Comptroller's Office
 Policies and Procedures Manual

Effective: 01/01/2000
Revised: 01/17/2013 

NAU Home Page CMP 420-02: Food and Refreshments


Purpose

Guidelines for payment of food and refreshments


Source

University policy

Applicability


This policy covers all expenditures made for food and refreshments.


Policy

Food and refreshments are a common part of campus life and off-campus business of the university. Some of our activities are enhanced by the inclusion of food, refreshments, or entertainment. However, we must exercise discretion in the use of public funds to pay for these items. The purpose of this policy is to articulate a few broad guidelines to avoid abuse or the appearance of abuse of public funds to pay for food and refreshments.

The jurisdictional vice president or provost must approve the use of state or local funds for functions that include the provision of food. Blanket approvals may be granted in writing by vice presidents or the provost for certain categories of functions such as recurring conferences.

It is recognized that many gray areas will exist in determining whether the use of public funds to pay for food and refreshments is appropriate. We request each of you to use good judgment in making that determination. The appearance of impropriety is as serious as an actual abuse and we must avoid both. When in doubt, the safest policy is to err on the conservative side and pay for food and refreshments with other than public funds (public funds include funds in both state and local accounts). Each of the jurisdictional vice presidents and the provost is the approval authority in determining the appropriateness of paying for food and refreshments with public funds. The vice presidents and provost may delegate this authority to the level of associate/assistant vice president/provost, executive director/director, or deans provided that adequate controls are in place to protect against abuse. This policy does not constitute a delegation; each vice president or the provost will accomplish appropriate delegations by separate memorandum. It is the responsibility of each of us to insure that public funds are managed responsibly.

 


Payment Methods:

The Advantage documents to secure approval or payment include Authorization for Payment (PDQ) or Purchase Requisition (RXQ). Once entered to Advantage, a printout of these documents should be sent to Accounts Payable (NAU Box 4104) accompanied by an invoice/receipts, and a Food Purchase Form and or approved memorandum.  These forms also will be used to approve expenditures for NAU sponsored conference registrations that include food.


Funding Sources:

There are generally four funding sources available to pay for food and refreshments: state appropriated budgets, local fund budgets, NAU Foundation accounts (if established), and personal funds. A general principle of these guidelines is that state appropriated funds may be used if the food items are directly related to the teaching, research and public service mission of the university; for example, food for use in a classroom demonstration. State appropriated funds may also be used to pay for meals when they are included with registration or conference fees; of course, when meals are included in registration or conference fees, the attendee is not entitled to reimbursement for the same meals. Another principle is that personal funds should be used for celebrations, ceremonies, receptions, meetings, or meals that include only university employees. Functions that include university guests, prospective faculty or staff may be paid for by local or foundation funds if your organizational unit has access to funds, which may appropriately be used for these purposes. Workshops or training sessions may include food or refreshments, which may be paid for by local funds if such funds are available to you. See matrix below of appropriate funding sources by function:

                                                                    REVENUE SOURCE

Function (1)
Attendees
State
Local
Foundation
Personal
Party/Reception
Dept/college Faculty and or staff
 
 
 
X
Meetings
Faculty and/or staff
 
 
 
X
Meals
Dept/college, Faculty and/or staff
 
 
 
X
Reception/Social
Dept/College Faculty, staff, students, university guests (2), prospective faculty or staff
 
X
X
X
Meals
Dept/college Faculty and/or staff, and students with university guests or prospective faculty or staff
 
X
X
X
Workshop/Training Session
Dept/college/univ. Faculty and/or staff
 
X
X
X
Meetings
Faculty, staff with non-employed students and/or university guests
 
X
X
X
Luncheon/Banquets, etc.
Included in conference registration fees (3)
X
X
X
X
Food
Classroom demonstration, laboratory instruction and research, and for research animals
X
X
X
X

(1) Does not include president's functions.

(2) University guests include consultants, outside lecturers, short-term visiting faculty, community leaders, school district representatives, Native American tribal representatives and the like.

(3) Requires approval of person designated to approve travel.

(4) Alcohol, whether part of a meal or separate, may never be purchased or reimbursed with public funds of any type.


Cross-Reference


For more information on allowed expenditures, see CMP 401-03, Prohibited Transactions.


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