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Policy 390.20

Food and Beverage Policy

Originator: Senior VP Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer

  1. Policy Statement: As an agency of the State of Maryland, and as directed by the State of Maryland General Accounting Division, University of Maryland Global Campus has a public obligation to ensure that all expenditures are essential and reasonable and that they support the mission of the University. There are limited circumstances in which it is considered appropriate to provide food and beverages to personnel who are not in travel status.
  2. Guidelines for Appropriate Food and Beverages Expenditures: The functions or events at which it is considered appropriate for food and beverages to be expensed for university personnel are limited to the following:
    1. Business Function: Food and beverages may be expensed for:
      1. Business meetings that involve bona fide business discussions with non-UMGC parties in attendance.
      2. Meals at which interview candidates are hosted or a welcome lunch between a new employee and his/her immediate supervisor.
      3. When Cabinet members are traveling to regional locations and will be gone 4 hours or more, a meal with the regional staff may be expensed.
    2. Student Academic Function: Food and beverages may be expensed for student functions that contribute to the academic mission of the university. Current and prospective students should be the primary beneficiaries at such events. Food and beverages provided at student open houses and marketing outreach activities are included in this category.
    3. Internal Training Function: Food and beverages may be expensed for participants of a formal training session that lasts more than 4 hours when business is conducted through the time of the meal. When hosting leadership or training conferences that require an overnight stay, meals can be provided in lieu of per diem.
    4. Annual Departmental Event: Food and beverages may be expensed for an annual departmental event, to include workshops, seminars, conferences, or retreats, provided they are conducted primarily as a training function, do not require overnight lodging, and do not occur more frequently than annually.
    5. Other Internal Function: This category is generally reserved for university-wide recognized events coordinated by the Events Office or the Overseas Director's Office, such as annual University Service and Achievement Awards, Commencement Receptions or events supporting university-wide initiatives. Food provided at meetings when a UMGC division is hosting another UMGC division may be expensed. Events or meetings coordinated by the President's Office are also included in this section.
    6. Emergency or Unavoidable Situations: Food and beverages may be expensed in emergency or unavoidable situations which require UMGC parties to work outside of standard business hours with appropriate documentation.
  3. Requirements and Limitations: This policy establishes the following requirements and limitations regarding appropriate expenditures for food and beverages:
    1. Reasonable and appropriate food and beverages may be expensed only at functions or events that meet the criteria listed in Section II of this policy.
    2. Food and beverage charges must be itemized on a receipt.
    3. The event purpose must be provided to support food and beverage expenditures. Additional supporting documentation such as an agenda, event invitation, description of training, etc. should be provided when available and include a list of the names and organizational affiliations of each person in attendance at event or meeting. If a listing is impractical to provide, a written explanation to that effect must be submitted.
    4. Food and beverages may not be expensed for personal or normal, regularly scheduled or routine staff-type meetings. Food and beverages for meetings conducted for social functions or solely to promote goodwill or boost morale may not be expensed.
    5. Expenditures for alcoholic beverages are not allowed unless in accordance with Alcoholic Beverages Policy VI-8.00.
    6. Meals while on travel will be reimbursed based upon Travel Policy 380.10.
    7. Department water and coffee may be purchased and expensed through the office supply order with department head approval.
    8. Catering services should be provided by the University's on site food service provider at the ICC location.
  4. Dollar Guidelines: The following guidelines are provided to assist in the determination of what is reasonable within the broad array of events and situations that occur on campus, including such factors as the business purpose and the location of the event. The rule of thumb is the total cost, including tax and up to 20% tip, shall be no greater than two times the meal per diem rate per person as defined on the Source Travel Resource Page.
  5. Questions: Any questions regarding the guidance contained within this policy should be directed to the UMGC Comptroller for clarification.
  6. Overseas Division: Overseas Division: Overseas Divisions should follow these guidelines unless specific criteria, necessary to be consistent with local customs or Overseas operations, are defined and authorized by the Division Director. These exceptions must be presented to the Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration and CFO for review and preapproval.


 Current PolicyPrior Policy
Policy Number390.20390.20