Reimbursement for Entertainment of Visitors, Guests, and Interviewees

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[The following policy was approved on April 20, 1989.]

I. General Policy

Southern Illinois University Carbondale welcomes visitors, guests, and interviewees. Under certain conditions, provision for the accommodation of visitors and guests is necessary and appropriate in the furtherance of the interests of the university. The fiscal officer is authorized to approve payment of bills for their transportation, lodging, and meals when such visitors and guests have rendered a definite service to the university; or when individuals are being recruited for positions within the university. The reason for the payment must be clearly stated on the voucher for reimbursement. Such expenses are to be charged to contractual services if paid from state-appropriated funds.

II. Guidelines

  1. Living Expenses
    1. Visitors, Guests, and Interviewees 
      The reimbursement for the travel expenses for non-university personnel is limited to amounts which are reasonable and proper under the circumstances. All meals and lodging expenses must be processed on a properly prepared invoice voucher. The expenses may be paid to the guest, visitor, or interviewee based on supporting receipts or paid directly to the hotel, motel, or restaurant on the submitter's behalf if the vendor invoice is attached to the voucher. Presentation of a purchase requisition and the subsequent encumbrance of funds in the Financial Accounting System will be optional to the fiscal officer unless State Comptroller's requirements must be met.
    2. Spouses of Visitors, Guests, and Interviewees 
      The chancellor, vice chancellor, or their designees may approve the reimbursement of expenses of spouses of visitors, guests, and interviewees when the reimbursement would clearly be in the best interest of the university. Prior authorization for such expenditures must be obtained.
    3. Staff Hosts and Guests 
      A staff member directed by his/her administrative superior to entertain an official guest of the university, including a reasonable number of colleagues, may have the group meal and related expenses either reimbursed or direct billed to the university in amounts which are reasonable and proper provided that, in the judgment of the administrative officer concerned, the best interest of the university is being served. (The chancellor, vice chancellors, or their designees may set definite limits as to what constitutes a reasonable number of staff members who may attend such functions.) The staff member so directed should consolidate all related expenses and submit one bill for reimbursement. Separate reimbursements to individual employees attending the same function is not permitted.
    4. Restriction 
      In no case will payments be allowed for alcoholic or tobacco products.
  2. Coffee Hours, Receptions, Picnics, and Similar Events 
    Reimbursement of expenses for beverages and other light refreshments, excluding all forms of alcoholic beverages, may be charged to university funds (in the case of grant and agency funds, the expenditures must be allowable under the grant or be permitted by the agency) available to a department or administrative unit when the following conditions are met:
    1. Prior approval by the head of the department or administrative unit was given and the process of payment requires the signature of the fiscal officer and approval for propriety by the appropriate officer involved.
    2. The event must be in connection with an educationally oriented activity, usually nonrecurring or, in other ways, serve further a bona fide interest of the university.
    3. Purchase of beverages or other refreshments are limited to the requirements of the specific event.
    4. The number of participants and the nature of the event must be stated on the voucher.
  3. Regular Office Activities 
    The reimbursement of expenses is not permissible if incurred to provide beverages or light refreshments to casual visitors or university staff members and students in the conduct of regular university office activities.
  4. Exceptions 
    The chancellor, vice chancellors, or their designees may approve exceptions to the above regulations. Exceptions must be approved in advance of incurring the expense. A copy of such approval is to be attached to the voucher requesting reimbursement.