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5.20.1 – Procedure – Special Expenses and Presidential Expense Allowance

MnSCU Policy

Part 1: Definitions

Subpart A: Special Expenses. Special expenses are extraordinary expenses incurred in connection with work-related responsibilities or official functions not generally supported with public funds or assigned duties of college employees, which are not reimbursable through the regular expense regulations.

Subpart B: Presidential Expense Allowance. Expenses related to the duties and responsibilities of the president for which no other reimbursement is provided. All expenditures must have a public purpose and provide benefit to the college.

Part 2: Special Expenses

Special expenses should be reasonable and serve a public purpose. The use of public money for such purposes should be defendable to anyone who may question such expenses. All expenditures of the college are scrutinized by the public as these are expenditures of tax dollars. The college is in a public environment and must use prudent judgment in using public money in paying for expenditures. Provisions for special expenses are also found in applicable collective bargaining agreements or compensation plans. Special expenses must be included in the budget of the requesting department. All expenditures are also subject to review by internal and external auditors.

Subpart A: Process

    1. Determine whether or not an expense is appropriate to pay as a special expense.
      1. Special expense forms are required for all methods of purchase—purchase orders, LSC credit cards, LSC Store, LSC Foodservice, and reimbursements.
    2. Prepare the Special Expense Form in advance.
    3. Authorized administrators, according to delegation of authority, must sign their approval of the special expense in advance.
    4. Submit form to Purchasing
      1. Purchase order cannot be processed without the approved special expense form
      2. If required, also submit agenda and list of attendees

Subpart B: Authorization/Approval of Special Expenses

The president delegates authority to approve/disapprove special expense requests in the delegation of authority documentation.

Approval is required before any special expense is incurred and before commitments involving special expenses are made. Employees must obtain approval of special expenses before incurring such expenses or the payment may be denied.

Subpart C: Expenses Not Covered

Except as otherwise provided in this procedure or other Board policies or procedures, the following exceptions are not allowable:

    1. Refreshments or meals for routine staff meetings
    2. Private club memberships
    3. Alcoholic beverages
    4. Entertainment
    5. Employee parties (including holiday parties)

Subpart D: Exceptions. Approval is required before any special expense is incurred and before commitments involving special expenses are made. The President maintains authority to approve special expenses for emergency or exceptional situations.

Part 3: Presidential Expense Allowance

The presidential expense allowance permits payment of expenses related to the duties and responsibilities of the president for which no other reimbursement is provided. All expenditures must have a public purpose and provide benefit to the college or MnSCU. Requests should only be made directly to the office of the president.

Subpart A: Authorization/Approval of Presidential Expense Allowances

Only the president’s office can initiate a presidential expense allowance form. Expenditures from the Presidential Expense Allowances account must be approved by the president. The annual expenditure limits are specified in College Policy 5.20 and Board Policy 5.20.

Part 5: Expenses Covered

The following chart provides a guide to special expense and presidential expense allowance eligibility defined in MnSCU policy 5.20 and MnSCU procedure 5.20.1. Special expense requests must be approved by someone with approval rights according to the delegation of authority. Approval is required before the expense is incurred and before commitments involving special expenses are made.

