Official Functions and Expenses Policy
Effective Date: July 1, 2019
Functional Owner: Controller, Division of Business Services, Dan Langer
Executive Sponsor: Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration, Laurent Heller and Associate Vice Chancellor, Finance, David Murphy
Policy Contact: Travel and Card Manager, Rusty Haines, Rusty.Haines@wisc.edu
This policy establishes general parameters for holding and funding UW-Madison functions or expenses that are usually social in nature but directly related to University official business.
The source of funds for paying for all expenditures pursuant to this policy must be a gift, program revenue or trust fund such as 161, 233, 136, & 131 funds and not general purpose revenue (GPR) or Sponsored Funds (Grants).
All expenditures pursuant to this policy must be pursuant to University Purchasing Policy, pre-approved, in writing, by the appropriate Approving Authority by completing the designated Official Functions Pre-Approval Form. The list of examples of Official Functions and expenses provided in this policy is not all-inclusive. All documents related to an Official Function or expense may be fully disclosed as public record to the extent required by state and federal open records laws.
Who This Policy Applies To
Employees of all UW-Madison schools, colleges, and auxiliary divisions including, but not limited to Deans, Directors, Financial Officers, and other campus leadership
An Official Functions and expense can actively promote the University’s mission, support community value, and recognize and reward exceptional performance and service. However, the University must govern the use of the specific funds used to pay for Official Functions and insure the appropriateness and reasonableness of all Official Functions and expenses.
An Approving Authority may make reasonable and moderate expenditures (excluding alcoholic beverages) directly associated with a University Official Function and expense that may have a social component but substantially advances or contributes to the University’s mission. An Approving Authority, in advance of expenditures being made, must formally authorize in writing expenditures related to an Official Function and expense. The Approving Authority’s advance authorization can only be provided by completing an Official Function Pre-Approval Form to be attached to any request for payment or reimbursement. Expenses pursuant to this policy will not be paid or reimbursed by the University or the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association without a properly executed Official Function Pre-Approval Form. The source of funds for expenses related to this Official Function or expense is a gift, program revenue or trust fund such as 161, 233, 136, & 131 funds and not general purpose revenue (GPR) or Sponsored Funds (Grants).
It is incumbent on the Approving Authority to know and understand the nature and full extent of any restrictions or requirements associated with the expenditure and the related allowed uses of the proposed funds, including consideration of donor intent, University Purchasing Policies, and Wisconsin Foundation Alumni Association purchasing policies The Approving Authority must document the justification for authorization. The Approving Authority must be prepared to defend the approval of a University Official Function or expense should there be an open record or audit related inquiry.
Examples of functions and expenses that may be considered appropriate are (not a comprehensive list):
- Functions for parents of preregistering students.
- Inauguration ceremony for a new Chancellor.
- Functions for graduating classes and their parents.
- Functions for community leaders, prominent visitors, legislators and officials, or leaders of educational programs.
- Functions for Board of Visitors or officials from other public or private institutions.
- Functions related to opening of new facilities and dedication ceremonies. Functions for officially recognized student groups. Link to University Official Student Groups
- Recognition functions to honor distinguished faculty, staff and students for significant, meritorious achievements.
- Faculty, staff and student recruitment events.
- House hunting trip for faculty or staff (restricted to employee and one spouse/significant other/companion).
- Employee recognition and morale/team building events such as honoring an employee retiring or separating from the University with at least 5 years of service and annual holiday/general appreciation events.
- Nominal gifts, excluding gift cards and cash equivalents, related to employee major life events such as weddings, births, or death in a family. Nominal gifts must be:
- UW-logoed items less than $50.00
- Meal expenses associated with an Official Function up to $100.00 per person including alcohol expenses paid by the Wisconsin Foundation Alumni Association.
- Lodging expense for non-University employees attending an Official Function that exceed the University’s lodging maximums for the location.
- Airfare expense for non-University employees attending an Official Function are not restricted to economy/coach class fares.
Other Official Function requirements:
- Any expense associated with a spouse/significant other/guest attending an Official Function is allowable if supported with a documented business purpose for the attendance of the spouse/significant other/guest and the cost of attendance is proportional to the value added to the event by the spouse(s)/significant other(s)/guest(s) attendance.
- Any purchase of alcohol pursuant to this policy must be reimbursed through Shared Financial System (SFS), charged to Account Code 6240 and billed to the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA); or, via check request to Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association.
Expenses for University-related Foundations or affiliated organizations’ board of directors’ meetings and expenditures for pure social functions for faculty, staff, and students are not considered appropriate charges to any source of funds administered by the UW System.
Consequences for Noncompliance
Failure to comply with UW-Madison Official Functions and Expense Policy may result in non-payment of the Official Function or expense, employee personal financial responsibility for the cost of the Official Function or expense; or, disciplinary steps, up to and including dismissal.
- Official Function and Expense: A reasonable and moderate expenditures (excluding alcoholic beverages) directly associated with a University Official Function and expense that may have a social component but substantially advances or contributes to the University’s mission.
- Approving Authority: The University Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, Dean, Division Chief Financial Officer or delegated Division Business Office Executive.
- Shared Financial System (SFS): The PeopleSoft enterprise resource system.
- Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA): An entity that raises, invests and distributes funds for the benefit of the University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Pure Social Function: A function that does NOT have a University business connection; or does not substantially add or contribute to the University’s mission.
- Student Group or Organization: All student groups or organizations officially recognized by the University. See https://win.wisc.edu/organizations for a complete list.
Approving Authority –
- Reviewing the University of Wisconsin-Madison Policy 340, Official Functions and Expense, in its entirety.
- Verifying the Official Function and Expense is a University sponsored event or expense that substantially advances or contributes to the University’s mission.
- Verifying the source of funds for expenses related to an Official Function and Expense is a gift, program revenue or trust fund such as 161, 233, 136, & 131 funds and not general purpose revenue (GPR) or Sponsored Funds (Grants) .
- Understand the nature and full extent of any restrictions or requirements related to the allowed uses of the proposed funds, including consideration of donor intent if the fund source is a gift.
- Defend the approval of the Official Function and Expense should there be an open record or audit related inquiry.
- Completion of the required Official Functions and Expense Pre-Approval form.
Link to Related Policies
- University Alcohol Policy
- Purchasing Services Policy PPP14
- Purchasing Services Policy PPP10
- WFAA Campus Service Policy: WFAA Advancement Resources
Link to Policy History
This is a new policy.