GSAPP policy is to not reimburse for individual meal expenses or provide per diems during travel. However, GSAPP may reimburse reasonable and necessary meal expenses for business meetings involving only University personnel and students during which focused business discussions take place, for peer groups for research collaboration, or administrative meetings during which focused business discussions take place.
The frequency of such meetings and the related expenses must be reasonable and appropriate to the purpose of the discussion and the nature of the business conducted. Such meetings include:
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings which are necessary to conduct University business.
- Formally organized meetings which are necessary to carry out the business of official committees appointed by the University, School or Department.
- Meetings of an organized work group of employees or students that require the work of the group to progress through normal meal time.
Except under rare circumstances, these meals to be reimbursed or meals to be paid via invoice directly to the vendor should not exceed the following thresholds, excluding tips and tax:
- Up to $25 for breakfast
- Up to $35 for lunch
- Up to $75 for dinner
Senior Business Officer approval and Payee justification is required when business meal expenses exceed the individual pre-tip, pre-tax meal thresholds ($25 for breakfast, $35 for lunch, $75 for dinner) and the amount over the threshold must be segregated.
These thresholds are not per diems, and should not be charged as such. Travelers must submit individual receipts showing the actual cost of each meal.
The cost of alcoholic beverages consumed during a meal may be reimbursed. However, the cost may not be charged to a sponsored project and must be charged to the appropriate account. In addition, reimbursements for business meals that meet the following criteria require segregation:
- Reimbursement for business meals that require attendance by an employee’s spouse, significant other, and/or dependent require Payee justification and Financial Approval in Concur.
The itemized restaurant or cash register receipts for business meals must be obtained and uploaded images of them submitted with the payee’s Expense Report. The receipt must include:
- the date and location
- the type of meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner) indicated by the payee
- the meal items purchased (identify alcohol)
- the total amount of the meal
- proof of payment
The cost of alcoholic beverages may not be charged to a sponsored research account and must be appropriately segregated.
A list of attendees (or a number, if there are more than 10 names), the relationship to the University for each, and the business purpose of the meal must also be clearly documented and submitted with the Payee’s Expense Report in Concur.