Official Hospitality and Food/Beverage Procedures
Emporia State University often conducts activities where it becomes necessary to provide hospitality. Hospitality expenditures shall be in accordance with good business practices that include sound business justifications for, and adequate documentation of, expenditures.
Reasonableness and fiduciary responsibility must guide expenditures for hospitality relative to the operations of the University.
- Official hospitality expenditures assist an agency in fulfilling an objective or goal which bears a valid relationship to the powers and functions of the state agency.
- Official hospitality expenditures must be paid from funds as appropriated and designated for official hospitality by the legislature.
- Official hospitality expenditures may include food, lodging, transportation, official gifts and favors, official entertainment or directly related miscellaneous expenses provided to official guests or provided for an official function.
- It is recommended that official hospitality expenditures have supporting documentation noting the following information:
a. the name or a description of the group and the number of official guests;
b. the nature and the objective or goal of the official function; and
c. details of the expenditures and charges.
- The University expending funds for official hospitality purposes should also be aware of the rules issued by the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission regarding acceptance of meals and gifts by state employees and information contained in Policy Manual 3,104, Gifts and Awards for State Employees.
- The Controller’s Office may refer expenditure requests deemed to be questionable or beyond the authorization of this policy to the appropriate vice president for review and decision.
- Meals may be paid from OOE accounts or restricted use funds when they meet Official Hospitality guidelines. Meals may be paid from restricted use funds if fees or funds have been collected for this purpose.
- The Official Hospitality/Food Form must be completed and attached to each request for payment or reimbursement of such expenditures. This form isn’t required for searches approved through Human Resources. The search number, date of the event, candidate name and number of attendees must be listed on the purchase requisition and/or invoice.
- The State General Fund, General Fees Fund (Tuition) and Restricted Fees Fund have been approved to pay for any expenditure considered to be “Official Hospitality”.
- The Sodexo catering contract applies to all events held at ESU facilities. Sodexo has exclusive rights to all University catering. According to the State contract “Food may not be brought into University facilities by any group or individuals for group consumption. Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the Director of the Memorial Union and should be limited to such items as wedding cakes, pre-packaged ethnic foods, and refreshments for university administrative staff. To better meet the needs of the University, the Contractor (Sodexo) will be expected to prepare ethnic cuisine as requested from international student groups for catered events. Sack lunches may be brought in by members of the University community for individual consumption.”
- Auxiliary funds including Housing System Operation, Parking, Student Health Fees, and required Campus Activity Fee Funds are used for the purpose of administering various student programs. These funds may pay for food/beverages for official events or gatherings specifically covered by their mission.
- Food/beverages may be purchased from grant or sponsored funding only if food/beverages are specifically allowed as an appropriate expenditure by the funding entity (granting agency or sponsor).
- This policy does not pertain to faculty, staff or students who are traveling for official university business and will be reimbursed following travel policy per diem guidelines.
- This policy does not apply to agency funds, including student organizations, in which ESU serves a fiduciary role in managing the disbursements on behalf of an organization.
- This policy does not pertain to expenditure of Memorial Union Corporation or Emporia State University Foundation funds, unless transactions are processed as reimbursements to university funds.
- Allowable costs include the following:
a) Food/beverages supporting an official business setting (conference, workshop, training session) as documented on the Official Hospitality/Food Form.
b) Food/beverages which includes a conference registration fee, banquet fee, etc. as documented on the Official Hospitality/Food Form.
c) Examples of allowable costs:
- All-day or half-day workshops/training sessions
- Business meetings with external parties over meal hour
- ESU staff meetings over meal hour due to limited schedule availability
(Note: Business purpose is justified in that the meeting would not have occurred if staff were not provided opportunity to eat lunch and not all staff have the ability to bring a sack lunch.)
- Conference meals funded from registration fees
- Employee recruitment
- Student recruitment
- Student focus/retention groups (Note: Business purpose justified as food is incentive to get students to participate.)
- ESU Campus-Wide Staff Appreciation Events
- Unallowable costs include the following:
a) Food/beverage provided in a largely social unstructured setting, such as reception, parties, gatherings which do not serve a clear official business purpose.
b) Food/beverages provided as incidental to normal meetings (staff meetings, committee meetings, etc.) on which the success of the meeting does not depend. Typically involving predominantly employees, the food/beverage serve no essential business purpose.
- The costs of these events should not be borne by State funds; however, if funds exist in Emporia State University Foundation that allows for these expenditures, expenditures can be submitted directly to the Emporia State University Foundation for consideration of payment.
c) Examples of unallowable costs:
- ESU department staff meetings throughout the business day (e.g., a monthly department staff meeting that lasts 1 – 2 hours & occurs during the morning or afternoon).
(Note: In comparison to a meeting over the meal hour, food or beverage for this type of meeting is a “nice to have” but not a necessity in order to have a successful meeting.)