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Policy: VI.G.3

Issued: February 20, 2004

Owner: Director of Procurement Services

Latest Revision:

This policy has been migrated to the standardized format.

1.0 Purpose

This policy defines "social event meals," the circumstances in which the University will pay for or reimburse individuals for social event meal expenses which do not meet the qualifications for "Business Meals" or "Travel Meals," and the source(s) of funds that may be used.

This policy does NOT cover "Travel Meals" (overnight or daytrip), which are addressed in Travel Expenses -- Policy VI.G.1, or "Business Meals," which are addressed in Business Meals - Policy VI.G.2.

This policy applies to University of Virginia students, employees, special program participants and individuals affiliated with the University of Virginia who are requesting or approving payment or reimbursement for social event meal expenses.

2.0 Policy [Top]

2.1 "Social Event Meal" Expenses -- General Information

The University will pay for or reimburse individuals for those meals that are deemed to fall under the definition of "social event meals", as stated below, when appropriate funds are available. All such payments and reimbursements must be reviewed and approved by Procurement Services prior to disbursement.

In order to be approved, all requests for payment or reimbursement for social event meals must be submitted in accordance with published Procurement Services procedures. These procedures will also describe requirements for approval and documentation, which will include receipts and written justification for categorizing the expense as a social event meal.

ALL social event meals, regardless of the source of funds used, require the signature of the Dean, Vice President, or designee on an appropriate approval document PRIOR to incurring expenses for the meal. Additional approvals may be required, depending on the nature of the meal.

Individual meal expense above the de minimus amount of $100 is reportable as taxable income for the participant.

2.2 Direct Payment vs. Reimbursement

Regardless of payment method, all payments must be made using the established procedures published for the payment method by Procurement Services.

In all but the specific circumstances described below, individuals should pay for the meals and then request reimbursement using the Payment Voucher. Reimbursement for catered meal expenses is strongly discouraged.

Direct payment can be made to the vendor for social event meals in the following circumstances:

    1. Catered meals supplied by either external or internal vendors.
    2. Unprepared food (e.g.: grocery store food items) purchased using University Purchasing Card. All spending limits and restrictions apply.

2.3 Payment: Limits and Restrictions

The University will pay for meals served at a social event in recognition of individual(s) only when the person(s) recognized are staff, faculty or student(s) NOT covered under University Human Resources Rewards and Recognition policy.

It is NOT necessary that employees be required to attend the social event.

Social event meal expenses may be paid from local funds only, up to local funds spending limits. Current local funds spending limits for meals are published at "Lodging, Meal, and Incidental Expense Limits" -- Local Funds.

With written approval of Dean or Vice President, local funds may also be used to pay for:


2.4 Purchases of Alcohol

All alcohol must be purchased with local funds only. Information on circumstances under which alcohol may be served is published in Policy VII.F.3, "Sale of Alcoholic Beverages".


3.0 Definitions [Top]

A "social event meal" is served at an event that may be primarily social in nature and not necessarily essential to the mission of the University. However, the event must still support the mission of the University in some way, such as team building events or holiday celebrations for employees.

A "catered meal" is supplied by either an internal or external vendor and requires both planning and forethought on the part of the purchaser, including a pre-established menu.

4.0 References [Top]

"Preparing Payment Vouchers" -- Procedure 6-101.

Goods and Services Procurement Guide

Related Policies:

5.0 Approvals and Revisions [Top]

The information in this policy was previously covered in Meal Expenses Policy (revised as Business Meals -- Policy VI.G.2) and Internal Catering Guidelines Policy (discontinued).

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