Roles, access and signature rights (Teams and Collaborations)

Applicable to:  Other persons concerned, Members of the personnel

General

This procedure is based on the definitions provided in the document Conditions Applicable to the opening and use of Third-Party Accounts at CERN (seulement en anglais).

Procedure

1. Roles and responsibilities

1.1 Head of Institution or authorised responsible Finance Officer

A request to open a Visiting Research Team Account shall always be signed by the head of the Institution or by a responsible Finance Officer authorised to make financial commitments on behalf of the Institution (see Registration of a Third-Party Account (Teams and Collaborations)

By appointing a Third-Party Account Manager representing the Institution and present at CERN, the Finance Officer delegates full authority to the Third-Party Account Manager for financial matters and for the responsibilities listed under section 1.2 below.

The Finance Officer can update the name of the Third-Party Account Manager or the invoice e-mail address by filling out the Update form.

N.B.: There is no need to nominate a Finance Officer for Collaboration and Special Fund Accounts. By default, this is defined as the Resources Coordinator or Spokesperson of the collaboration, or the signatory of a Special Fund Account.

1.2 Third-Party Account Manager (TAM)

The Third-Party Account Manager is responsible for the financial management of the Third-Party Account, reporting to the funding agency/Institution and maintaining the information related to the Third-Party Account in CERN’s database. He/she is the main contact of the Visiting Research Teams and Collaborations Section for all financial/budget issues.

There is only one Third-Party Account Manager per Third-Party Account.

1.2.1 TAM of a Visiting Research Team Account

Visiting Research Team Account are by definition linked to an external research Institution. Consequently, the Third-Party Account Manager must have the status of associated member of the personnel and cannot be a CERN employed member of the personnel.

The Third-Party Account Manager shall ensure that the use of the Visiting Research Team Account is in line with its original purpose and CERN’s applicable rules on Third-Party Accounts, and that any spending complies  with the applicable rules and regulations of the Institution. The Third-Party Account Manager can delegate signature rights as described in paragraph 1.3 hereafter but remains accountable of the use of the Visiting Research Team Account.

In particular, the Third-Party Account Manager of a Visiting Research Team Account is responsible for:

  • Liaising with the Visiting Research Teams and Collaborations Section for financial matters related to the Visiting Research Team Account;
  • Assigning signature rights for the approval of expenses on the Visiting Research Team Account (maximum 5 persons, who must be present at CERN);
  • Communicating the annual spending budget to CERN;
  • Keeping records up to date (name of responsible Finance Officer, invoice address of the Institution, etc.);
  • Reporting any relevant information about the Visiting Research Team Account to the Institution, in accordance with the rules and procedures set up between the Institution and the Third-Party Account Manager.

The Third-Party Account Manager is informed by e-mail when an invoice or invoice reminder has been issued and may be of precious help when invoices remain unpaid.

1.2.2 TAM of a Collaboration Account

The Third-Party Account Manager of a Collaboration Account can be a CERN employed or associated members of the personnel. He/She is designated by the Collaboration.

The various Collaboration Accounts of a Collaboration are usually managed centrally by the Resources Coordinator, who is the Third-Party Account Manager of all Collaboration Accounts. In certain circumstances, the Resources Coordinator may delegate the daily management of a Collaboration Account by assigning an associated member of the personnel as Third-Party Account Manager. The Spokesperson of a Collaboration can also be the Resources Coordinator.

In particular, the Third-Party Account Manager of a Collaboration Account is responsible for:

  • Liaising with the Visiting Research Teams and Collaborations Section for financial matters related to the Collaboration Account;
  • Assigning signature rights for the approval of expenses on the Collaboration Account (maximum 5 persons, who must be present at CERN);
  • Ensuring that the Collaboration Account is used for the sole purpose of the Experiment, according to the rules and regulations applicable to Third-Party Accounts;
  • Issuing invoices (RFF) towards funding agencies, and ensuring the follow-up of payments, in collaboration with the Visiting Research Teams and Collaborations Section;
  • Reporting financial information to the Collaboration and its funding agencies, upon request or according to the agreements in place within the Collaboration.
1.2.3 TAM of a Special Fund Account

The Third-Party Account Manager of a Special Fund Account can be a CERN employed or associated members of the personnel. He/She is generally nominated in the Agreement at the origin of the Special Fund Account.

The Third-Party Account Manager of a Special Fund Account is responsible for:

  • Liaising with the Visiting Research Teams and Collaborations Section for financial or contractual matters related to the Special Account, and in particular informing the Section of any change in the Agreement related to the amounts, the invoicing process, the duration or the conditions for termination of the Agreement;
  • Assigning signature rights for the approval of expenses on the Special Fund Account (maximum 5 persons, who must be present at CERN);
  • Ensuring that the Special-Fund Account is used for the sole purpose of the work defined in the Agreement, according to the rules and regulations applicable to Third-Party Accounts;
  • Reporting financial information to the parties, upon request or according to the provisions of the Agreements.

Under certain conditions, the Third-Party Account Manager may also be in charge of issuing or approving the invoices (RFF) towards the external party.

