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Durham University

University Committees

Committee Paper Guidance

Papers prepared for committee consideration should be succinct, concise and not normally exceed 6 pages. Brief appendices may be used to provide further detail or evidence but should be limited to essential information.

Committee Paper Template

The standard Committee Paper template is available here. Further guidance for authors and information on formatting is embedded within the template.

All Business Case documentation (including Mandates, Outline Business Cases and Full Business Cases) should be accompanied by a separate standard Committee Paper that provides the committee with a clear proposed resolution and summary of the key points for consideration. The resulting covering note should not copy verbatim all the information within the Business Case, but present the key information necessary for members of the committee to reach a decision.

Committee Reporting Template

The standard Committee Reporting template is available here. Further guidance for authors and information on formatting is embedded within the template.

The Committee Reporting template is to be utilised when submitting a report of matters discussed, received and/or approved by a Sub-Committee or Advisory Group. This Template can also be used to escalate any key items for discussion and decision making to the relevant board or committee.

Business Cases

Each major strategic project or programme must receive formal approval from the relevant University governance body/bodies before being initiated. Strategic projects / programmes are usually those that are delivering a new or different capability for the University or enhancing existing capability that directly supports delivery of the University strategy.

Durham University use a three-stage system of approval for major strategic projects / programmes. The process begins with a Mandate, which once approved, grants authority to proceed with development of an Outline Business Case (OBC) and then a Full Business Case (FBC).

The Mandate, Outline Business Case and Full Business Case each have a separate template with embedded guidance to help ensure inclusion of all key components and information critical to the decision-making process.

Mandates must be approved by UEC, however the level of governance for further approval decisions is determined by the University’s financial Delegations of Authority (DoAs) and the scope and nature of the proposed project / programme. The Portfolio Management Office (PfMO) must be consulted at the earliest opportunity to agree an appropriate approval route and, as required, seek guidance from Governance Support Services.

The PfMO is available to support Sponsors and project teams with the development of Mandates and Business Cases. The PfMO must review draft documentation prior to submission for approval in order to ensure University requirements are met. Business Case authors must seek input / support at the earliest opportunity from their Finance Business Partner to ensure financial considerations have been fully captured, thereby improving discussion and decision making during the approval process.

Further guidance on the approval process for major projects / programmes is available from the Portfolio Management Office SharePoint site.

Please use a new template for each paper as overwriting can cause corruption and formatting issues.

If you have any queries regarding formatting of papers or general queries, please contact Katie Crammen (46119).