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Decentralized Budget Model-Revision

Responsible Department
Budget Office
Effective Date
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    To define the UNG Budget Model and those responsible for its oversight and administration.

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    1. In the decentralized model, UNG will assign budget management at the lowest level practical, providing greater autonomy and accountability throughout the enterprise, with particular emphasis on the academic missions of the University. Budget managers are typically at a Director, Dean or Program Coordinator level. Budget managers will be held accountable for their budget vs actuals via performance management. Senior Leadership will ensure an acceptable level of internal control for the organization as well as guarantee that the global institutional and university system strategic directions are met. This model will remain consistent with the University System of Georgia budget guidelines and all system policies.

    2. The University will establish a conservative discretionary contingency each fiscal year.

    3. After the original budget allocation, Deans, Department Heads, and other Budget Managers will have budget management authority with the functional Vice President’s oversight.

    4. Due to continuous fluctuations in employee benefit elections and associated costs, the fringe benefit lines are not the responsibility of Budget Managers except for those accounts that true directly to revenue. Benefits are a variable line item and in some cases may be estimated at the time of the original budget. These benefits include the employer portion of Fica, Fica-Med, Retirement, Health and Life. The budgeted benefit amounts are significantly impacted by Open Enrollment changes, new hire elections and other election adjustments resulting from family status changes.

    5. Departments adding positions funded with one time salary savings will need to also fund related benefits, travel, supplies and equipment for this position. The Budget Amendment form will always display the current benefit % to be used.

    6. The respective Vice President should discuss funding with the Senior Vice President of Business and Finance and then seek final approval from the President for any of the following items:
      1. Equity adjustments outside the original budget
      2. Items requiring funding from the central resource pool
      3. Any new permanent positions added after the original budget

    7. Non Personal Services: Depending on resources available, department budgets may be increased annually to reflect inflationary increases and growth in programs.

    8. Both personal and non-personal funds allocated to each Vice President for all assigned units are under the purview and allocation of the Vice President. The Vice President will not need to seek permission to reallocate what has already been appropriated to each general area (academic affairs, student affairs, etc.). For example, the Provost can add additional one-year temporary faculty or staff lines based on reallocation of salary savings without having to seek permission. Appropriate budget amendment documentation including detailed explanations, will still be required.

    9. 100 percent of the part time instructional needs, as requested by the Provost and approved by the Sr. Vice President for Business & Finance, are budgeted in the original budget. It is important to note that a portion of the part time allocation is “at risk” should enrollment numbers drop. Funds will then be returned by the Deans to the University contingency.

    10. Academics receive faculty development and instructional improvement funds for distribution within their units. The Provost will retain some smaller portion for emergencies that may occur.

    11. Deans will have the autonomy to redistribute personnel and non-personnel allocations to the academic departments based on strategic needs with the Provost’s approval.

    12. Communication and transparency are vital to ensure proper budget management and oversight. In order to provide proper transparency, the Budget Office provides the following communication and tools:

      1. Budget Website – The Budget Office website will contain pertinent information for all budget managers including:
        • How to complete a budget amendment
        • How to monitor reports
        • Budget calendar, due dates & deadlines
        • Who to call for assistance
        • Budget Office contact information

      2. Budget Manager Email Listserv
        • Periodically it is necessary to communicate information to the Budget Managers. The Budget Managers listserv is the fastest method of communication. The listserv includes a listing of all current budget managers and is maintained by the Budget Office.

      3. Office Hours and Accessibility
        • The Budget Office is open daily to assist Budget Managers with any questions or concerns. The Budget staff will remain available for individual meetings as needed to address budget concerns or any other issues that arise.

    13. Budget Managers should have useful reporting and informational tools available to them. All Budget Managers will be trained on utilizing PeopleSoft reports via Banner as needed to view and analyze their respective budgets. (Report access updates are initiated in the Business Office rather than the Budget Office.) The user will be able to use the Budget Activity report to analyze an encumbrance, actual expenditures, and remaining balances. A Personal Services report via Banner is also available for review of personnel expenditures. There are certain labor categories that do not encumber. These include part time faculty, faculty & staff extra compensation, summer faculty, casual labor, part time staff, student, overtime, additional straight-time, stipends and graduate assistant labor. Future payments obligated to these areas should always be considered when looking at the remaining free balance.

    14. Senior Leadership will review all University budgets including E&G, Auxiliary Enterprise, Student Activity, Capital, Athletic and Sponsored Operations during the annual budget meetings.

    15. The University will operate on a fiscal year budget calendar that coincides with USG timelines.

    16. The University will conduct annual budget hearings to receive budget requests and compare those requests to comparative analytical and productivity measures, gauging their relative merit to University goals and strategic directions.
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    Support Info

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    Any operating procedures developed must comply with and reference this policy.

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