Delegation of Signature Authority
Please note University policy has changed effective April 2007 regarding Delegation of Signature Authority.
Summary of Policy
1. The Director of Extension must delegate authority to the director of each Extension ORG.
2. The Director of each ORG number must agree to abide by University policy and sign the
Delegated Approver letter dated February 2007 from Keith Smith.
3. If a Director of a unit must be away from the office for a period of time, delegation of signature
authority can be delegated to someone else in the office.
1. Delegation from the Director of Extension
Per University policy, the Director of Extension can delegate authority and take authority away for
the signing of Fiscal and Human Resources documents on behalf of OSU Extension.
Examples of fiscal documents: requisition forms, payment requests, travel requests and
reimbursements and invoices.
This does not include signing of contractual agreements with outside entities.
o Examples: grants or contracts, facility use agreements, maintenance agreements.
2. Delegated Approver Letter
In order to be delegated the authority to approve transactions each unit Director must sign the
Delegated Approver Letter and submit to the Business Office. This letter is on page 2 and 3 of this
This form should be updated every time a unit has a change in leadership.
Only Directors are required to sign this form.
If there are multiple directors for an ORG, all directors are required to sign.
A copy of the signed form should be kept on file in the local office.
3. When a Director of a unit will be temporarily unavailable
A director may delegate authority to another individual in his/her office when he/she will be away or
unavailable for a period of time. This can be as short as a day or as long as several months. To do
this the Director must write a letter. A sample letter is on page 4 of this job aid.
The letter should at minimum include:
Person(s) name who is allowed to sign
Dates for the delegation - this should be a limited time frame with start and end dates for the
majority of requests.
o If you have a need for permanent or long term (more than 3 months) delegation, please
contact Cindy Buxton in the Business Office to discuss options.
Documents for which the person may sign. Be specific, can this person sign travel, purchase
orders, payment requests, fund transfers, time sheets, and grant/contract applications? What
documents must wait until the Director returns?
The letter can be created by e-mail or be printed and signed.
The letter should be maintained by the person delegated the authority to sign and a copy should
be attached to every transaction that individual signs on behalf of the Director. This will allow the
Business Office, Regional Office and auditors to quickly identify why an authorized individual is
The individual delegated the authority to sign should read and understand all of the University
and Extension policies and be familiar with the units budget and programming needs. This
information should be provided by the Director based on the Delegation Letter guidelines on
pages 2 and 3 of this job aid.
An individual should never sign her/her own expenditure, approvals not delegated must go to a
level one step higher (ex. Regional Director)
Questions? Please email Cindy at email@example.com
Page 1 of 4
Delegated Approver Letter
Dear Delegated Approver:
The University has recently issued new policies and procedures related to internal controls. Internal controls are defined
At the core of this effort is a formalized system of internal controls. As defined by the
Statement on Auditing Standards No. 1 (Section 320.09):
“Internal control comprises the plan of organization and all of the coordinate methods and
measures adopted within a business to safeguard its assets, check the accuracy and reliability
of its accounting data, promote operational efficiency, and encourage adherence to prescribed
Simply stated, internal controls are the mechanisms that reduce the probability of errors and
inappropriate transactions and formally establish accountability. In an effective financial control
Segregation of duties is maintained with at least two people are involved in every transaction
Every transaction is approved for both compliance and appropriateness by people who know the
rules, who understand the business and who have the authority to say “No”
University resources are protected against loss and unauthorized use or disposition
Financial data is reconciled in a timely manner
Approvers are held accountable for transactions approved.
The University operates in a decentralized operating and internal control environment with the
Dean or Vice President of each college or support unit responsible for the financial operations,
budget, internal controls and monitoring activities of their area. The purpose of this policy is to
define the basic internal control requirements that must be in place within each of these
decentralized areas in order to create an environment of accountability with effective
monitoring and oversight.
In order to approve any transaction, whether financial or personnel, each individual must be specifically delegated
signature authority from Keith Smith, Director of Extension. The new University policy states:
Delegation of Signature Authority: Documentation approved by the Dean or Vice President,
specifying for each area and each transaction type the individuals who are authorized to
Delegation of authority means that each individual will comply with the University’s policies and
procedures. Specifically, each person delegated authority agrees to:
Compliance with Policy: Employees who have been delegated the authority and privilege to
purchase approved goods and services on behalf of the University, approve human resources
activity and or maintain custody over University resources must agree to abide by all policies
set forth by the University including:
Financial Code of Ethics as referenced at http://www.busfin.ohio-
University Expenditure Policies as set forth by Purchasing and Accounts Payable policies and
procedures as referenced at www.ctlr.ohio-state.edu/webhelp/Financial_Policies.htm;
Procurement Card policies and mandatory requirements as referenced at www.osupcard.com;
Travel policies and mandatory requirements as referenced at www.busops.osu.edu/travel.php
Human Resources policies as referenced at http://hr.osu.edu/policy/index.aspx;
Cash handling, petty cash and change fund policies as referenced at http://www.treasurer.ohio-
Equipment Policies as referenced at http://www.ctlr.ohio-
Page 2 of 4
Delegated Approver Letter (continued)
Extension has determined the following delegation of signature authority:
Associate Director of Programs & Chair – All Extension organization (org) numbers.
Associate Director of Operations - All Extension organization numbers.
Business Office – As delegated in a letter dated July 1, 2006.
Human Resources Office – As delegated in a letter dated July 1, 2006.
Assistant Directors – Org numbers associated with the program area.
Regional Directors – The Regional org number and all county org numbers in your region.
Center Directors – Center org numbers and other org numbers under your supervision.
County Directors – The county org number (57xxx).
Please read the University policies related to compliance as noted above. After this has been
completed, please sign and date this letter and fax to the Business Office at 614/688-0529.
Effective April 1, 2007, the Business Office will only process documents with the signature of
delegated signers. All other documents will be returned for authorized signature. In the case
of your absence from the office, written delegation of authority may be made for a specific
period of time. This written delegation must be faxed to the Business Office at the above
I understand the burden that these polices place upon an organization as geographically diverse
as Extension. However, as part of the larger University, Extension agrees with and follows
Keith L. Smith
Associate Vice President, Ag. Admin;
Associate Dean, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences;
Director, Ohio State University Extension;
And Gist Chair in Extension Education and Leadership
I have read and agree to comply with all University polices related to goods and services,
human resource activity and custody of University assets.
Date ORG Number
Page 3 of 4
Sample Letter for a Director to Delegate Signature Authority
Monday, March 26, 2007
To Whom It May Concern:
I authorize Cindy Buxton to approve the following documents in my absence.
o Requisition Forms (up to $1,000)
o Payment Requests
o Travel Requests and Reimbursements
o Time sheets
o Purchasing and Travel Card Transaction Forms
I do not authorize her to approve the following or anything not on the above list.
o Expense transfers
o Fund transfers
o Personnel change forms
o Grant or Contracts applications or Release Time forms
This is effective while I am on vacation from 04/23/07 – 04/27/07.
I have discussed the University’s policies and procedures with her and she is aware of our
unit’s budget and programming needs.
If you have any questions or concerns about this delegation of authority please contact me
via e-mail while I am away at firstname.lastname@example.org or wait until my return on 04/30/07.
Thank you for your consideration.
Signature needed here.
Page 4 of 4