Ethical Financial Regulation and Governance

In order to conduct its business effectively the University needs to ensure that it has sound governance and financial management systems in place and that they are strictly adhered to.  The University Governance and Financial Regulations incorporate our policies and provide a practical source of guidance to members of staff, with links to related procedures and information.  Ethical considerations form an integral part of the University’s financial affairs from investments, fund raising, donations, and procurement, through to research funding.

The University strives to ensure that public money is spent economically, efficiently and effectively, in the provision of high quality services for its stakeholders. Aston strives to adopt current best practice concerning ethically and socially responsible financial practices as part of its approach to due diligence and to its responsibilities in relation to public accountability and to the provision of good value for money. The University seeks to maximise both the public benefit of its activities and its financial performance. The University Executive endeavours to engender a value for money culture (VfM) across the institution via the setting of VfM plans which are closely monitored on an annual basis,  strict control of procurement activities and staff training and guidance.

The University publishes a list of its investments to ensure open and transparent communication with its stakeholders. We are committed to ensuring that the University makes all investment decisions ethically and responsibly with the primary guiding principle of generating funds, through income and, or capital growth, with which to further the work of the University. In making investment decisions, environmental, social and governance issues will also be considered. The University considers its relationships with external organisations in a holistic manner, considering the rights and interests of all parties that may be affected, and the impact on students, staff and stakeholders.

The University aims aim to develop relationships with its suppliers, contractors and other partners based on honesty, fairness and mutual trust. Aston undertakes to pay its suppliers and contractors in accordance with agreed terms.

Members of staff with budgetary or other significant authority must take proper account of any conflict of interest that may arise from their position within the University on the one hand, and membership of or connection with other bodies and individuals outside the University on the other. In this context the Chief of Operations and Estates maintains a Register of Staff Interests, and the procedures for the registration and declaration of interests are set in the University’s Policy on the Prevention of Bribery, Gifts and Hospitality. All staff with budgetary or other significant authority are required to make an annual declaration of any changes to their interests which are recorded on the Register. At the start of all meetings of the Council and its Committees, members and those in attendance are required to declare any interests in relation to any agenda items for the meeting.

No member of staff may give or accept money, gifts or hospitality of significant value or anything else which could be construed as being intended as a bribe to or from a student, supplier, business partner or other party.