Procedures for Balances Brought forward, Projects and Business Cases for 2010/11

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Procedures for Balances Brought forward,

Projects and Business Cases for 2010/11



Issued January 20
10

Introduction

This note is intended to clarify procedures for Planning Units on
how they access balances
brought forward from 2006/07, budgeted/forecast in
-
year surpluses and any development funds
identified within the Development Reserve, and provide information on when Business Cases
should be completed as ‘stand alone’ documents, o
r when they should be part of a formal
project, as part of the Bradford Method, the institutions approach to project management,
introduced during 2006.

Planning Units Accumulated surplus balances as at 1st August 2010.

Any brought forward balances as at 1
st August 20
10

will have already been communicated to
you by your management accountants, along with the financial projections to 2010
-
11 and any
variances from that position.

To Note: the guidelines for how accumulates surplus balances should be used are
:

1.

To offset an in
-
year deficit, but this must be part of an overall strategic review of the planning
Unit’s financial position, and this approach should not usually be used more than once.

2.


To carry forward an element into the next year as a contingency t
o cover any future deficits,
unplanned expenditure or to fund new future initiatives.

3.


To fund one off items of expenditure e.g. new equipment, refurbishment, or set up costs for
new projects

4.


To build up a reserve to meet large items of expenditure in the

future such as refurbishment

5.


To plan for spend in 20
10
-
11
, and pump prime new initiatives.

Note: Balances brought forward should not be used to fund recurrent items of expenditure such
as staff unless this is to support a bridging requirement between fun
ding streams or as part of a
pump priming initiative.

Business Cases

Irrespective of how additional expenditure is being funded, business cases are required for all
one off items of expenditure >

£25k (this includes clusters of related items that individually may
2


be below this threshold, e.g refurbishment costs, equipment clusters, etc) and all recurrent
items of expenditure.

Important Considerations


is this a project?

Before completing a busin
ess case pro
-
forma, you must consider whether or not the activity you
are seeking to fund needs to be set up as a Project.

Over the next few years, the University of Bradford will be delivering a real step change in
student support that includes significa
nt investment in our estate, incorporating exciting new
buildings and the development of a state
-
of
-
the art web
-
enabled campus. The institution has
approved an ambitious investment plan with a total cost of around £200 Million. This has
enabled a signifi
cant number of new projects to be initiated in a number of Programme areas,
including Ecoversity, Estates, E
-
strategy, Learning and Research investment.

The organisation’s capabilities to project manage this unprecedented amount of activity was
identifie
d as a potential risk. In response to this, to standardise the way we approach project
management, and achieve a consistency of approach across the institution the University has
introduced ‘The Bradford Method’, which is its guidance for the process by wh
ich all small and
medium sized projects are developed and managed throughout their lifecycle:

Full Details of ‘The Bradford Method’ cam be found in the Project Management Handbook,
which provides a project management standard, based on PRINCE2 ™, and inc
ludes basic
working practices for all stages in a project. The Handbook describes the basic processes,
structures, tasks and controls for Chair/Project Sponsor, Project Managers, Project Teams and
Project Support to use and follow throughout a project life
cycle.

What is a Project?

The most obvious characteristic of a project is that it is a finite process with a definite start and
end, designed to achieve a specific one
-
off purpose. Projects are different from routine activities
which are part of the day to

day ‘business as usual’. Projects are usually about making changes
or achieving a specific objective. When a project has successfully finished it may have an
impact on people’s lives, for example by changing their working patterns or changing the nature
o
f services delivered. Managing change is different (and at times much harder) than managing
the status quo and it is for this reason that project management is essential to ensure that
change is brought about in an effective and controlled way.

See:
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ProjectManagement for access to the
Project Handbook further guidance, core documents and details of other such projects. If you
have any difficulties with this link or further questions in respect of the University’s Proj
ect
Management procedures, please contact the Jacqui Holgate in the Strategic Planning Office.
Tel 236548 or email J.Holgate@bradford.ac.uk

Business Case Approval Route

The approval route for Business Cases is as follows:

3


6.

Business Case Pro
-
forma obtained
from Finance Directorate web site,
http://www.brad.ac.uk/admin/finance/private/forms.htm

7.


The initiator of the activity will need to decide whether or not the business case is stand
alo
ne, or is a project. If it is a project it needs to go through the Project Management
channels outlined above.

8.


Business Case (and Project Mandate if appropriate ) signed by Head of Planning Unit.
Financial information should be completed in conjunction wi
th the Planning Unit
Management Accountant.

9.


Completed business cases of all types submitted to the relevant management Accounting
Contact in the Finance Directorate.

10.

Business case financial analysis confirmed by:



Senior Management Accountant



Director of F
inance



Deputy Vice Chancellor.

11.


Project Mandate and Business Case follows project approval route.

12.


Stand alone business cases reported to Corporate and Financial Strategy Board as part of
the ongoing budgeting for 2006
-
07 and 2007
-
08 onwards.

13.


New Project
s and accompanying approved business cases reported to Corporate &
Financial Strategy Board as part of the ongoing budgeting for 2006
-
07 and 2007
-
08 onwards


Business Cases should be compiled and submitted in the following instances:

As a ‘Stand alone’ b
usiness case for:



A
pproval to use accumulated surplus balances for amounts over £25k.



Approval for the distribution of centrally allocated funding (e.g. Widening
Participation, Project Capital Allocation Learning & Teaching, and Science
Research Investmen
t Fund) unless they are deemed to be projects (or in
exceptional cases development reserve funding.)

As a ‘Linked’ business case for:



Approval of the use of accumulated surplus balances for new project based
planning unit activity.



Approval for new funding to be released from the Development Reserve, to
support new projects at planning unit or corporate level (this should apply when
you are seeking to fully or partially fund activities from University resources, and
there may be othe
r funding bids involved)

Your management accountant should be contacted at the earliest instance and will provide
support and advice for all business case preparation.

4


Linked Business cases should be accompanied by the appropriate project mandate
documen
tation, as outlined in the Project Management Guidance above, and should follow the
approved ‘Gateway’ route for the development of projects.