Business Meal, Hospitality And Amenity

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Policy V. 4.3.2Responsible Official: Vice Presidentfor Finance and AdministrationEffective Date: January 1, 2014Business Meal, Hospitality and AmenityPolicy StatementAny University business meal, hospitality or amenity expenditure must have a clear businesspurpose which advances the University’s mission, must be reasonable in amount, and appropriateunder the relevant circumstances. The person(s) responsible for the expense is responsible andaccountable for ensuring compliance with this policy and appropriate federal, state and localguidelines.This guidance applies to all payment mechanisms, including invoices from vendors, purchasingcard charges, petty cash, and expense reimbursement. It is also designed to help faculty and staffdetermine what is reasonable within the broad array of events and situations that occur on and offcampus.Amenity purchases from Recharge Centers (i.e., Income/Expense activities) may not be includedin the rate they charge to agriculture formula or sponsored project funds.Reason for the PolicyThe University of Vermont (University) has been entrusted with public funds to fulfill itsmission of education, research, and public service. All University faculty and staff are obligatedto ensure that University funds are used only for mission-related purposes. There are instanceswhere business meal and amenity expenditures are beneficial to the unit’s and the University’smission. At the same time, by their subjective nature there is potential for the misinterpretationof legitimate use. Thoughtful consideration by all University personnel is essential in makingprudent and ethical decisions about business meal and amenity expenditures.Applicability of the PolicyThis policy applies to all University of Vermont faculty, staff, and University- and StudentGovernment Association-recognized organizations, with the exception of the UVM Foundationwhich has its own policy.

Business Meal, Hospitality and AmenityExceptions should be infrequent. Departments may request an exception from the UniversityController in those situations where special circumstances exist. An exception should beobtained in advance of the event.Policy ElaborationCategories of ExpenditureBusiness Meal: A meal attended by faculty, staff, students, non-University personnel, andofficial guests of the University, for which the primary purpose of that meeting is to conductUniversity business. Business meals may occur while away from campus on travel status, orlocally with consultants, academic collaborators, recruits, and others with official Universityrelationships. The main focus of the activity is University business and consumption of food isincidental to the purpose of the meeting. Where possible, business meals should be conducted on campus, during normal businesshours, and be limited in scope. University facilities provide a variety of appropriatevenues to conduct most business meetings. Travel to and from off-campus sites createsadditional traffic in the local surroundings, increases the University’s carbon footprint,consumes additional time, and may create additional risks. All reimbursement requests for business-related meal expenses must fully document thepurpose of the meeting, the names of those in attendance, the time and place of themeeting, and include an itemized receipt. A credit card receipt is allowable only ifitemized. Business meals require a significant commitment of time and financial resources.Accordingly, the number of such events should be limited. Meals/refreshments may be provided to employees who are required to work during adeclared or non-declared campus emergency. Meals and refreshments on sponsored projects are allowed to the extent they areallowable under University of Vermont policies and those of the sponsor. In manyinstances, the terms of the grant or contract are more restrictive than the University’spolicy.o Whenever possible, the need for such meals and refreshments should be includedin the proposal budget.o In order for business meals to be charged to a federal grant, the following must bedemonstrated: The meal must be part of a formal business meeting and integral to thecontinuity of conducting business or there must be some other clear andcompelling reason why the business could only be conducted over a meal. The meeting must include external participant(s). The business discussed during the meal must be integral to the goals andobjectives of the project.Business Meal While on Travel Status: A University employee can incur a business meal expensewhile on travel status. These expenses must be documented in accordance with the proceduresspecified in this policy, with a clear business purpose. The meal must be incidental to themeeting. Other meals for travel are reported separately from the business meals. See TravelPolicy ies/policies/travel.pdf).Page 2 of 7

