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University Policy Office

Shelly G. Gonzalez, Policy Officer
Administration 208
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660.543.4730
Fax: 660.543.8022
sgonzalez@ucmo.edu





FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY

Approval: Approved by the President on June 4, 2000.

Authority: Board of Governors Policy 1.2.040

Responsibility: Chief Financial Officer

PROCEDURE

The University of Central Missouri has moved toward the decentralization of budget planning and decision making. As a result, departments now have greater management control over their expenditures. This document was prepared to offer guidance in the prudent and ethical expenditure of scarce revenues entrusted to the university.

The university receives funding from diverse sources ranging from taxpayers and students to benefactors. Regardless of the source, the university has an obligation to demonstrate that it has been a wise steward of these funds.

On a regular basis, university employees are involved in the expenditure of funds. Some purchases may be perceived by the general public as questionable use of university funds. Employees should be conscious of the propriety of each expenditure, as well as the issue of conservation of funds.

Official guidance pertaining to types of expenditures (claims) which may not withstand the scrutiny of any person or agency is found in the Missouri Code of State Regulations, 1 CSR 10-3(2). It states:

The following are types of claims which may not be certified as regular claims unless special circumstances substantially justify the granting of an exception to this rule:

A. Claims for the purchase of goods or services which are not apparently or cannot be substantially justified as directly related to the transaction of state business. For example, employee parties, agency team uniforms, employee gifts, holiday cards and decorations, personal club memberships, memorial flowers, political and charitable contributions and traffic tickets. An exception is made for the purchase of retirement, service, political and other recognition award gifts which may be certified as regular claims if reasonable in relation to the circumstances of the award and primarily represent a token or recognition and not a reward with a cash equivalent or substantial monetary value. Claims for the expense of receptions for employee recognition events should be at a nominal price per person attending. Holiday decorations are allowed for commonly accessed public areas such as reception and waiting rooms.

The university's policy addressing impropriety in expenditure of university funds is as follows:

Procurement of and/or payments for goods or services which are not apparently or cannot be substantially justified as directly related to the transaction of university business and in the best interests of the university will be disallowed.

Attachment I contains examples of the types of expenditures which would not be allowed by state law and university policy unless special circumstances were present. These examples are provided for assistance and this list should not be construed as exhaustive.

In order for an exception to be granted for any items, the benefit to the university must be either readily apparent from the supporting document(s) or explained in an accompanying statement. However, in either instance, the document (purchase order/request, payment request or petty cash voucher) must be signed by the respective budget manager. All expenditures are subject to review by the university’s auditors.

Judgment must be applied when determining the propriety of a charge to university funds. Approval of the charge/purchase constitutes the authorizing official's determination that the expense is directly related to the transaction of university business and in the best interests of the university. Requests to purchase items not deemed directly related to fulfillment of the university's mission should be rejected by the budget manager. Similarly, payment or reimbursement for incurred expenses inconsistent with the university's policy will become the personal responsibility of the budget manager.

The policy is not to be construed to prohibit individual employees from utilizing their personal funds for cards, flowers, gifts, holiday decorations, etc.

The following expenditures are examples of allowable items:

  1. Food and/or non-alcoholic beverage purchased for:

    1. one or more guests, and their hosts, visiting the university on official business

    2. a meeting where university business or a training session is conducted

    3. a reception involving outside guests (e.g. guest lecture, concert) where university business is conducted or where activities take place that are part of the university mission

    4. a reception to honor a retiring employee or for an event to honor employee service or employee recognition

  2. Breakfasts, luncheons, dinners, receptions and banquets and other official functions given as a necessary adjunct to official meeting or conferences. Attendance of university employees at such functions shall include only those directly concerned with the purpose and conduct of the meeting or conference.

  3. Catering services, meeting rooms and decorations deemed essential to the occasion as stated in 1 and 2 above.

  4. Retirement, service or other recognition awards and/or certificates for university employees being honored. These expenditures will be limited to university approved recognition, as opposed to departmental, school or college recognition. Such awards must be reasonable in relation to the circumstances and primarily represent a token of recognition and not a reward with a cash equivalent or substantial money value.

  5. Individual club/organization memberships shall be funded by the university only when directly related to the transaction of university business as determined/approved by the respective vice president or the president, or in the case of the president, by the Board of Governors.

  6. Expenses for workshops and retreats for offices with campus-wide responsibilities may be [when] held no more than twice annually when advance notice provided to and approval given by the vice presidents.

  7. The following promotional items may be allowed with the approval of the person with the necessary budgetary authority:

    1. "Premiums" used in fund raising activities each year, e.g., KMOS-TV, that are presented, not as gifts, but in recognition of achievement by donors, and which, are in fact, typically more than compensated for by the recipient

    2. tokens of appreciation given to student leaders at the time of graduation or completion of office, or awards provided as a direct result of nomination, screening and selection processes at a value of $50 or less

    3. apparel at a value of $25 or less each fiscal year containing the university logo, imprint or symbol which is worn or used by the employee in the scheduled performance of job duties or responsibilities for which the respective vice president or the president documents in writing that the apparel is appropriate for the performance of the duties/responsibilities

    4. souvenirs or tokens of appreciation given to high school counselors or prospective students, as part of recruitment efforts at a value of $15 or less

    5. Complimentary tickets for present and former members of the Board of Governors/Regents, legislators, state officials and friends of the university.


  8. In certain instances it is acceptable to recognize a person by giving a gift which is intended to show the university's appreciation to individuals, provide incentive to donors, and foster closer ties with the university. It is incumbent on university officials to use good judgment in making such gifts, both in number and cost.

  9. Expenditures that would be improper if done on the behalf of university employees may be acceptable if done for friends of the university. For example, holiday cards or flowers sent to major supporters of programs may be appropriate. Documentation explaining the exception should be attached for review by auditors.

 

Fiscal Responsibility

ATTACHMENT I

1. Employee parties or party items (other than for retirement, service or for other recognition purposes)

2. Employee gifts

3. Greeting and special occasion cards (other than president's holiday cards)

4. Holiday decorations (other than for commonly accessed public areas such as reception and waiting rooms)

5. Flowers (other than memorial flowers purchased through the president's office on behalf of the university)

6. Personal club/organization memberships

7. Coffee makers and supplies except where stations are established to serve the public as external relationships [requires vice president's or president's signature].

8. Event tickets for employees unless the employee is required to attend such function by their supervisor [requires vice president's or president's signature].

9. Postage stamps unless for emergency purposes [requires vice President's or President's signature].

10. Expenses related to holiday, or other open houses, including food, beverages, and decorations (other than the President's holiday reception).

11. Personal health or food items for office staff. [aspirin, tissues, candy, soda, etc.]

12. Meals for employees in Warrensburg unless part of an approved university function.