The Division borrows from the University’s IT Infrastructure Fund (the IT Loan) to pay for maintaining and growing the infrastructure used in the Division to support teaching, learning, research and administration. The Fund has financed replacement and new desktop computers, media equipment, printers and photocopiers, commissioning costs, software and so on: all the costs necessary to replace old equipment and grow the resources available.
The Loan is attractive to the Division since the Division only pays back two-thirds of what it borrows: a system established six or seven years ago to help the Divisions replace outdated (and expensive to maintain) infrastructure with up-to-date alternatives.
University administration is now enforcing much stricter limits on what loan funds can be spent on: we are advised that funds can only to be used for capital items such as computers, fax machines, printers, desks, workstations and so on that may or may not be “capitalised” depending on purchase price.
A Financial Services Project Team review of transactions in the IT Loan has shown it is being used for consultancy, repairs and maintenance and licence fees: mostly due to the Division replacing, maintaining and building the Division’s ICT infrastructure.
It would be prudent in future to limit purchases from the IT Loan to that which can be categorised in the University financial system as Equipment & Furniture $5000 & Over or Equipment Expensed - Less than $5000. This leaves about $60,000 of expenditure annually on other items traditionally purchased through the IT Loan that will need to be funded from other sources (with no discount).
Update 7 October 2005: The Division's practice (and it seems the practice of the other Academic Divisions and ICT Services) has always been to fund capital purchases, consultancy, repairs and maintenance and software licence fees (items to do with providing and maintaining our ICT infrastructure in the Division) on the IT Loan. These items have not been questioned in the past nor has any dispute arisen.
The Division's position is that it will continue to use the IT Loan in this way.