Business Meal, Hospitality and Amenity If payment for a business meal while on travel status is required, the cost of theUniversity employee’s meal is included in the daily maximum meal allowance under theTravel Policy.Meal Provided to a Spouse or Family Member: Meals provided by the University to a spouse,family member, or other person accompanying a University employee will be permitted onlywhen there is a substantial and legitimate business reason for that person’s attendance,documented in writing and attached to the documents supporting payment. The IRS does notpermit tax-free treatment when the spouse or other person is present merely for a social orpersonal purpose.Travel Meal: A meal taken while on travel status; the employee is away from home on a triprequiring an overnight stay. Actual and reasonable meal expenses (including gratuities) will bepaid in accordance with the University Travel -Policies/policies/travel.pdf).Entertainment expenses: Per applicable federal guidelines, entertainment meals are allowable onfederally sponsored projects only with prior approval from the sponsor.Hospitality: Food service at public events such as art exhibit openings, student functions,farewell or retirement receptions, or fund raising events is allowed. With the exception ofbusiness meals, any event or activity where alcohol is being served is considered a hospitalityevent.Refreshments: Food service at closed events such as workshops, employee training events, etc.,which is not a full meal, for example coffee and bagel, or fruit, cheese and crackers, etc., is allowed.Food services provided for University employees only is considered refreshments. Providingrefreshments for staff, faculty or committee meetings on a regular basis is discouraged.Groceries, Food Purchases: Grocery and food purchases for refreshments or business orhospitality meals held on or off campus may be reimbursable if provisions of this policy are met.Amenity: A gift item that helps to build, strengthen and promote relationships between theUniversity and external groups or individuals. When traveling abroad, it may be appropriate to bring a gift or amenity to a host or hostfamily. Expenditures for officially sanctioned University activities, such as Commencement orthe Employee Recognition Program are appropriate. Length of Services Awards, retirement gifts, etc.: Items may be given to employees forthese types of occasions, at the discretion of the Dean or appropriate Vice President, ifunrestricted funds or discretionary gift funds are available. These may be reportable astaxable compensation. See Awards, Prizes and Winnings UVM-Policies/policies/prizes.pdf).Employee Morale Activities: Those University-wide activities such as Staff Appreciation Week,retirement parties, University-wide length of service awards are allowed. These activities areappropriate when held at University facilities and are open to University attendance. If nonUniversity space is required, preapproval must be granted by the University Controller.Page 3 of 7

Business Meal, Hospitality and Amenity One annual appreciation gathering per year is allowable, hosted by chair, director, etc. Amaximum of 50 per employee in spending is allowable toward the annual appreciationgathering, if unrestricted funds or discretionary gift funds are available.Alcohol: The expenditure and the circumstances for the consumption of alcoholic beverages mustnot jeopardize the University’s reputation, or the health and welfare of those involved. Alcoholmay only be paid for with discretionary gift funds or non-student agency funds, and the expensemust have prior approval, in writing, of the Provost or appropriate Vice President. See Facultyand Staff Alcohol Policy es/policies/alcohol employees.pdf). Alcoholic beverages are never allowable on federal sponsored projects, and are generallyunallowable on non-federal awards. All official University functions held on-campus where alcohol is served must be cateredby the University’s contracted food service provider, except as exempted by contract. Official off-campus functions where alcohol is served must be carried out by a vendorholding a valid liquor license. Payment for services of a bartender for a cash bar (individuals paying for their ownbeverages) must have prior approval, in writing, of the Provost or appropriate Vice President. University employees will not be reimbursed for alcohol purchased at a liquor store,grocery store, or similar venue. All vendors serving alcohol are required to meet the University’s standard insurancerequirements and carry 1,000,000 per occurrence in liquor liability insurance. Offcampus providers must name the University as additional insured. All attendees consuming alcohol at an event where alcohol is being served must be oflegal drinking age.On-Campus Catering: Departments and student organizations must adhere to the CampusCatering Process and use only approved vendors when using University funds, whether deliveredor picked up, regardless of dollar amount. All exceptions must be approved through the campuscatering waiver process managed through Conference and Event Services. Campus Catering Process ines) Approved Caterers ines) Catering Waiver Form ines)Documentation Requirement: Itemized receipts are required for all expenses incurred, regardlessof the method of payment to be considered substantiated. All requests for reimbursements mustbe submitted within 60 calendar days of the expenditure.Lost Receipts: If a receipt is lost, misplaced, or damaged beyond legibility, the employee isresponsible for contacting the vendor and requesting a copy of the receipt. This appliesregardless of method of purchase, i.e., cash, purchasing card, personal credit card, etc. If the traveler is unable to submit a receipt, the expense amount will be deducted from thetotal reimbursement. In limited circumstances, alternate documentation approved by the Provost, Dean or VicePresident may be accepted.Page 4 of 7

