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Contract Management Policy

Classification number LCG 1120
Framework category Legal, Compliance and Governance
Approving authority Board of Governors
Policy owner General Counsel
Approval date April 20, 2016
Review date April 2019
Last updated Editorial Amendments, February 18, 2020


This Policy supports Contract Management at the University and will guide the development and implementation of Contracts.


For the purposes of this Policy the following definitions apply:

“Contract” means any document, or other evidence, of an intention to establish a binding legal relationship between the University and one or more third parties.

“Contract Authority” (“CA”) means the individual(s) with direct or delegated authority to approve a Contract in accordance with the Signing Authority Registry and Approval Procedure.

“Contract Implementer” (“CI”) means the individual or department that initiates a Contract, receives a good, service, or other benefit, pursuant to the Contract, and/or is responsible for meeting obligations under the Contract. A Contract may have multiple CIs.

“Contract Life Cycle” is the period of time commencing upon initiation of a Contract and ending the day after all University obligations have been fulfilled or expired.

“Contract Management” describes the set of activities required to properly manage contractual commitments to and from third parties and includes the management of pre-Contract diligence, negotiation, and implementation activities.

“Legal Review” means a review of a draft Contract by the University General Counsel or delegate to ensure that:

  • The Contract Implementer is made aware of the risks and obligations associated with a Contract prior to signing;
  • The terms of the Contract will not subject the University to an unacceptable level of liability or risk; and
  • The Contract does not contain unacceptable legal commitments.

“Sponsor” means the provider of funds for research activities, including both external and internal sources.

Scope and authority

This Policy applies to all Contracts.
The General Counsel, or successor thereof, is the Policy Owner and is responsible for overseeing the implementation, administration and interpretation of this Policy.



  1. Contracts will be developed and managed in accordance with applicable University policies and procedures.

  2. Contracts will be in writing and signed by the Contract Authority or permitted delegate.

  3. Each Contract will have at least one designated Contract Implementer assigned by the Contract Authority.

    1. A Contract Implementer may manage a contract above his/her Contract Authority limit, however the Contract Implementer cannot approve expenditure on items above his/her financial authority.

    2. Where a Contract Implementer is not assigned, the Contract Authority becomes the Contract Implementer for the purposes of this Policy.

Responsibilities and Accountabilities

  1. The Contract Authority has overall responsibility for Contract Management within his/her organizational area. Specifically the Contract Authority is responsible for:

    1. Establishing the goals, objectives and/or requirements giving rise to a potential Contract;

    2. Verifying that entering into a Contract is the best path to the fulfilment of the goals, objectives or requirements identified;

    3. Assigning a Contract Implementer and providing direction to the Contract Implementer throughout the Contract Life Cycle;

    4. Assessing the potential risk associated with the Contract in order to:
      • Identify risks that will need to be mitigated in the Contract or otherwise; and

      • Determine whether the potential benefits and/or liabilities are reasonable given the purpose of the Contract.

    5. Identifying and completing any diligence required;

    6. Negotiating the terms and conditions of the Contract to ensure it is favourable to the University and meets the identified objectives;

    7. Determining if the Contract Implementer is able to meet the obligations within the terms of the Contract and that the other party(ies) is/are reasonably likely to meet their obligations;

    8. Using the Legal Review of Contracts Procedures, identifying whether a Legal Review is required and ensuring that it has been obtained prior to the Contract being approved;

    9. Ensuring the Contract complies with University policies and procedures, relevant legislation and applicable Sponsor terms and conditions; and

    10. Managing the execution and administration of the Contract to ensure all obligations under the Contract are effectively met.

    11. Ensuring that other affected parties at the University are aware of the Contract and the impact it will have upon their work.

Contract Approval

  1. The Contract Authority will approve the content of all Contracts prior to execution of the Contract on behalf of the University.

Monitoring and review

This Policy will be reviewed as necessary and at least every three years. The Policy Analyst and Compliance Officer, or successor thereof, is responsible to monitor and review this Policy.

Relevant legislation

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Related policies, procedures & documents

Signing Authority Policy

Signing Authority Registry and Approval Procedures

Legal Review of Contracts Policy 

Policy on the Internal Use of Research Funds

Procurement Policy

Procurement Procedures

Expenses Policy and Procedures