FOOD, BEVERAGES & RELATED ITEMS
Description Special Expense Eligibility
Special Expense Form Required
Presidential Expense
Alcoholic beverages Not allowed No
Candy, snacks, and related products Yes No
Coffee/tea and related serving supplies, including paper products. Yes, if used for guests to the college. Not allowed for employees only. No
Employees meeting with each other at any time No Yes
Entertainment Not generally allowed; yes if for an educational experience Yes
Event (annual) honoring retirees and other years of service awards (all employees invited) Yes No
Events where service awards are presented or retiring employees are honored or similar events with limited attendance. In instances where the spouse/significant other of the individuals being recognized attend, they may also be covered by presidential expense. No Yes
Food/beverages/meals for employees working during lunch period or before/after normal work hours. No Yes
Food/refreshments for college sponsored meetings, receptions for speakers, performers and commencements; conferences; workshops; and other similar college-sponsored meetings or activities that have predominantly non-employees. Registration fees may or may not be charged. Yes No
Food or meals to be provided by the college and specifically described in a contract. Special expense form not required. Contract should be attached and food requirement in contract specifically described on purchase order description line. No
Meals for spouse/significant other at events (e.g., Chamber Annual Dinner/Meeting) No Yes
Meal(s) when part of the structured agenda of a conference, workshop, seminar or meeting, which the employee is authorized to attend, whether or not in travel status. Yes, if part of the structured agenda. Special expense form not required when employee is in travel status. No
Meals (individuals) with the president and the public No Yes
Meetings (routine) for staff of divisions, offices or units No Yes
Meetings for all employees, all faculty, or all staff, e.g., Duty Days, Development Days, on topics of college wide impact, etc. Yes, if part of the structured agenda AND necessary to sustain the flow of the meeting or retain audience No
Meetings/meals when conducting business with citizens; members of boards, commissions, task forces, or workgroups; foreign, federal, state or local government officials and/or employees Yes. Effort should be made to schedule events to minimize the cost of meals and related expenses. No
Meetings with participants from many geographic locations where the majority are in travel status Yes, if part of the structured agenda AND necessary to sustain the flow of the meeting or retain audience No
Meetings with staff and/or students from other MnSCU colleges and/or System Office Yes, if part of the structured agenda AND necessary to sustain the flow of the meeting or retain audience No
Meetings with work groups, task forces, committees, seminars or meetings which include non-LSC participants Yes, if part of the structured agenda No
Parties for employees – holiday party, summer picnic/event, etc. No Yes
Reception – farewell to departing employees (including retirees) or welcome for new staff – all employees invited Yes by president’s office only No
Senior management planning or organizational meetings Yes, if part of the structured agenda AND necessary to sustain the flow of the meeting or retain audience No
Training/staff development, generally conducted by non-MnSCU persons Yes, if part of the structured agenda AND necessary to sustain the flow of the meeting or retain audience No

 

APPAREL, GIFTS/AWARDS & OTHER
Description Special Expense Eligibility
Special Expense Form Required
Presidential Expense
Advertising/promotional items (e.g., placemats at Lions Pancake Breakfast) Special expense form not required. No
Apparel required for employees to wear at work Yes (except special expense form not required for Facilities) No
Cards (e.g., thank you cards, greeting cards for various occasions, etc.) Special expense form not required. Cards should be for a college purpose only (e.g., thanking a guest speaker). Cards to be sent to employees only may be purchased by president’s office. No
Chamber of Commerce annual meeting and/or table (not spouses). Yes. Need list of attendees with special expense form. Yes, spouses
Dragon Boat including registration fee, t-shirts/ caps/ uniforms. Yes (marketing department) No
Flowers for community members (not employee) Yes, from president’s office only No
Flowers for employees and family members (per policy 4.7 and procedure 4.7.1) Yes, from president’s office only No
Gifts and giveaways (e.g., mugs, etc.) for employees, including from LSC Store Yes, if nominal value and non-cash/non-negotiable No
Gifts/Awards – Years of service or retirees Yes, if nominal value and non-cash/non-negotiable No
Gift certificates to guest speakers No, gifts with cash value not allowed No
Gifts to guest speakers (including items from LSC Store) Yes, if non-cash/non-negotiable item of nominal value No
Gifts/promotional items for visitors/friends of the college/dignitaries, including from LSC Store (t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, etc.) No Yes, if non-cash/non-negotiable items of nominal value
Golf tournaments (individual participants) No Yes
Lodging when employee is not in travel status Only under special circumstances (e.g., weather conditions) and authorized by president or designee based on benefit to LSC No
Private club memberships – individual, when in support of an individual’s position at the college No Yes
Private club memberships – college when it will be used for a public purpose No Yes
Promotional/marketing items (e.g., pens, t-shirts, etc.) used by departments such as admissions and marketing. Yes (marketing department only) No
Registration exceeding $1,000 for conferences, seminars or workshop. Yes. (Less than $1,000 does not require special expense form.) No
Sponsorship and/or participation fees (e.g., Air Shows, Lark of the Lake, Duluth Days, and Home Show, etc.) Special expense form is not required. No
Sponsorship with benefits/gifts/tickets included (e.g., Grandma’s Marathon) Marketing expense – no special expense form required. Gifts/benefits/tickets go to Student Life for distribution to students No
Travel: in-state or local Special expense form not required No
Travel: out-of-state or international Out-of-State Travel form required (special expense form not required) No

Date Implemented: July 10, 2014