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Understanding Delegation in PeopleSoft at McMaster

Delegation is a word with multiple meanings at McMaster, depending on context. There are three distinct meanings in McMaster financial and research systems. Understanding these three meanings will help you ensure that tasks and authority are assigned correctly.

The three forms of delegation are:

  1. Delegate Entry Authority for expense claims;
  2. delegation of ALL of your authority by Authorizing an Alternate User;
  3. appointing someone as a formal delegate on a research project

For each form of delegation it is important to understand what authority is being granted and the scope it covers.

Travel and Expense Claim Entry

As the title suggests Delegate Entry Authority authorizes someone to enter data for you. It applies only to travel and expense claim information. This form of delegation is very limited, but it does give the entry delegate access to the grantor's travel card transactions (i.e. the McMaster Diners Club MasterCard). This function is commonly used in areas where someone enters expense claims on behalf of others. You can grant entry authority to more than one person.  A step-by-step guide is available for this process.

Alternate Users

Authorizing an alternate user is the broadest possible form of delegation. When you do this, you are granting the alternate user ALL of your authority. They can see all the information you can see and perform actions on your behalf. This type of authorization is typically granted when the delegator is going to be absent for some period of time, such as a sick leave or vacation. Importantly, you are responsible for actions taken on your behalf by an authorized alternate user, including adherence to McMaster’s Execution of Instruments Policy. Alternate user should be granted with caution. Typically, delegations of this type are horizontal or up the organization hierarchy.

In addition the delegate can only perform tasks that are of a type which they have permission to complete. For example, if Sally delegates to Joe, and receives a request to review and approve a journal entry, Joe will get the request but he can only complete it if he himself has the journal approver role in the system. In summary, you can only delegate a task to someone who already has permission to perform that type of task.

You can find the alternate user function in:  
 Main Menu | My System Profile | General Profile Information

Formal Delegates on Research Projects  

Adding someone as a delegate on a research grant is a formal process. A delegate has similar rights to manage the research project as the principal investigator/ grant holder. Adding a delegate is done via a paper-based form, which should be sent to the principal investigator’s research accountant who will connect the delegate to the research project in PeopleSoft.

In the next few months, the PeopleSoft system will be enhanced to create a new, limited delegate type for purchases at McMaster’s scientific stores.