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University Funds - Spending Guidelines


Subject Area: University Funds
Policy Title: Spending Guidelines
Policy / Procedure No: FIN 001
Responsible Office: Senior VP Administration and Finance

PURPOSE: To address certain issues regarding the appropriate use of University resources and funds under the control of faculty and staff. This is not intended to cover all cases that may arise. Accordingly, faculty and staff should seek guidance from the Office of Legal Counsel or the Office of Internal Audit in situations that may be ambiguous or involve unique circumstances.

SCOPE: All University employees.

POLICY: Faculty and staff should communicate this information on a regular basis to those individuals within their areas of responsibility who have the authority to use University funds and other resources.

1. Meals and Entertainment. Employees are prohibited from using University funds for off-campus meals and entertainment except when such activities are part of an organized University, college or department events or involve special circumstances and infrequent occasions. (Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and the like are not exceptions for purpose of these guidelines).

Business meals are permitted only if their primary purpose involves persons other than University employees, such as donors, job applicants, volunteers and students, or are part of employee out of town business travel.

Good judgment should guide the serving of meals at working meetings or events on campus. (the campus includes all University facilities in Boston and elsewhere for purpose of these guidelines)

2. Alcohol. Alcohol is permitted at University events and in connection with business meals provided it is served legally and is incidental to the activity. Alcohol purchase, however, is a strictly prohibited use of Federal funds and cost share related to sponsored projects.

3. Gifts. The use of University Funds for gifts and other forms of goodwill for University employees or members of their families is prohibited, except as may be part of University, college, or department events. Holiday, birthday, and anniversary gifts are not permitted; however modest retirement gifts may be allowed if approved at the President or senior Vice President level. Gifts and flowers are permitted up to $50 when an employee on business is staying with non-university individuals in lieu of a hotel. Gifts and flowers are not allowable use of Federal and related funds.

4. Fundraising events. The use of university funds to purchase tickets and advertisements in connection with fundraising events sponsored by the university and outside organizations is prohibited unless approved by the Office of the President.

Under no circumstances may University funds be used to support political organizations, political candidates and partisan political activities.

5. Financial Responsibility. Financial oversight and accountability are essential to any system of internal control. All units and activities should have designated individuals with fiscal responsibility, such as department heads and budget managers. In the case of sponsored research projects, such oversight is typically the responsibility of DSPA, but may be the principal investigator's home department or other entity approved by the Provost.