Business Meal, Hospitality and AmenityUnallowable: Expenses for the following types of occasions are not permitted: Employee birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, holiday gatherings, etc. Expenses for theseoccasions will be borne by the employee. Expenses for social gatherings without a clear business purposes will be borne by theemployee. Flowers, greeting cards or other gifts to University Employees. Expenditures for most occasions (Secretary’s Day, Administrative Assistant’s Day, Boss’Day, birthdays, holidays, get well, funeral, etc.) are not allowed using University funds.This includes meals, food, amenity items, flowers, and gifts.DefinitionsAccountable Plan: To be an accountable plan as defined by the IRS, an employer’sreimbursement or allowance arrangement must include all of the following rules or the cashadvance can be considered taxable income.1. Expenses must have a business connection that is, an employee must have paid orincurred deductible expenses while performing services as an employee of the employer.2. Adequate accounting to the employer for these expenses is expected within a reasonableperiod of time.3. Any excess reimbursement or allowance must be returned within a reasonable period oftime.Business Purpose: An activity or event conducted to further the mission of the University ofVermont. Without the expense, programmatic objectives would be difficult or otherwise morecostly to achieve or the impact, level, or quality of the achievement would be reduced.Itemized Receipts: A receipt which shows the detail of each item purchased, date, time, vendorname, etc. It is normally printed by a cash register.Reasonable: The quantity and quality of goods or services being purchased is sufficient to meetthe University’s identified need without exceeding it.Substantiated: Expenses documented with original, itemized receipts, date of event, businesspurpose and attendees.Travel Status: An employee traveling away from home if work duties require the employee to beaway from the general area of one’s tax home for a period substantially longer than an ordinaryday’s work, and sleep or rest is needed to meet the demands of the work while away.Unsubstantiated: Expenses which are not documented with original, itemized receipts, dates ofexpense, business purpose, and attendees.University Business: Defined as “while on assignment by or at the direction of the University forfurthering its business interest.”Page 5 of 7

Business Meal, Hospitality and AmenityProceduresSee Policy ElaborationFormsCatering Waiver delinesContactsQuestions related to the daily operational interpretation of this policy should be directed to:Disbursement [email protected] Food index.html(802) 656-4617 (for on-campus catering)Campus Catering ProcessConference and Events Services (802) -guidelinesThe Vice President for Finance and Administrationis the official responsible for theinterpretation and administration of this policy.Related Documents/PoliciesAlcohol Service and Consumption at University Activities –Faculty and olicies/policies/alcohol employees.pdfAwards, Prizes and Winnings VM-Policies/policies/prizes.pdfBusiness Meals, Hospitality and Amenity Policy itality-other-reimbursable-expensesCampus -guidelinesCost Policy on Sponsored UVM-Policies/policies/SponAgree CostPolicy.pdfRequisitions, Purchase Orders, and Reviewing Payment Information User l and Expense User l Policies/policies/travel.pdfUVM Purchasing Card 6 of 7

Business Meal, Hospitality and AmenityEffective DateApproved by the President on January 13, 2014Accepted by the Vice President for Finance and Treasurer on January 7, 2014Page 7 of 7

occasions will be borne by the employee. Expenses for social gatherings without a clear business purposes will be borne by the employee. Flowers, greeting cards or other gifts to University Employees. Expenditures for most occasions (Secretary’s Day, Administrative Assistant’s Day, Boss’