The power to enter into contracts binding the Crown for the purchase of goods and services is inherent in the office of the Minister.
Generally, the Minister will delegate the power to contract to the Head of Agency, specifying monetary limits or other conditions. Ministerial authorisations shall be in writing, using the format provided in the Ministerial Authorisation template .
If the Minister's authorisation includes a power to sub-delegate, subject to the monetary limit and other conditions authorised by the Minister, Heads of Agency can appoint an officer or officers to be responsible for all purchases of goods and services, leases or rentals of equipment, and disposals of property made by the Agency. Appointments must be in writing, and specify any monetary limits or other conditions determined by the Head of Agency.
A copy of the Ministerial Authorisation must be kept in the Agency Accounting Manual. The Accounting Manual must also list the officer(s) appointed by the Head of Agency, their position(s), and details of any monetary limits or other conditions imposed, together with the details of subsequent revocation or variation of any appointment.
Authorisations must be revised if there are changes in the office of Minister.
It should be noted that the above relates to the power to contract and should be clearly differentiated from the authorisation of expenditure pursuant to Section 14 of the Financial Management and Audit Act 1990.