Entertainment

Entertainment

SUMMARY

The Entertainment Policy establishes when the provision of entertainment and hospitality is appropriate by University staff, and the level of accountability for these activities. The Entertainment Schedule details what is considered reasonable and appropriate entertainment expenditure when using University Funds.

POLICY

1     PURPOSE

To specify when the provision of entertainment and hospitality is appropriate, and the level of accountability for these activities

2     BACKGROUND

The provision of entertainment and hospitality by University staff to further University objectives is a legitimate professional activity. As a publicly funded body, however, the University must ensure that public sector standards of accountability are maintained.

This Policy, and the Entertainment Schedule, aim to provide clear direction to staff in determining the nature and amount of the purchase being considered.

Managers and supervisors must exercise good judgement in deciding on the appropriate expenditure for entertainment and hospitality. The link must be clear between expenditure and the business undertakings of the University.

3     SCOPE

This Policy applies to the staff, contractors, and students of Macquarie University and its Controlled Entities, where University funds are being used for the provision of entertainment or hospitality. 

4     DEFINITIONS

Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

Catering: the supply of food, drink or provisions by a catering supplier for the purpose of entertainment and/or hospitality.

Contractors:  all legal entities with a contractual relationship with the University, including but not limited to service providers and academic contractors engaged in providing teaching and/or research services.

Controlled Entity: a person, group of persons or body of which the University or the Council has control within the meaning of Section 39 (IA) or 45A (IA) of the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983 (NSW).

Crunch Catering: The catering arm of U@MQ Ltd which is a company that is 100% owned by the University (ie a Controlled Entity).

Entertainment: expenditure for food, drink or recreation and any accommodation or travel associated with these.

Hospitality: the reception and entertainment of guests or strangers with courtesy and kindness.

Official Functions: has the meaning given to it in the Schedule.

Staff:  means all continuing, non-continuing and casual staff and contractors of the University and its Controlled Entities.

Students: students currently enrolled at Macquarie University.

Special Celebratory Function: has the meaning given to it in the Schedule.

U@MQ Ltd: A separate legal entity, governed by its own Board of Directors, but also connected to the University legally, financially and operationally.

University Catering Suppliers: any food supplier that has a current tenancy agreement with Macquarie University or one of its Controlled Entities.

University Funds: all funds received by the University or a Controlled Entity from any source for any purpose.

University Staff: means all continuing, non-continuing and casual staff and contractors of the University and its Controlled Entities.

Working Lunches/Breakfasts: meetings held during normal lunch or breakfast periods

5     POLICY STATEMENT

CATERING
Only University Catering Suppliers can be engaged to cater on University premises where University Funds are being utilised.  Use of a University Catering Supplier must represent value for money and be in accordance with the Procurement Handbook.

The use of an external supplier to provide catering on University premises is not permitted except for instances when it is a requirement for Walanga Muru - The Office of Indigenous Strategy, to provide indigenous food or where a specialised catering is required on religious or cultural grounds.

Where the numbers involved at a working lunch/breakfast do not warrant catering, it is permissible to purchase food and drinks from a Campus Life (U@MQ Ltd) outlet or University Catering Supplier.

Where a Special Celebratory Function is held, there is no requirement for it to be catered but if it is catered, the caterer must be a University Catering Supplier who supplies those services except for instances when it is a requirement for Walanga Muru – The Office of Indigenous Strategy, to provide indigenous food or where a specialised catering is required on religious or cultural grounds.

Where the Special Celebratory Function is not to be catered it is permissible to purchase entertainment supplies from an external grocery/food supplier.

APPROVALS
Where the use of entertainment or hospitality is required by a staff member lacking the appropriate Financial Delegation of Authority the expenditure of University Funds on entertainment and hospitality must be approved in advance by a supervisor with the appropriate financial delegation.

Where payment is by credit card the most senior staff member present at an external or internal venue must pay the entertainment invoice.

The invoice/credit card reconciliation must be approved by a higher level of authority than the person who paid the invoice.

In the case of lunches/dinners at external venues, the approval authority at the higher level should not have attended the function. 

APPROVED ENTERTAINMENT, HOSPITALITY AND CATERING EXPENDITURE
Expenditure on entertainment and hospitality must be:

  • for University purposes
  • properly documented
  • available for scrutiny by both internal and external audit.

Expenditure for the sole purpose of entertaining University Staff is not permitted unless otherwise exempted in this Policy. Approval must be sought in advance from a staff member’s supervisor if there is any doubt about whether expenditure is appropriate.

Family and friends
Expenditure on entertainment or hospitality for University Staff family and friends is only permitted when they have a business connection to the University or it is appropriate that a staff member’s partner attend a University function.

LIMITS ON EXPENDITURE
Entertainment, hospitality and catering expenses must be incurred against operating funds unless specifically provided for under the terms and conditions governing expenditure of other funds (eg, research grants).

Although the cost of entertainment, hospitality and catering varies depending upon the venue and nature of the function, staff are required to minimise expenditure.

