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Food and Hospitality Expenses

Under flexibility extended to New York State agencies, local practices should be consistent and defensible, reflecting the spirit of occasional NYS audit comments and public perceptions of appropriate use of public funds. 

The following guidelines apply to hospitality expenses submitted to the Purchasing Office for reimbursement using State or IFR funds. 

General guidelines

1. Bodily nourishment at the work station is usually considered to be the employee's responsibility. Meals taken while in travel status are governed by NYS travel policy. 

2. Under no circumstances is the cost of alcoholic beverages acceptable. 

3. Non-travel status hospitality must be relatable to official business, and vital to the attainment of the business purpose. Therefore, primarily social or courtesy events are not considered appropriate State expenditures (e.g., birthday, retirement and promotion receptions). Food and beverages provided as incidental to routine staff meetings, for which the success of the meeting does not depend, are not appropriate State expenditures. 

4. Documentation submitted to Purchasing should include a formal program or agenda; statement of purpose; listing of participants; and detailed receipts. 

5. Rejection of reimbursement from State or IFR funds does not preclude the costs being paid from other campus non-state (agency) funds.  Appropriateness of agency funds for hospitality will be determined by the appropriate vice president. 

Specific guidelines

See attached matrix (20K pdf) for a list of typical expenses and how the policy governs each.