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Hospitality Policy

Reviewed By: Administrative Council on April 16, 2001
Approved By: President Karnig on April 16, 2001
Reviewed By: Administrative Council on June 02, 2014
Approved By: President Morales on June 02, 2014

Source / Authority

For interpretation of this policy, please contact the responsible department: Associate Vice President of Finance, 909/537-5129

Background

The Integrated CSU Administrative Manual, ICSUAM 1301.00Hospitality, Payment or Reimbursement of Expenses, authorizes the use of university funds to pay for hospitality expenses that are consistent with the mission and fiduciary responsibilities of the university. ICSUAM 1301.00 is a system wide policy that applies to all campuses and is the basis for the campus "Hospitality Policy."

Purpose

The campus Hospitality Policy applies to activities that promote the university to the public and the provision of hospitality in connection with official university business and outlines how university funds may be used for such purposes.

Requests for purchase orders to vendors or reimbursements must be submitted using the CSUSB Hospitality Expense Approval Form and approved by designated official with oversight for the requestors unit, in accordance with ICSUAM 1301.00. 

Policy

Objective

It is the intent of the California State University, San Bernardino to follow the CSU policy on hospitality ICSUAM 1301.00 as its policy and supplement with campus procedure as required by the policy. 

FAQ

The California gift of public funds doctrine set forth in the California Constitution, Article XVI, § 6, prohibits the giving or lending of public funds to any person or entity, public or private.
 
“In determining whether an appropriation of state funds or property is to be considered a gift, the primary question is whether the funds are to be used for a “public” or “private” purpose. If they are for a “public purpose”, they are not a gift within the meaning of [§6 of art. XVI]. If an expenditure serves a primary public purpose, it is not a gift even if it incidentally benefits an individual.

An employee can be recognized for superior accomplishments, within specified campus guidelines. Life transition events like birthdays, weddings, and the like, occur to everyone so cannot be considered superior accomplishments. Awards are permitted within the campus defined monetary limits and subject to IRS reporting requirements. Awards may be given to recognize years of service at the time of retirement, but the statutory authority to make awards does not authorize paying for a “retirement party”.

Typically, no, Gifts or flowers are not permissible when there is solely a personal benefit. There may be justification if the intended business purposes complies with campus, CSU, IRS and Government Code restrictions. Campus procedure to define.

State University Trust fund (state fund 0948) is continuously appropriated by the legislature (EC§89700-89726) and therefore all CSU funds within state fund 0948 are state [public] funds. This includes, but is not limited to, State University Parking Revenue Fund (EC §89701(b)), State University [Health] Facilities Revenue Fund (Education Code §89702(c)), State University Continuing Education Revenue Fund (Education Code §89704(a)), CSU Dormitory Revenue Fund (Education Code §90036) and Lottery (Government Code 8880.5).

Typically no. Reimbursement for meals are not permissible when there is solely a personal benefit. In general, business meeting with individual colleagues is not permitted. There may be justification if the business purposes for such an expense complies with campus; CSU, IRS and Government Code restrictions then it could be allowed. Campus procedure to define.

When a meeting takes place over an extended period and the agenda includes a working meal, there may be justification that the meal is integral to the business function. Considerations include: 
  1. Meals or light refreshments provided to employees on a frequent or routine basis are considered taxable income by the IRS and are therefore not permitted under this policy.
  1. Meals or light refreshments should be limited to no more than twelve times per year, per group.
  2. Meals or light refreshments provided to a group should be counted on an event basis, e.g., a two-day meeting should be counted as one event in determining compliance with these guidelines.


 Examples where food and beverage may be permitted include:

  • A meeting where there is a scheduled speaker during the meal period;
  • A meeting where the participants work through the meal period; or

Circumstances where it would be too time-consuming or disruptive for participants to take a meal break away from the meeting location.

No, parties are not allowed. An employee can be recognized for superior accomplishments, within specified campus guidelines.

Typically no. Employee meetings that are carried out on a regular or frequent basis are not permitted under this policy. Additionally, public expenditures that are driven solely by personal motives are an impermissible use of state funds. However, if the business purposes for such an expense complies with campus, CSU, IRS and Government Code restrictions then it could be allowed.

  1. Awards to students to participate in a non-researched (grant) funded survey. (Subject to IRS tax laws)
  2. Incentives to anyone, including employees, to participate in a research funded survey or study, within the terms of the grant and the grant serves an instructional purpose. (Subject to IRS tax laws)
  3. Awards and recognition to students
  4. Decorations purchased as part of a ceremony at a public event.
  5. Expense related to Fundraising in support of providing a better student experience.
  1. Gift card, gift basket, flowers or other non-cash gift as a thank you to consultants, guest speakers, or employees at another campus
  2. Gifts for employee birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, baby showers, etc.
  3. Farewell gatherings and retirement parties.
  4. Bereavement or sympathy gifts.

Infrequent is defined by the IRS as no more than 12 times per year per group.

This should be documented in the campus procedures.

Meals or light refreshments may be permitted if the expenses occur infrequently, are reasonable and appropriate to the business purpose in accordance with campus policy.