1. Purpose of policy
The purpose of this policy is to specify when the provision of hospitality is appropriate and the accountability that is required for these activities.
2. Policy scope and application
This policy applies to all staff, students and members of University decision-making or advisory bodies, and its controlled entities, where University funds are being used for the provision of hospitality.
3. Regulatory background
The University as a Queensland Statutory Body is required to comply with the Financial Accountability Act 2009 and the Financial and Performance Management Standards 2009, both of which specify guidelines for the provision of hospitality and entertainment. The University is required to ensure that appropriate guidelines are specified, that public sector standards of accountability are maintained and that there is a measure of consistency in the way in which this policy is implemented across the University.
4.1 In this policy statement, hospitality means:
- the provision of meals or refreshments to persons who are visiting the University for business reasons;
- the organisation of other functions which further the objectives of the University, or
- the entertainment of individuals at special events conducted at University or other locations.
4.2 The expectation is that in the majority of cases this will occur at venues on the University of the Sunshine Coast campus although the provision of hospitality off campus or at a staff member's home is not precluded.
4.3 Hospitality should not be a substitute for business meetings, which would ordinarily be conducted in the workplace.
4.4 Attention is drawn to situations described as 'Grey Areas' outlined in Section 5.4 of the associated Hospitality Procedures.
5. Policy Statement
5.1 The University recognises that the provision of hospitality can result in significant benefits to the institution, particularly in promoting the University as a whole and the activities of the various faculties, schools, institutes and other units.
5.2 The justification for the incurring of expenditure is underpinned by four principles:
- the expense must be for official purposes;
- the expense must not be excessive;
- the expense should be able to withstand public scrutiny; and
- the expense must be incurred for a specific outcome that can be demonstrated to be of benefit to the University.
Anticipated outcomes should be documented at the time of approval.
Appropriate documentation to substantiate expenditure for hospitality (and for Fringe Benefits Tax purposes) must be maintained.
Approval should be obtained prior to the incurrence of all expenditure and for substantiation purposes. The financial delegate approving expenditure must be satisfied that the expenditure incurred, or to be incurred, is in relation to official duties, is reasonable and is publicly defensible.
5.3 The primary responsibility for determining the extent to which University resources are applied for this purpose rests with the:
- Vice-Chancellor and President
- Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
- Chief Operating Officer