Where the expenditure relates to Official Functions involving formal dining, an amount up to the dinner allowance amount in the Australian Taxation Office Table 3 of Reasonable Meal Allowance Expense amounts may be used as a guide. A staff member must obtain supervisor approval for amounts in excess of this. For this purpose, the supervisor will usually be the Executive Dean, Head of Office or appropriate delegate as decided by the Executive Dean or Head of Office.

Where the expenditure relates to a Special Celebratory Function there is a limit of $30.00 (excluding GST) per staff member per year.

SUBSTANTIATION REQUIREMENTS
University credit cards are to be used to pay for entertainment. Where this is not possible:
  • claims for payment or reimbursement are subject to the normal University requirements for substantiation and must be accompanied by original invoices and/or receipts. A valid tax invoice must be provided for all expenses exceeding $50.00, and
  • adequate declarations and documentation must be provided to enable claims to be approved. As a minimum requirement, the following items must be recorded and included in any application for reimbursement of expenditure on hospitality or entertainment:
    • explanation of University purpose
    • name of all persons attending and external organisations represented, and
    • names of all University staff attending.

FRINGE BENEFITS TAX
Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) is payable on entertainment expenditure by University staff, and is charged back to the Department/Office responsible for the expenditure. The effect of FBT is to double the cost of entertainment and this must be taken into account in any decision to incur entertainment expenditure.

6     RELEVANT LEGISLATION

Public Finance and Audit Act 1983 (NSW)
Responsible Service of Alcohol (NSW)
Australian Taxation Office – Table 3 of Reasonable Meal Allowance Expense amounts

7     KEY RELATED DOCUMENTS

Alcohol and Drugs in the Workplace
Staff Code of Conduct
Credit Card Policy
Entertainment Schedule (see tab above)
Financial Delegations of Authority Policy
Fringe Benefit Tax Guideline
Procurement Handbook
Purchasing Procedure
Travel Policy
Welcome to Country and Other Indigenous Ceremonies Policy

Crunch Catering
Meal Entertainment Help Sheet

Form
Non Order Payment Request – Trade Creditor

8     NOTES

8.1
Contact Officer
Chief Financial Officer
8.2
Implementation Officer
 
8.3
Approval Authority / Authorities

Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

8.4
Date Approved
29 August 2012
8.5
Date of Commencement
29 August 2012
8.6
Date for Review
August 2014
8.7
Documents Superseded by this Policy
Entertainment Expenditure Guideline approved
12 October 2011
Entertainment Policy approved 12 October 2011
8.8
Amendment History

29 May 2017 - updated Approval Authority from Chief Operating Officer to Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor
2 March 2016 – replace ‘Warawara’ with ‘Walanga Muru, the Office of Indigenous Strategy’; added link to Welcome to Country and other Indigenous Ceremonies Policy.
5 November 2014 – added FBT Guideline
18 March 2014 – included provision for specialty catering
February 2014 – update position title to COO; Procurement Handbook replaced Purchasing Policy / Guideline
June 2013 – amended to include University Catering Suppliers.
May 2013 – amended Approval Authority title, extended review date for one year.

ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE

PurposeTo detail what is considered reasonable and appropriate entertainment expenditure when using University Funds.

Schedule

This Schedule outlines permitted entertainment expenditure in relation to:
  • tea, coffee, milk, sugar
  • biscuits
  • water
  • working breakfasts / lunches / dinners
  • celebratory functions
  • staff farewells
  • flowers
  • gift baskets
  • recognition gifts (funerals, farewells, birthdays, engagements, marriages)
  • official functions
  • tipping
  • alcohol.

ALCOHOL
The University and its Controlled Entities has a duty of care to all staff and guests and in general does not support the provision or consumption of alcohol where the University’s business is being conducted. This is especially the case where staff may be required to travel home or resume duties following the consumption of alcohol.

Alcohol cabinets
Stocked alcohol cabinets for small-scale entertainment may be maintained for the purpose of offering hospitality to external visitors and guests of the University.

Alcohol purchased from University Funds is not to be taken home.

Serving Alcohol
Where alcohol is to be served, a person with a Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate is to be present for the duration of the event.

STOCKS OF REFRESHMENTS
Stocks of refreshments such as tea, coffee, milk, sugar and biscuits are considered office consumables and are to be purchased using the University’s preferred office supplier. They are to be purchased by a staff member who has the appropriate delegation.

Tea, coffee, milk, sugar
It is reasonable to provide basic supplies such as instant coffee, tea (or tea bags), milk and sugar. Expensive supplies such as luxury or boutique tea or coffee are not to be purchased using University funds.

Biscuits
Biscuits of a reasonable quality and cost may be provided for working meetings or entertaining visitors.

This does not include the luxury items at the high cost end of the market.

Biscuits for general consumption of University Staff outside meetings is not permitted.

