Managing University Contracts – recent Policy update

The Contracts and Agreements Policy sets out key requirements for personnel who plan, negotiate, authorise, and manage agreements made between the University and third parties. The Policy sets out the minimum requirements that all University personnel must observe when contracting with others.

Contracts establish enforceable legal obligations between signatories, so the University’s interests must be protected throughout the contract life cycle. Any potential risks or benefits arising from a contractual arrangement must factor-in the value, longevity, strategic purpose, and the legal and regulatory context.  

Recent revisions to the Policy include new directions on how the University expects all contracts to be managed. Key changes include:

  • Extending the scope of what is considered a significant contract. Before proceeding with an agreement in an identified category, you must seek additional guidance from the specialist area identified in the Policy. This requirement particularly relates to agreements involving:
    • an international party
    • investment or potential liability over $2 million
    • a recognised strategic partner, such as the defence industry or government
    • specified uses of the University’s CRICOS licence
    • supply of critical services, such as electricity or internet
    • commercialisation of IP resulting in an equity arrangement or creation of a controlled entity
    • applying for a unique regulatory permit not already held by the University.
  • Mandatory processes that apply to all significant contracts in addition to usual review procedures, such as:
    • due diligence on the other parties to the contract
    • a written risk assessment
    • legal review
    • the appointment of a contract manager who will manage the contract, ensure all parties comply with their obligations, and monitor risk and deliverables.
  • An additional requirement that all contracts involving foreign parties be subject to a Foreign Engagement Compliance Review to ensure that you and the University are meeting statutory obligations set by the Australian Government to reduce the risk of foreign interference or influence in University activities and to protect Australia’s national interest.
  • Placing additional emphasis on the University’s expectations by reminding personnel that all contracts and agreements must be:
    • made in the best interests of the University
    • managed within approved budgets
    • recorded in accordance with the University’s Information Management Policy as well as registered in an approved contract management database.

The revised Policy was approved by the University Council on 28 March 2022 and is now available on the University’s Policy Directory.

For further information refer to:

Contact if you would like to arrange a contract management training session for your area.

Tagged in contracts, compliance, Legal Compliance Framework, policy