Policy 60 - Hospitality, Receptions, Business Luncheons and Expenditures Chargeable to University Accounts

Approved Administrative Committee 24.6.71



1. It is the University’s policy to extend hospitality when it serves the University’s interests by enhancing community and public relations, and by recognizing excellence of University staff and students.
2. All members of the University community are subject to this policy. When hospitality, receptions, luncheons and other similar expenditures are undertaken in conjunction with travel on behalf of the University, specific travel expenses submitted for reimbursement must comply with Policy 21
3. Members of the University community must ensure compliance with the specific policies of granting agencies, where applicable.


4. To ensure that hospitality extended by the University is managed in a consistent and cost-effective manner.



   a. Hospitality: The provision of a reception offering refreshments and meals to guests of the University. Refreshments refer to beverages and light snacks. Alcoholic beverages are subject to provisions of the granting agencies and the maxima presented in Appendix A.
   b. Forms of hospitality: Hospitality normally consists of: breakfast or lunch or dinner or a reception or refreshments, or serving beverages (with or without food), and any combination of these.
   c. Official hospitality: May exceptionally consist of tickets to cultural activities or sporting events or tours of the National Capital Region area or other places of interest or local transportation to and from the function or room rental or incidentals such as flowers, or any combination of the above.
   d. Function: The total cost of all forms of hospitality sponsored by the University, associated with an event. An event may cover a single meal or, such as in the case of a conference, may include various forms of hospitality over a number of days such as those described in article 15 of this policy.


6. University facilities must be used for hospitality purposes, when available and appropriate.


7. Functions should minimize costs but be consistent with the following:

   • the status or rank of the guest(s);
   • the number of persons attending; and
   • the circumstances.

8. Appendix A (Meal Allowance for Hospitality) sets out maximum per person limits which must be used in planning all hospitality functions. In particular, the maximum per person cost limits for any form of hospitality may only be exceeded in unusual and non-recurring circumstances and must have the prior approval of the Vice-President, Resources.


   9. When hospitality expenses are incurred, Service Directors, Deans, Associate Vice-Presidents, Vice-Presidents must submit a Monthly Report on Hospitality Expenses (see http://www.financialresources.uottawa.ca/forms/monthly-report.php?stakeholder=employee) to their immediate supervisor for review. The President’s Monthly Report on Hospitality Expenses will be submitted to the Chair of the Board of Governors.

   10. A global estimate of projected expenditures for receptions and business luncheons will be provided by faculties, schools and services when submitting their annual budgets.

   11. Requests for unbudgeted special events must state the purpose and nature of the function, the approximate cost, and be submitted to the immediate supervisor for approval.

   12. The Statement of Expenses for Receptions and Business Meetings (see http://www.financialresources.uottawa.ca/forms/reimbursement.php?stakeholder=employee) must be completed in full prior to the reimbursement of expenses.



13. Ineligible expenses

   • any expense deemed to be social in nature;
   • hospitality that does not serve the University’s interests;
   • political fundraising events.



14. Employees
The following limitations are applied in regard to hospitality to University employees:

   a. Hospitality such as beverages, meals, tours or other entertainment is only to be provided to employees who act as hosts to guests of the University of Ottawa. This responsibility is normally assumed by the President, the Vice-Presidents, the Associate Vice-Presidents, the Deans, and the Directors of Services. Other employees hosting guests must be approved by their immediate supervisor;
   b. Non-alcoholic beverages may be offered to employees required to work through "breaks" otherwise called "coffee breaks", when justified by Deans and Directors. Such hospitality should be restricted to occasions of a formal nature where the dispersal of participants during a break period is not desirable. Managerial discretion and due regard for economy should be used in identifying such occasions and in ensuring that hospitality is not offered during meetings of close colleagues working together on a regular basis;
   c. Refreshments, meals, or both may be offered to employees who participate in work sessions extending over meal hours or beyond normal working hours;
   d. Hospitality may be extended on behalf of the University when employees participate in meetings to plan program-oriented work, in technical advisory committee meetings, or in departmental conferences; or when employees attend functions at which there are guests who are not employees with the understanding that the number of employees must not exceed the number needed to conduct University business;
   e. Expenses related to planning or business meetings (retreats) held out of campus for University employees must be pre-approved by the Vice-President responsible for the faculties or services involved;
   f. Allowable expenses for receptions on the retirement of an employee and to recognize the attainment of long years of service with the University as established in Policy 81

15. Other Persons/Events
Hospitality may be extended on behalf of the University on the following occasions:

   a. When discussions on official matters are held with persons who are not University employees, including interviews with persons who are being considered for recruitment at the University, members of other universities, industry, public interest groups, seminars, or during special events such as public openings;
   b. When persons visiting Canada as members of universities, national or international organizations are involved in activities relating to those of the University;
   c. When the University sponsors formal conferences, and other universities or external bodies are represented;
   d. When the University honours a distinguished person in recognition of exceptional service to Canada;
   e. When a person who is not a University employee renders a service without remuneration;
   f. When a prestigious ceremony (e.g. sod-breaking, laying of a cornerstone, inauguration or opening) takes place, attended by dignitaries and guests;
   g. When special events take place such as convocations, traditional receptions including the Chancellor's New Year's reception, and other such events approved by the President;
   h. When other special events are held to enhance the University’s public image, approved by the Vice-President, University Relations;
   i. When business breakfasts and luncheons concerned with the transaction of University business, or matters of particular interest to the University are held;
   j. When conferences, seminars, displays and similar functions approved by Deans and Directors of Services are held within their respective terms of reference.


16. The Internal Audit Office will conduct regular compliance audits. Any deviations from established policy requirements will be reported upon. Expenses are also subject to audits from external agencies and external auditors for compliance.


17. Functions that are exceptions to the policy outlined above must have the prior approval of the Vice-President, Resources for internal events or from the Vice-President, University Relations for public relations events.

Revised May 28, 2007
(Office of the Vice-President, Resources)


Meal Allowance for Hospitality

Forms of Hospitality Maximum Per Person Cost (including refreshments)

Breakfast 2 times meal allocation in Policy 21
Lunch 3 times meal allocation in Policy 21
Dinner 2 times meal allocation in Policy 21
Reception 2.5 times meal allocation for dinner in Policy 21
  For current meal allowances, see Policy 21.
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