Policies and procedures

Policy No.
Facilities Management
Authoring Organisational Unit
Legal Team - SPP Central Unit
Date Approved
Next Review Date
Approving Body


The University of Western Australia

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University Policy on: Acquisition of Real Property

Overtype “Policy Name” with the name of the policy.  This must convey specifically, accurately and succinctly what the policy addresses eg Award of Honours, Study Leave.

Rationale for policy and summary of issues it addresses:

This policy establishes a revised process for the acquisition of real property by the University within an annual budget allocation specified by Senate and sets out procedures with which all real property acquisitions must comply.


It supersedes the existing process of purchasing real property by which the Strategic Resources Committee made recommendations to Senate.


The purpose of this policy is to streamline the acquisition process, to enable the University to act expediently in the property market and achieve commercial outcomes that best serve its objectives.


This must be in Normal, Policy style.

Provide a brief overview of the topic including reasons for the policy and issues it addresses.  The overview must not be longer than 200 words. 

Example 1

This policy defines the nature and purpose of study leave provisions for academic staff and sets out eligibility criteria and other conditions that apply.

Example 2

This policy seeks to rationalise the award of honours across the University by addressing such issues as: entry standards, course content and structure, supervision, assessment, examination, grades, classifications, benchmarking and the maintenance and provision of documentation relating to these matters.  It is based on resolutions of the Academic Board flowing from the 1999 report of the Honours Working Party.

Policy statement:

1.1    Authority to approve the acquisition of real property is held exclusively by the Vice-Chancellor, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Executive Director (Academic Services) and Registrar and Executive Director (Finance and Resources).

1.2    Two such vice-chancellors or executive directors are to authorise each acquisition under Power of Attorney and within the specified annual budget allocation.

1.3    Proposed acquisitions are to be forwarded to the Strategic Resources Committee for noting only.

1.4    Senate will not approve individual acquisitions and Senate approval is no longer a contractual condition of purchase.

1.5    Senate will approve the annual acquisitions budget in advance, by fund source as identified in the Estimates of Income and Distribution.

1.6    The Vice-Chancellor will seek Senate in-principle approval of the acquisitions program both before (as far as is possible) and after each annual acquisitions cycle.



1.7    Vice-Chancellor and Executive:

1.7.1 The Vice-Chancellor seeks prior Senate approval for the strategic acquisitions program and budget allocation for the following 12-month period.

1.7.2 The budget allocation may be expressed as a percentage of the University’s budget, a percentage of a specific funding source, or a specified amount, with a percentage margin to allow for market variations.

1.7.3 At the end of each 12-month period, the Vice-Chancellor submits a report to Senate for its endorsement of the acquisitions program.

1.7.4 The Vice-Chancellor also forwards the report to the Strategic Resources Committee for noting.

1.7.5 The Vice-Chancellor and Executive Director (Finance and Resources) together approve individual proposed acquisitions in the first instance on the basis of an identified strategic priority, property valuation, budget compliance and commercial assessment.

1.7.6 If exceptional circumstances indicate that a proposed acquisition may exceed the approved annual budget allocation, the Vice-Chancellor submits a request to Senate for its consideration, by circular if necessary.  The Vice-Chancellor concurrently forwards the request to the Strategic Resources Committee for noting.

1.7.7 Each circumstance of a purchase price exceeding market valuation by 10% or more must be specified in the annual report to Senate by the Vice-Chancellor.

1.7.8 If an individual purchase price exceeds market valuation by more than 50%, the Vice-Chancellor is to provide a verbal or written briefing to appropriate Senate members prior to acquisition.

1.7.9 The Vice Chancellor and Executive Director (Finance and Resources) are signatories in the first instance and if either is unavailable, the Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor and Executive Director (Academic Services) and Registrar is each a signatory.

1.7.10  Each signatory must be satisfied that the Vice-Chancellor and Executive Director (Finance and Resources) have approved the acquisition and that the purchase price is consistent with the policy.


1.8    Executive, legal and operational:

1.8.1    Facilities Management identifies the proposed property acquisition and obtains written approval from the Executive Director (Finance and Resources) to proceed.

1.8.2    Legal Services prepares the “Contract for Sale of Land or Strata Title by Offer and Acceptance” or other contract document on instructions from Facilities Management for signature under Power of Attorney.

1.8.3    The Contract is to include the following standard conditions as they are relevant to the property and as expressed in the required form: Receipt of property valuation satisfactory to the University.  The valuation must include the allocation of the value to the land and building components separately to fulfil the financial reporting requirements of the University.  If in the case that the purchase price exceeds 10% of the valuation, an additional valuation may be required for financial reporting purposes. Receipt of building report satisfactory to the University. Receipt of pest or termite report satisfactory to the University. Commonwealth funding approval.

1.8.4    Legal Services forwards the contract document for signature.

1.8.5    Facilities Management submits each proposed or completed acquisition and its strategic rationale to the Strategic Resources Committee for noting.

1.8.6    Legal Services and Facilities Management manage the acquisition and settlement process.


1.9       Unusual circumstances and actions:

1.9.1    Unusual circumstances requiring strategic direction must be referred to the Vice-Chancellor and Executive Director (Finance and Resources).

1.9.2    If concerns are raised by Senate about any aspect of the acquisitions program for the preceding 12-month period, then the Vice-Chancellor is to address such concerns and make recommendations to Senate for action.


Policy or Procedure?

Policies are statements of the principles1 which govern decision-making.

Procedures are the functional steps used to implement policies.

1 Principles in this context are to be understood as being both broad and detailed.

The policy statement makes clear the intent of the policy.  It must be written in clear, precise and direct language.  Short sentences are preferable.  Any specialist words or acronyms must be defined at the beginning of the statement.  (A guide to writing styles will be available soon.)

If the policy includes procedural elements you will need to identify these as Procedures by including this word above the relevant text.  The procedures style from the styles drop-down list must be applied to the whole of the procedures text, including the word Procedures.  Note: Administrative procedures can be approved by the relevant Director.

Related forms: (Link)

Provide links to any forms associated with the policy (eg Approved Leave form) and/or to information on on-line submission.

Note: Forms are a means through which policy is processed, not made.  Forms must reflect policy and must not be used to create policy.


TRIM File No:


Insert the appropriate TRIM file number.  All policies must have a TRIM file for storing information relating to policy development and other related information.  Note this is not the policy number.  Apply for a TRIM file number at http:/


Contact position:

Commercial Lawyer (Property)

Legal Services Office (Registrar’s Office)

State the name of the position that is to be contacted for any queries regarding the policy, eg University Secretary.  Note: As this will link through to the University’s Contact Directory, the position name must be given exactly as it appears in that directory.



Related Policies or legislation:

Provide details of, and, if appropriate, web links to, other policies, legislation or committee resolutions that relate to the subject of the policy, if known, eg Statute(s), University General Rule(s).  If unsure what these might be, try one or more of the following:

Conduct a search on TRIM.

Make an enquiry to Archives and Records.

Seek help from staff in the relevant section. 

If related policies are stored in University Policy format on the University Policies site, please provide the relevant policy number(s). 



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