1.3 Signature Holders

Signature Holders have the right to approve expenditure on a Third-Party Account up to a specified limit. They may be given access to CET for controlling the account at the specific request of the Third-Party Account Manager and should contact the Visiting Research Teams and Collaborations Section.

There can be a maximum of five signature holders on a Third-Party Account. It is not necessary to have signature rights for an account to be able to create an EDH request (however, specific creation rights or training might be necessary depending on the type of EDH document).

Expenditure requests in the form of electronic EDH documents will go to the first person on the list if that person has sufficient signature rights for the amount of the request. If that person is not available, the request will be sent to the next people on the list in turn. If the creator of the document has sufficient signature rights, no other signature holder will receive the request unless the creator is the beneficiary of the claim.

It is important that the signature rights given are sufficiently high to cover all foreseeable expenditure requests. If an account with only one person authorised to sign for amounts of 1'000 CHF receives a purchase request for 1'300 CHF the request may be blocked in the system. Some specific EDH requests require signature rights higher than the amount that is actually debited (e.g. GSM requests and shipping requests). It is therefore recommended to give unlimited signature rights to the Third-Party Account Manager and to systematically grant signature rights to (at least) a second person, who would sign in case of absence of the Third-Party Account Manager, or should the Third-Party Account Manager be the beneficiary of the payment. The Third-Party Account Manager may also delegate signature rights for smaller amounts only by giving a higher priority to a lower-amount signature right. The Third-Party Account Manager is invited to review regularly the signature rights granted to the Third-Party Accounts under his/her responsibility and to take into consideration potential conflicts of interests.

Signature holders of a Visiting Research Team Accounts must have an association contract with CERN and be present at CERN. No signature rights will be granted to an Employed member of personnel on these accounts.

Signature holders of a Collaboration or Special Fund must have an employment or association contract with CERN and be present at CERN. 

Persons not registered as being present at CERN, for instance those classed as External/PART (External participant in a CERN experience), cannot be given signature rights. 

In the event of access problems, the computer account status can be checked using the webpage: https://account.cern.ch.

1.4 Accounts Payable service of the Institution

The CERN administration will send periodic invoices to the e-mail address indicated in the Application and update form for a visiting research Team Account.

To modify the e-mail address, the Finance Officer shall fill out the Update form or inform CERN in writing or by e-mail.

Third-Party Account Managers are regularly reminded to ensure that the information is still valid. CERN reserves the right to suspend or close a Third-Party Account for which the information would be missing or outdated.

1.5 Team Leader

The Team Leader is responsible for making sure that all the members of their team are aware of CERN's regulations and requirements and of their duty to comply with them throughout their stay at CERN. The Team Leader shall not be confused with the Third-Party Account Manager, who is responsible for the financial management of a Third-Party Account.

See more information on the Teams procedure.

2. Access rights

A CERN computing account is needed to be able to access CERN-specific applications and resources. For Third-Party Account Managers and signature holders, this is handled by the Service Desk.

CERN’s computer security rules require to record both the nationality and the date of birth of the person, together with his/her name and e-mail address. The person has to follow an online IT security course and sign the CERN Computing Rules within five days to validate the account.

All persons with a CERN computing account may receive an e-mail message from CERN informing them that their computer access will shortly expire and providing instructions how to extend the access rights. This may be due to an expired password that needs to be renewed, failure to pass the computer security course, failure to sign the CERN Computing Rules or the end of the CERN registration period.

It is necessary to react promptly to such e-mails and to follow the instructions given in the e-mail.
In the event of access problems, the computer account status can be checked  using the webpage: https://account.cern.ch. This webpage also allow to reset the password, follow the computer security course, sign the Computing Rules and modify your e-mail address.

3. Guidelines for the TAM to facilitate the administration of a Third-Party Account

All transactions on a Third-party Account can be followed using the CET application https://cet.cern.ch/cet/TeamTransactions.

The Third-Party Account Manager can see who has CET access on https://cet.cern.ch/cet/CETRoleAssignments. To modify the list, contact the Visiting Research Team and Collaboration Accounting.

CERN must be notified of any disagreement with the transactions recorded on a Third-Party Account within 30 days.

Expenditure requests are generally initiated using EDH: https://edh.cern.ch.

The full list of services offers by CERN on a Third-Party Account can be found on the Financial Service Catalogue.

Examples of requests:

An overviewof EDH claims can be found in the CERN Admin e-guide: Information on payment and reimbursement forms (EDH claims).

For any assistance in using EDH, refer to the EDH help page: https://edh.cern.ch/Desktop/help.jsp or contact the Service Desk.

For Visiting Research Team Accounts, invoices detailing the expenses are issued and sent to the Third-Party Account Manager and to the e-mail address of the Accounts Payable service of the Institution as indicated by the responsible Finance Officer in the opening form. For more information on invoices: Accounts receivable, invoicing and payment (Teams and Collaborations).

Revisions 

No revision Modifications Approved
1 Updated procedure 28.06.2017
2 Complete revision 17.01.2018