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Asset Management Financial Rule

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) The purpose of this rule is to provide a framework for identifying, valuing, recording, disposing and writing-off non-current physical and intangible assets. This rule:

  1. Clarifies the definition of assets;
  2. Ensures correct recognition and reporting of assets;
  3. Provides guidance on determining the cost of using assets, i.e. depreciation/amortisation;
  4. Specifies a basis for valuing non-current assets; and
  5. Sets out an approach for regular reviewing of the carrying amount of asset, including revaluation, writing down assets, impairment and assessment of useful lives.

(2) This rule outlines UNE's approach to the financial recognition, measurement and management of:

  1. Property, plant and equipment;
  2. Intangible assets; and
  3. Portable and attractive assets.
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Section 2 - Scope

(3) This rule applies to all UNE Representatives and its controlled entities. References made to "University" in this rule include the University and its controlled entities.

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Section 3 - Rule

(4) All University representatives are responsible for the security, care and protection of University assets. Every person who utilises property of the University must do so with the utmost care and consideration and in a manner which ensures the property is subjected to minimum wear and tear and safeguarded against theft and damage.

(5) All assets belong to the University, not the individual user of the asset, and remain the property of the University until disposed of or derecognised.

(6) A business plan, including full costings, is to be prepared and approved prior to the acquisition of non-current assets as part of a project. The business plan is to be approved as part of the annual capital budget approved by Council or by the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer or Finance Committee if outside the budget cycle in accordance with the Schedule of Financial Delegations Rule. The funds for capital expenditure are to be released by the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Financial Officer.

(7) Equipment purchases above the recognition threshold and up to $50,000 do not require a business case. However, the purchase must be approved as part of the annual capital budget approved by Council or by the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer or Finance Committee if outside the budget cycle in accordance with the Schedule of Financial Delegations Rule.

(8) All assets must be purchased in accordance with the Procurement Policy and Schedule of Financial Delegations Rule.

(9) The University will recognise an asset when:

  1. It is probable future benefits will eventuate, i.e. greater than 12 months;
  2. The asset has a cost or other value that can be measured reliably; and
  3. The cost or value of the asset is at or above the recognition threshold for the asset class to which it belongs.

(10) Asset acquisitions involving consideration are to be initially recognised at cost, if the cost is at or above the recognition criteria for that class of asset as shown in the table below. The amount recognised is the purchase price or construction cost of the asset plus any costs attributable to getting the asset to the location and in the condition necessary to operate in the manner intended.

(11) Any assets acquired at no cost or for a nominal cost are to be recognised at fair value at the date of acquisition.

(12) Asset acquisitions below the recognition thresholds are to be expensed through the Statement of Comprehensive Income.

(13) Each part of an item of property, plant and equipment with a cost that is significant in relation to the total cost of the item and has a materially different useful life will be recognised separately.

(14) Like or similar assets are not to be grouped for recognition purposes unless they form a network or part of a network.

(15) Regular revaluations will be performed for the following asset classes to ensure the carrying amount of the assets do not materially differ from their fair value. Independent valuations are to be carried out at least once every 3 years (or sooner if indicators exist that the asset class has experienced changes of +/-20% in carrying amounts since the last valuation) and an internal review undertaken every other year using relevant statistical data or indices:

  1. Land;
  2. Buildings;
  3. Infrastructure; and
  4. Intangibles (only if an active market exists).

(16) The following table details the recognition threshold and measurement method for each class of non-current asset (amounts are GST exclusive):

Asset Category Asset Class Recognition threshold Measurement method
Property, Plant and equipment Land All Revaluation
Buildings $5,000 Revaluation
Infrastructure $5,000 Revaluation
Plant and equipment $5,000 Cost
Computer Equipment $5,000 Cost
Motor Vehicles $5,000 Cost
Furniture and Fittings $5,000 Cost
Heritage and cultural assets $5,000 Cost
Work in progress All Cost
Intangibles Software purchased $20,000 No Active market - costs Active Market - revaluation
Internally developed software $20,000 No Active market - costs Active Market - revaluation
Work in progress All Cost
Other intangibles $5,000 No active market - cost Active market - revaluation

(17) The following asset classes are not recognised due to the inability to measure the value of such assets reliably:

  1. Herbarium;
  2. Zoological; and
  3. Geological.

(18) A custodian will be assigned to each asset. It is the responsibility of the custodian to ensure all assets are maintained at a level that maximises their benefit to the University. The custodian is responsible for the security, care and protection of the University's assets.

