AUSFOG Charter

Aims & Purpose
The Australian Universities Senior Finance Officers Group (AUSFOG) is a collaborative association of senior finance officers representing all Australian universities.

AUSFOG formally meets at least annually each year and corresponds regularly throughout the year on matters that impact on the financial operations of the higher education sector. AUSFOG also liaises closely with respective State Audit Offices on matters such as compliance with Accounting Standards and DIICCSRTE reporting requirements.

AUSFOG is the peak body for CFOs and Finance Directors in the Australian higher education sector.

Representatives from Universities outside of Australia, such as New Zealand may also be invited to join the Group.

The Group’s role is to:

  • Foster professional and open relationships across the sector; 

  • Share knowledge, expertise and experience; 

  • Advocate the added value that finance functions bring to universities; 

  • Support and promote thought leadership and best practice in finance-related activities; 

  • Coordinate sector-wide responses on policy and legislative changes; 

  • Engage external advisors to provide sector-wide technical and expert advice that can be 
shared; 

  • Provide a single point of reference for: 


    • Communication on key topics with Federal Government departments, Universities Australia, accounting bodies and audit offices;
    • Engagement with other international higher education finance peak bodies.


An underlying principle of the Group is to foster professional and open relationships by the informal sharing of knowledge and experience.

Chair & Convenors
The Chair and Convenors are appointed on an annual basis and comprise the current year Chair, the Immediate Past Chair, the Chair Elect (for the next year) and two support representatives appointed by the Chair.

The role of the Chair will be to organise and chair meetings, represent AUSFOG to other university finance groups, advisors, peak bodies or government and act as a coordination point for group issues and activities.

The Chair will be nominated from senior finance officers of participating universities. Participating universities’ senior finance officers are encouraged to take a turn at the Chair role but, where time or other constraints apply, an alternate, such as a Deputy CFO/FD, may be nominated. The Chair and the Chair Elect will be nominated at the last meeting of the year.

The Convenors will assist the Chair in setting the meeting agendas, following up on issues / actions and other activities, as required. The Convenors may substitute for the Chair as required.

Membership
Membership is open to all Australian universities with attendance at meetings limited to two representatives from each university. An exception may be that the host university may nominate additional representatives to attend. Attendance is conditional on payment of the membership fee.

Secretariat
AUSFOG will nominate a Secretariat to manage the administrative functions of the Group.

The Secretariat would be responsible for the physical organisation of the meetings, arranging venues, accommodation, taking minutes, following up agreed actions, maintaining contact and mailing lists and creating a secure website for the distribution and retention of documents, etc.

The Secretariat function may be outsourced to an individual university or specialist provider. The costs of outsourcing will be recovered from the participating universities.

Costs
AUSFOG will operate on the basis that each participating university will pay its own costs of participation. This includes costs for meeting attendance, including travel, meals and accommodation.

Should the Group decide to engage an external provider for specialist advice or services, the agreed costs will be split equally between the participating universities (note the provisions in the Decisions section below).

Meetings will be held in each State and Territory on a rotational basis, preferably at a university campus in the capital city of that State/Territory. The universities of the host State/Territory will nominate the host university. If the host university is located outside of the capital city, another university may be asked to host the meeting. Costs of hosting the meeting (room hire, catering, etc) will be funded from membership fees.

Decisions
Decision making within the Group will operate on a consensus basis with decisions made at the meeting or by subsequent Circular Resolution should this prove necessary. Each participating university is allowed one vote.

A universal consensus is required to commit the group to adopt a formal position on a matter or to commit to engage an external provider for specialist advice or services. If a universal consensus decision is not achieved, a dissenting university will not be bound to share in the costs or receive any of the benefits derived.

A simple majority will carry a motion. In the event of a tie, the Chair will have the casting vote. 

Version Control: Draft Charter May 2013