom we come in contact; In a timely, business-like but friendly manner; In a co-operative and supportive tone; With independence, honesty, fairness and integrity; With thoroughness and attention to detail; Confidentially where necessary.

We recognise that the responsibility for working well together is a shared one. Our response to colleagues in other University Offices and functions will have a bearing on the kind of place UCC is to work in. Our undertaking is that our dealings with all such other colleagues will be on the basis outlined above and will, in that way, enhance UCC as a place to work.

17. Review
This Plan will be subject to review every six months during the period of the Plan. Review with individual staff members will take place at similar intervals.

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