(19) The existence of all physical assets on the asset register are to be verified by way of physical inspection (stocktake) at least annually and the results of this verification approved by the appropriate Director/Head of School of the custodian department.

(20) All assets, including intangible assets, with a carrying amount of $5,000 or above are to be reviewed annually for impairment. If impairment has occurred, or is likely to occur in the near future, an impairment loss is to be recognised in the Statement of Comprehensive Income (non-revalued assets) and/or against the revaluation reserve (revalued assets).

(21) An annual review of remaining useful lives is to be undertaken on an annual basis for all assets with a carrying amount greater than $5,000 and the remaining useful life adjusted if required.

(22) Asset classes subject to an independent valuation will be deemed to have been verified, reviewed for impairment and an assessment of useful lives undertaken at the time of the valuation.

(23) All non-current assets with a limited useful life will need to be depreciated (physical assets) or amortised (intangible assets) using the straight line method. The following asset classes are not subject to depreciation/amortisation:

  1. Land;
  2. Heritage or cultural assets;
  3. Biological assets;
  4. Non-current assets held for sale; and
  5. Work in progress.

(24) The amount to be depreciated or amortised is determined taking into account the cost or revalued amount of the asset, any residual value and the useful life.

(25) The depreciation and amortisation rates of each class of asset are to be reviewed each year and adjusted if required.

(26) Non-current assets are to be derecognised when:

  1. The asset has been disposed, e.g. sold, scrapped, not found at stocktake or donated to a third party), or
  2. When no future benefits are expected from its use or sale, e.g. obsolescence, physical damage, used for spare parts.

(27) All asset disposals are to be approved by the appropriate financial delegate in accordance with the Schedule of Financial Delegations Rule.

Authority and Compliance

(28) The Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer, pursuant to Section 29 of the University of New England Act, makes this University Rule.

(29) University Representatives must observe it in relation to University matters.

(30) The Rule Administrator is authorised to make procedures and guidelines for the operation of this University Rule. The procedures and guidelines must be compatible with the provisions of this Rule.

(31) This Rule operates as and from the Effective Date.

(32) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this University Rule, the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer may approve an exception to this Rule where the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer determines the application of the Rule would otherwise lead to an unfair, unreasonable or absurd outcome. Approvals by the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer under this clause must be documented in writing and must state the reason for the exception.

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Section 4 - Definitions

(33) Amortisation — the systematic allocation of the depreciable amount of an intangible asset over its useful life.

(34) Asset - a resource controlled by the University as a result of past events and from which future economic benefits are expected to flow to the University.

(35) Depreciation — the systematic allocation of the depreciable amount of a tangible asset over its useful life.

(36) Fair value — the price that would be received to sell an asset in an orderly transaction between market participants at measurement date.

(37) Impairment loss — the amount by which the carrying amount of an asset exceeds its recoverable amount.

(38) Non-current asset — an asset with a life of one year or greater.

(39) Portable and attractive — non-consumable items which are susceptible to loss or theft due to their nature and attractiveness for personal use or resale.

(40) Recoverable amount — the higher of an asset's fair value less costs to sell, and its value in use.

(41) Residual value — the estimated amount that would be obtained from the disposal of the asset after deducting any estimated costs of disposal.

(42) UNE Act means — the University of New England Act 1993 No 68 (NSW).

(43) UNE Representatives - means a University employee (casual, fixed term and permanent), contractor, agent, appointee, UNE Council member, adjunct, visiting academic and any other person engaged by the University to undertake some activity for or on behalf of the University. It includes corporations and other bodies falling into one or more of these categories.

(44) Useful life — the period over which the asset is expected to be available for use.