Computer Laboratory

Information for staff

Departmental policy statements

This is a collection of policies authorised by the Head of Department. If you remember any which you think should be included, or have any suggestions about the indexing, please contact pagemaster.

Money and grants

VAT receipts

Make sure to always obtain thee VAT registration number of the vendor from which you are buying either services or goods. Anything going through accounts in the normal purchase order/invoice manner is taken care of automatically; however, for expense claims for food/travel/smaller items, it is now necessary to obtain a receipt that includes the VAT number. A credit/debit card slip is NOT sufficient.

Rules for claiming expenses

Travelling and similar expenses to be repaid by the Laboratory should be authorised by the Head of Department in advance of being incurred. In cases where the money will be refunded FROM A RESEARCH GRANT OR CONTRACT, then the PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR should authorise RATHER than Head of Department. In authorising expenditure the authoriser, whoever it may be, is certifying that funds are available and, for grants and contracts, within the rules of the granting body. The Principal Investigator will be able to give you a charge code for each claim.

When claiming reimbursement of travelling and similar expenses, you are required to provide receipts. If an advance payment has been made then after the event, the receipts should be provided as for a claim. Travel expense claim forms are available from Carol Nightingale, who will gladly explain how the system works if you are new or unsure.

Department expenditure – how it works

Would everyone take careful note of how expenditure works.

Day-to-day expenditure is of four main kinds:

Travel, etc. Carol Nightingale
Library Nicholas Cutler
Stores Louis Massuard
Computing equipment Martyn Johnson, Graham Titmus

The people listed above have charge of the appropriate order-book and approve orders. Ordering or claiming expenses works as follows:

Travel, etc.:
You estimate the costs in advance on an expense claim and have it authorised by the proper person – usually the Principal Investigator of a research grant or contract – who supplies the charge code. After the event, you fill in actual expenditure on the bottom half and submit it with receipts to the HoD, who authorises the accounts office to pay it.

If you need an advance payment, you may request it on the form; but we do not reckon to make advance payments which will be used to go and buy a ticket from a travel agent. Note that it is often convenient to procure air tickets by having the Laboratory order them, e.g. from STA, rather than buying them oneself and claiming.

Library:
If you suggest an item to Nicholas, he may decide to order it in consultation with the Tripos Management Committee.
Stores:
For items in stock, fill in a stores requisition slip; Louis Massuard deals with ordering to replenish stock. For special orders, e.g. courier services, you must also supply charge-code and authorisation (e.g. by Principal Investigator).
Computing equipment:
Approach Martyn or Graham. In many cases they have arranged with Principal Investigators to approve orders on their behalf.

Practices for postage at the Laboratory’s expense

The general principle is that Laboratory will pay from general funds for postage on mail that is properly to do with the Laboratory’s business. If unsure, please contact Reception. If you want to use a courier service, please make sure to give Reception your charge code; if you don't have one, please consult the PA to Head of Department.

Pre-paid personal mail can be left in the post tray and will be collected by Royal Mail at the end of each working day. The Royal Mail on-line system allows you to pay for and print postage.

The Laboratory’s franking machine is for University business. As a service to staff and research students, Reception is able to manage very small volumes of personal postage through the franking machine, paid for in cash. Please do not abuse this privilege and, in particular, Reception should not be asked to handle large or multiple items of personal post. As a guide, Reception could reasonably manage a couple of standard letters or a small packet up to £3.00. Beyond this, either use a local post office or the Royal Mail's online system.

Software availability

Technical reports

Safety

Use of CCTV in the William Gates Building

Our guiding principle is that CCTV should be used proportionately and for security and safety purposes only. CCTV footage should primarily be available for review only after a reported incident, and to make this effective recordings should be 24h a day for around 7 days. Live CCTV footage should be used sparingly and only after approval by the departmental ethics committee who are encouraged to place limits on use to ensure privacy.

Note that this policy came about after reviewing use of CCTV in the Computer Laboratory in May 2015 in conjunction with the University Security Office and with guidance from the Information Commissioner's Office report In the picture: A data protection code of practice for surveillance cameras and personal information, 15 Oct 2014.

Building security

In the past, there have been a number of breaches of our security when members of the public have entered through the secure doors between the public and private parts of the building. Please don't hold the doors open for anyone who is not a member of staff, a research student or an official visitor, and please don't let members of the public tailgate you. If you don't recognise someone as a member of the Lab, don't hesitate to ask them for identification and refer them to Reception.

Members of the public are permitted to use the café but access through the secure doors must be by invitation only. Visitors should report to Reception from where they should be met by a member of staff who takes responsibility for them throughout their visit and who escorts them out of the building afterwards. The University's legal advisor says that unauthorised access to University premises is trespass and the recommendation is that we should call the police to eject offenders. We obviously don't want to go to that extreme but we will do so if the need arises.

Ethical review of research with human participants

Policy statements relating to undergraduate students