|Policy Title||Reimbursement of Hosting, Memberships, and Business Related Expenditures|
|Responsible Office||Senior Associate Vice President for Budget and Business Affairs|
|Policy Type||Business Affairs|
|Last Revision Date||4/21/2021|
The guidelines set forth in Management Procedure 202 are to serve as the policy for Binghamton University with regards to the funding of hosting, memberships and business related events from State purpose and IFR accounts.
Expenditures for hosting, memberships and business related events must be appropriate for the specific funding source used. Use of any University funding source for services or goods that primarily provide a personal benefit are not allowed: flowers (e.g., illness, funeral, etc.), gifts (e.g., baby, departure, retirement, wedding, etc.), traffic of parking violations that benefit an individual employee (with the exception of the President or Vice President acting on behalf of the University). A division/department may recognize or honor an individual if funded by donations collected from the University community or within guidelines established by SUNY.
Allowable expenditures for State University hosting, meals, travel, recruitment, membership/subscriptions, etc. are defined in the ensuing sections of this document.
State Purpose & Income Fund Reimbursable Accounts
State purpose and Income Fund Reimbursable (IFR) accounts can be utilized to cover expenditures of such items as: conference/seminar/recruitment travel and lodging, breakfast/lunch/dinner meetings, memberships in professional organizations (if the membership benefits the University and is justified by the Division Dean/VP), and hosting and recruitment, as long as state guidelines are met.
In accordance with the New York State Office of the State Comptroller Bulletin G-76, memberships in an individual's name will be allowed as long as all materials and benefits received from the membership are the property of the agency and made available to all agency employees.
Includes transportation (taxi, bus, airfare, train), personal mileage, highway and bridge tolls, meals, lodging, telephone toll calls, and registration fees. For more information, refer to the Travel Office website.
In accordance with the New York State Office of the State Comptroller, these items may be incurred only for specific state business that could not be conducted during normal working hours and must be approved by the agency fiscal office. The agency fiscal office may request the following information as justification:
- The purpose and necessity of the meeting including an explanation why it could not be held during normal working hours.
- The specific nature of State business being conducted.
- The location of the meeting.
- The number of participants including names and titles and their relationship to the business being conducted.
- The cost of the meal.
The meeting must not be merely a hospitality enhancement. Food and/or beverages provided in a largely social, unstructured setting, such as a reception, party or gathering which does not serve a clear official business purpose, are prohibited. Also prohibited is food/beverage incidental to normal meetings (staff meetings, committee meetings, etc.) on which the success of the meeting does not depend.
The purchase and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages is considered to be an entertainment expense and constitutes a personal expense that is not reimbursable.
Hosting activities include, but are not limited to the following:
- Hospitality/entertainment activities for faculty and staff members and for visitors to the campus that are normally associated with and expected of the role of the campus president and other senior administrative officers. Such activities include breakfasts, luncheons, dinners, receptions, committee meetings, etc. Examples: Employee recognition events, alumni and parents days, receptions for visiting dignitaries and performing artists, and events designed to enhance community relations and fund-raising activities. These campus development activities often also involve the purchase and distribution of recognition items that bear the campus logo.
- Hospitality expected of other campus officers (vice presidents, deans, directors, and department chairpersons) on behalf of the visiting speakers, community leaders, candidates for faculty and staff positions, and prospective athletes, graduate, and undergraduate students. (The purchase and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages is not reimbursable)
- The above activities may take place on the campus through arrangements with campus auxiliary services type organizations, or may be held away from the campus.
University guidelines for hosting expenditures are measured according to a reasonableness test applied under the circumstances. The University has established up to $15.00 for breakfast, $25.00 for lunch and $45.00 per dinner as a level within which the cost of the meal will be considered reasonable. Meals over this reasonableness level will require that a detailed itemization of the meal cost and an explanation for the additional allowance be submitted to the Accounts Payable Office for review. Additional latitude may be necessary to permit individuals the flexibility to represent the campus in an appropriate manner. However, all meals or hosting expenditures must be reasonable and fulfill a legitimate State University business/educational purpose. Part of the test of reasonableness is to determine if the cost of entertaining visitors or of representing the University is extravagant by current standards. In cases where reasonableness appears to be exceeded, only partial reimbursement will be approved. (Rejection of payment against state/IFR funds does not preclude the reasonableness of the costs being paid from other campus non-state funds.)
The travel reimbursement rates and policies currently established by the State of New York will be observed in administering recruitment and encompass travel expenses incurred by prospective athletes, graduate students and, in some instances, prospective undergraduate students who are being recruited by campus program officers.
A purchase order to the vendor or a NY State procurement card should be used. For more information, refer to the Accounts Payable website.