Meals and Refreshments Policy

SUNY Oneonta guidelines for requesting use of College funds for qualified meals and refreshments (food & beverages) for employees outside of travel status are outlined in this document. This policy adopts in full the New York State Comptroller’s Procurement and Disbursement Guideline No. G‐78.

MEALS:

Employees: Typically, an employee can not receive compensation for meals unless he/she is in approved travel status. Eligibility for such meals is covered in the College Travel Manual.

Searches:

Candidates: Candidates for positions at Oneonta may have their meals covered in one of the following ways:

  • The candidate may submit for meals (and other travel expenses) using a Travel Voucher. Rates are the same as those paid for employee travel.
  • An authorized member of the department may pay for the candidate’s meal and be reimbursed, for the candidate’s meal only, with appropriate justification. Reimbursement is at the employee travel rate.
  • The meal is demonstrably necessary as a working meal. (For more information, see Working Meals section below.)

Search Committee Members: Employees serving on search committees may be eligible for reimbursement if the meal is demonstrably necessary as a working meal. (For more information, see Working Meals section below.) For guidelines related to faculty search committees refer to the policy, “Reimbursement Policies Related to Faculty Searches. ”All other requests should be referred to the appropriate vice president.

Consultants: A consultant can receive reimbursement consideration for meals, excluding working meals, if such reimbursement is included in the contract.  

Guest Speakers Receiving an Honorarium: guest speaker receiving an honorarium should have a consideration for meals included in his/her fee and can not be otherwise reimbursed. For more information, see College procedure “Payment for Honoraria.”

Guest Speakers NOT Receiving an Honorarium: a guest speaker who is not being compensated for their services may receive some consideration by the host department by having an authorized representative pay for the speaker’s meal and be reimbursed as described in the section on “Candidate’s Meals.” Employees authorized to accompany the speaker may be eligible for reimbursement if the meal is demonstrably necessary as a working meal. (For more information, see Working Meals section below.)

Working Meals: It is the policy of the College to fund working meals (breakfast, lunch or dinner) only when they are demonstrably necessary, integral, beneficial and reasonable to perform official College business. All working meals must be submitted to Purchasing to be encumbered prior to the date of the working meal. Justification for use of appropriated funds must include the following:

  • Purpose and necessity of the meeting including an explanation why it could not be held during normal working hours (if applicable)
  • Specific nature of State business being conducted
  • Location of the meeting
  • Number of participants including names and titles and their relationship to the business being conducted
  • Cost of the meal

REFRESHMENTS:

It is the policy of the College not to allow payment from College appropriated funds for refreshments (food & beverages) at meetings, gatherings or events that do not qualify as working meals. Refreshments for these types of events may be funded from other funds if approved by the appropriate vice president.

Alcohol: It is the policy of the College not to allow payment of or reimbursement from College appropriated funds for alcoholic beverages.

Gratuities and Tips: The allowable gratuity rate for meals is 15‐20%, within the maximum meal rate for the area. For more detail please refer to the College Travel Manual.

Effective Dates:

Approved by the President on April 12, 2004