OFFICIAL FUNCTIONS
Expenditure for official functions is permitted when:
  • the number of University Staff attending an official function is limited to those with a direct involvement in the business being conducted; that is, only those who will be able to advance the University’s business, and
  • the number of University Staff attending comprise a minor or balanced proportion to external representatives. It should be exceptional that the number of University attendees exceeds the number of external attendees.

BREAKFAST / LUNCH / DINNER
Expenditure for breakfast, lunch or dinner is not permitted for half-day and other short meetings, except where the meeting extends into the normal breakfast, lunch or dinner period. In those cases, the following conditions apply:

Working Breakfasts/Lunches
  • the only available time for the meeting occurs during the normal lunch or breakfast period, and
  • the circumstances do not reasonably allow staff to make their normal arrangements for lunch or breakfast, and
  • there are demonstrable cost advantages in holding meetings during the normal lunch or breakfast period, or
  • meetings include external attendees.

Tea, coffee and water may be provided, or in circumstances where no self-service option is conveniently located (ie common kitchen), an equivalent level of catering may be provided.

All-day Meetings / Training Sessions / Seminars
Expenditure for lunch or dinner is permitted for participants and presenters in all-day meetings, training sessions and seminars.

Lunches/Dinners at External Venues
Expenditure for lunch or dinner at an appropriate cost is permitted for official visitors and guests. Prior approval is required from a staff member with appropriate financial delegation.

Care is to be taken in planning to ensure that expenditure is reasonable in regard to the choice of venue (value/quality for money, but not extravagant), and the amount of alcohol provided. No cocktails, boutique wines or the like are permitted.

The bill is to be paid by the most senior officer in attendance. If that is not possible subsequent approval of the payment (usually via credit card reconciliation) is not to be made by any of the senior officers who attended the lunch/dinner.

SPECIAL CELEBRATORY FUNCTIONS
Expenditure for celebrations is permitted at functions attended by University staff where there are clear benefits in terms of training and/or staff morale such as:
  • reward or recognition of a notable achievement by a faculty, office or group of staff
  • a training program provided by one faculty for other faculty
  • recognised seasonal holidays eg Christmas
  • research expositions for departmental staff or Higher Degree Research students.

The frequency of such functions held in respect of recognised seasonal holidays where University Funds are used is limited to one event per year.

The total expenditure from University Funds for these functions is not to exceed $30.00 (excluding GST) per staff member per year. Once this maximum has been reached, personal funds will need to be used.

After this limit is reached, individuals and supervisors may supplement this at their own personal expense.

STAFF FAREWELLS
Gifts and function costs for departing staff should ordinarily be paid for from a voluntary collection from staff. It is reasonable to use University funds to contribute to a morning or afternoon tea for staff with at least five years service. It is also reasonable to use University funds to contribute to a lunch for staff with at least 10 years service.  Such contributions should be limited to a maximum of $30.00 per head (excluding GST).

COMMON AREA APPLIANCES
It is reasonable to provide basic items (eg microwave, standard toaster, kettle, tea pot, jugs, cutlery and crockery) provided that they are located in a designated common kitchen area and accessible to all staff.

Luxury and top of the range items such as fine china and espresso machines are not an acceptable use of University funds.

WATER
It is reasonable to provide water fountains provided that they are available for all staff and visitors and not for limited individual use. The purchase of bottled water would not generally be appropriate.

GIFT BASKETS / FLOWERS / OTHER RECOGNITION GIFTS (eg for funerals, farewells, birthdays, engagements, marriages etc)
Where sent on behalf of the University or a Controlled Entity and not individuals, it is reasonable to purchase a wreath or other floral arrangement for the funeral of a student or staff member, or to contribute an equivalent amount to a nominated charity. Expenditure in relation to such purchases is to be limited to $100.00 and clearly denoted as coming from the University or Controlled Entity and not from individuals.

In special circumstances it may prove reasonable for the University to send a similar gift of recognition to the funeral of a person who has had a close and beneficial association with the University. Such gifts are to be approved by the Executive Dean or Head of Office, be of reasonable cost and be clearly denoted as coming from the University.

Where possible, gifts should bear the University insignia, especially where provided to visitors from overseas or purchased in Australia and given to overseas official University contacts.

Where individuals wish to personally recognise the passing of a student or staff member, the cost should be met by the individual or by way of a voluntary collection. Annotations should clearly identify the gift as coming from those who contributed to its purchase.

TIPPING
The University will not meet the cost of tipping for any service provided in Australia. The University will only meet the cost of tipping to a maximum of 10% where the service was received overseas and where tipping is a national custom.

Schedule Information

Contact OfficerDeputy Chief Financial Officer
Date Approved29 August 2012
Approval Authority

Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Date of Commencement29 August 2012
Amendment History

29 May 2017 - updated Approval Authority from Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer to Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Date for Next ReviewAugust 2015
KeywordsEntertainment, Hospitality, Catering, Farewells, Funerals, Births, Marriages, Tipping, Expenditure
Policy AuthorisationEntertainment Policy (see tab above)
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