While Columbia encourages international activities, only certain individuals are authorized to enter into legally binding agreements or perform official business transactions on behalf of the University, domestically and internationally.  

External Contracts

Agreements for international activities are reviewed by the same University resources that review U.S. based contracts. For example, the authority to enter into and sign agreements for sponsored research is in most cases handled by Sponsored Projects Administration (SPA). Other international academic programs are handled directly by the Office of the Provost with assistance of the Office of Global Programs. Gifts are overseen by the University's Office of Alumni and Development and procurements of goods and services by Columbia Purchasing.

Bank Accounts

Columbia University departments may establish a university bank account only by first obtaining written approval from the Executive Vice President for Finance or the Treasurer. This condition applies to all University bank accounts, regardless of how the account is named, and whether or not the account uses the Columbia University name or the name of any school, department, center, institute, program, affiliate, or the name of any other entity or person.

For additional information, refer to the Bank Account Policy.

Departmental Authorization Function (DAF)

DAF Administrators should assign appropriate authority for in-country transactions.

DAF Administrators are the only individuals authorized to delegate DAF authority and approve the creation, modification or deletion of DAF authority within their designated units. University DAF authority is assigned for transactions, such as approval of purchase requisitions, invoice payments, payroll transactions, journal entries, and Purchasing Card (P-Card). For certain transactions, DAF authority is based on dollar thresholds that limit spending. 

For more information regarding DAF, refer to the Departmental Authorization Function (DAF) Policy.

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