Research Policy Analysis and Coordination
6-300 Expenditure Advance Based on Firm Commitment
6-310 Delegation of Authority
The President has delegated to Chancellors authority to approve expenditures for projects for which documentation of the award has not been received:
….when (a) the contract or grant is within the solicitation authority previously delegated to you and you have satisfied yourself that a firm commitment exists to reimburse the University for the amount of its own funds advanced,
and (b) there is an essential need to advance or commit funds (which normally means to pay salaries or meet other expenses of a continuing project).
For projects which are beyond the solicitation authority of the Chancellor (e.g., actions requiring Office of the President approval), the President retains the authority to make the "firm commitment." (See Chapter 13 for discussion of the contract and grant solicitation authority of the Chancellor.)
6-320 Firm Commitment Requirement
General Counsel has provided the following guidance in interpreting what constitutes a "firm commitment" which is incorporated in the April 14, 1980 delegation:
While firm commitment has no legal definition, it is obviously something less than a contract. The phrase is applicable to situations where University personnel are advised by representatives of Government agencies that a contract or grant will be forthcoming, and the only delay is a ministerial one of document processing. An agency representative making such a representation must be one who can be relied on for such representation.
6-330 Responsibility for Loss
The University has no provisions to cover losses resulting when an award is denied by the sponsor and the campus has incurred costs in advance of receiving the denial. Campuses have established policies for determining where to charge such losses.