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Shelly G. Gonzalez, Policy Officer
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Approval: Approved by the President on June 4, 2000.
Authority: Board of Governors Policy 1.2.040
Responsibility: Chief Financial Officer
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. 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.